Andy Warhol—
From A to B and 
Back Again
Nov 12, 2018–Mar 31, 2019

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Nov 7–11, 2018

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Screenings and Programs

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Introduction

Few American artists are as ever-present and instantly recognizable as Andy Warhol (1928–1987). Through his carefully cultivated persona and willingness to experiment with non-traditional art-making techniques, Warhol understood the growing power of images in contemporary life and helped to expand the role of the artist in society. This exhibition—the first Warhol retrospective organized by a U.S. institution since 1989—reconsiders the work of one of the most inventive, influential, and important American artists. Building on a wealth of new materials, research and scholarship that has emerged since the artist’s untimely death in 1987, this exhibition reveals new complexities about the Warhol we think we know, and introduces a Warhol for the 21st century.

Explore the artworks below to learn more about the life and work of Andy Warhol.


Artworks

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1

Warhol Before Warhol

One of Madison Avenue’s most in-demand illustrators
An illustration of a gold shoe.

Warhol Before Warhol

2

Hand-Painted Pop

Scrutinizing the signs and symbols of postwar America
A painting of a comic book image of Superman.

Hand-Painted Pop

3

Mechanical Reproduction

Discovering the heroism of everyday objects (over and over again)
A print showing rows of Coca-Cola bottles with a logo at the bottom.

Mechanical Reproduction

4

Silver Screens

From screen to canvas, Warhol reflects on our obsession with celebrity
Three images of Elvis.

Silver Screens

5

Death and Disaster

Exploring the dark side of American culture
An image of a race riot printed on yellow canvas.

Death and Disaster

6

Most Wanted Men

A controversial mural for the 1964 World's Fair in Queens
Black and white mugshot of a criminal.

Most Wanted Men

7

Flowers

Warhol perfects his systemic approach to art making
Four flowers, two pink and two orange.

Flowers

8

Filmmaking

Warhol, (super) star maker
Film still of Ethel Scull.

Filmmaking

9

Installations

Warhol announces his “retirement” from painting
Silver balloons in a room.

Installations

10

Performance and Experimentation

After a near-death experience, Warhol gets back to work
Warhol vacuuming an empty gallery.

Performance and Experimentation

11

Mao

Warhol’s take on the most widely reproduced portrait in the world
An image of Mao painted with bright colors.

Mao

12

Time Capsules

Boxing (and unboxing) Warhol’s personal archives
A cardboard box.

Time Capsules

13

Ladies and Gentlemen

A major series depicts members of New York’s drag and trans community
Painting of Marsha P. Johnson.

Ladies and Gentlemen

14

Still Lifes and Shadows

Questioning how images create meaning
Image of a skull painted in bright colors.

Still Lifes and Shadows

15

Abstraction

A radical new approach to abstract art
Abstract painting in yellows and black.

Abstraction

16

Portraits

Warhol attempts to create a “portrait of society”
Portrait of Debbie Harry.

Portraits

17

Andy Warhol Enterprises

The Factory expands its ventures in contemporary media
Yoko Ono on the cover of interview magazine.

Andy Warhol Enterprises

18

Collaborations

Warhol inspires—and is inspired by—a new generation of artists
Painting with many logos and colorful paint gestures.

Collaborations

19

The Last Supper

A meditation on militancy, spiritual sacrifice, and mourning
The Last Supper screenprinted twice and covered with camouflage paint.

The Last Supper

Artworks

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Videos


Tours

Today,
Nov 21

Join for a free, guided tour of this exhibition led by a Whitney docent.

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Events


Four images of Andy Warhol in blue.

Audio guides

Floor 5

“Andy's work really goes to the heart of the matter of what it means to be a human being and what our potential is…It's the real deal.” —Jeff Koons

Hear from a range of contemporary artists, curators, and scholars speaking about iconic works on view. Contributors include Jeff Koons, Hank Willis Thomas, Deborah Kass, Peter Halley, Sasha Wortzel, and Richard Meyer.

Floor 3

Find audio descriptions of select works, as well as sound descriptions and transcripts of all works with sound.

Floor 1

Hear from historian Trevor Fairbrother and artist Peter Halley about Andy Warhol's portraits.


Playlist

These twelve songs are all culled from six LPs that feature illustrations by Warhol in their album art. Warhol’s illustrations appeared on around twenty-three album covers from 1949–1960, ranging from the LP release of two episodes of the gritty radio news exposé "The Nation's Nightmare" to a recording of the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing music from Ravel's Impressionist ballet Daphnis and Chloé. Of the twenty-three, only five of the records—all of them jazz—are currently available to stream. According to his friends, Warhol himself never listened to the type of music featured here, preferring classical and, especially, opera over jazz.


Exhibition Catalogue

This ambitious book is the first to examine Warhol’s work in its entirety. It builds on a wealth of new research and materials that have come to light in recent decades and offers a rare and much-needed comprehensive look at the full scope of Warhol’s production—from his commercial illustrations of the 1950s through his monumental paintings of the 1980s. Donna De Salvo explores how Warhol’s work engages with notions of public and private, the redefinition of media, and the role of abstraction, while a series of incisive and eye-opening essays by eminent scholars and contemporary artists touch on a broad range of topics, such as Warhol’s response to the AIDS epidemic, his international influence, and how his work relates to constructs of self-image seen in social media today.

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In the News

"A sweeping retrospective shows a personal side of the Pop master — his hopes, fears, faith — and reasserts his power for a new generation."
The New York Times

“It can be guaranteed that 'From A to B and Back Again' will prove an inescapable cultural event. It also promises an equal intellectual bonanza.”
Artforum

“'To humanize Warhol and get people to actually look at what he made is not as easy as it might sound.’ Now Ms. De Salvo is tackling that challenge in 'Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again,' the first Warhol retrospective organized by a United States museum since 1989.”
The New York Times

“His 15 minutes of fame will never expire. More than 350 works make up this major retrospective that spans Warhol’s entire career from illustrator to pop icon.”
Los Angeles Times

“In November, the Whitney Museum of American Art will feature the first U.S. retrospective of Andy Warhol’s art in some three decades, in an exhibition that will occupy a great deal of the institution’s eight-story, High Line-adjacent building.”
The New Yorker

“De Salvo said she believes that the show will inspire viewers to look past the persona that the artist cultivated during his lifetime.”
ARTnews

“What more is there to learn about this deeply superficial artist? The Whitney’s brilliant curator Donna De Salvo answers the question with the largest Warhol survey ever, featuring more than three hundred and fifty works.”
The New Yorker

“Titled 'Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again,' it stars a full cross-section of his epochal creations."
The New York Times

“The heart of Warhol’s idea — that by playing the role of businessman, an artist could turn himself into the latest, living example of a commodification he believed none of us can avoid — was perhaps as revolutionary in its time as Marcel Duchamp presenting a humble urinal as sculpture had been in 1917.”
The New York Times

“One of its most groundbreaking aspects will be the concentration on the least-known time of Warhol’s life, the 1950s.”
W Magazine

"All the possible aspects of his four-decades-long, multilayered practice, meticulously analyzed and presented."
Widewalls

“Andy is in the air we breathe. Among the most revolutionary artists who ever lived, Warhol (was) an artist in a state of creative grace feeding on, mirroring, doubling, and actually changing the culture he pictured. The Whitney’s new retrospective…isn’t to be missed.”
New York Magazine

"A remarkably handsome and topical show.”
WNYC

“De Salvo aims to offer a unique perspective on his work—a personal one. She looks behind Warhol’s carefully constructed mask to explore how a gay man raised by Czech immigrants in a Catholic family became one of the world’s most experimental artists.”
Artnet

“The wonderful thing about the Whitney show is that it places Warhol’s famous moments alongside the moments you have likely never seen or heard of… "
The Daily Beast

“It’s all about Andy!...More than three decades after his death, Warhol’s art continues to draw crowds and remains relevant.”
CBS New York


About the Exhibition

The exhibition positions Warhol's career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn't slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968, but entered into a period of intense experimentation. The show illuminates the breadth, depth, and interconnectedness of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and 70s, to his innovative use of readymade abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. His repetitions, distortions, camouflaging, incongruous color, and recycling of his own imagery challenge our faith in images and the value of cultural icons, anticipating the profound effects and issues of the current digital age.

This is the largest monographic exhibition to date at the Whitney's new location, with more than 350 works of art, many assembled together for the first time. 

The exhibition is organized by Donna De Salvo, Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, with Christie Mitchell, senior curatorial assistant, and Mark Loiacono, curatorial research associate.

Partial view opens October 12, 2018
Floor 3

See a selection of groundbreaking film and video works by Andy Warhol, who experimented with new and developing technologies throughout his career.

The accompanying film program is co-organized with the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, and curated by Claire K. Henry, assistant curator.

Leadership support of Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again is provided by Kenneth C. Griffin.

Bank of America is the National Tour Sponsor

In New York, exhibition is also sponsored by


Generous support is provided by Neil G. Bluhm and Larry Gagosian.

Major support is provided by The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston; Foundation 14; Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation; The Thompson Family Foundation, Inc.; and the Whitney’s National Committee.

Significant support is provided by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Lise and Michael Evans, Susan and John Hess, Allison and Warren Kanders, Ashley Leeds and Christopher Harland, the National Endowment for the Arts, Brooke and Daniel Neidich, Per Skarstedt, and anonymous donors.

Additional support is provided by Bill and Maria Bell, Kemal Has Cingillioglu, Jeffrey Deitch, Andrew J. and Christine C. Hall, Constance and David Littman, the Mugrabi Collection, John and Amy Phelan, Louise and Leonard Riggio, Norman and Melissa Selby, Paul and Gayle Stoffel, Mathew and Ann Wolf, and Sophocles and Silvia Zoullas.

New York Magazine is the exclusive media sponsor.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Support for the catalogue is provided by Acquavella Galleries and the Paul J. Schupf Lifetime Trust.

The opening dinner is sponsored by


Related Exhibition

Also open from October 26–December 15, 2018, the Dia Art Foundation presents Andy Warhol, Shadows at 205 West 39th Street, a streetfront space in Calvin Klein, Inc.’s headquarters. The installation surrounds the viewer with a series of canvases, presented edge-to-edge around the perimeter of the room, in conformity with Warhol’s original vision. Following its New York presentation, the work reopens as a long-term installation at Dia:Beacon in 2019.


Artworks shown on the homepage

Andy Warhol, Dolly Parton, 1986. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 42 × 42 in. (106.7 × 106.7 cm). The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art FC.527.1. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, 1980. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 42 x 42 in. (106.7 x 106.7 cm). Collection of Deborah Harry. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol, Aretha Franklin, 1986. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 40 × 40 in. (101.6 × 101.6 cm). Mugrabi Collection. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22, 2018.