Andy Warhol: Big Shot

July 18, 2020 - October 18, 2020

Cushing Building: Morris and Cushing Galleries

The Newport Art Museum is pleased to present “Andy Warhol: Big Shot,” the artist’s third exhibition at the Newport Art Museum. Warhol attended Newport Art Museum opening receptions for his first two exhibitions, which were a group show in honor of gallery owner Leo Castelli in 1977 and “Andy Warhol’s Children’s Show” in 1985.

Warhol is well known for his appropriation of other people’s photographs, from the portraits to the press photographs that he reproduced and repeated in silkscreens and paintings, but he was also an avid photographer himself.

This exhibition focuses on Andy Warhol’s photographic work, specifically his Polaroids. Using a Polaroid Big Shot and an SX-70 cameras, Warhol made thousands of instant photographs. He used them in many ways: to document his art and aid in his drawing for ads, take snapshots of friends and celebrities, make self-portraits, and create portraits that would become studies for silkscreen prints and paintings. Polaroids also served as a starting a point for commercial work, such as album covers and advertisements. Still many other snapshots were simply part of Warhol’s quotidian visual diary—like sketches of the people who passed through his daily life.

While some of Warhol’s Polaroids were studies for other works, others were an end unto themselves. This exhibition brings together a selection of Warhol’s Polaroids along with some of the final works of art that they generated. It will also include other unique photographs by Warhol, such as his rare stitched photographs and photobooth portraits.

In many ways, Warhol anticipated Instagram, other social media platforms, and the “selfie.” “Andy Warhol: Big Shot” engages with the contemporary issues of celebrity, social media, and artistic production.

IMAGE

Andy Warhol at the Newport Art Museum Gala for “Andy Warhol’s Children’s Show” in 1985 being kissed by Paloma Charmarro.

Richard Schwab, Paloma Kissing Andy, 1985, gelatin silver print, Newport Art Museum 2006.007.001, Gift of Richard Schwab.