Craft & Consumption

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Warholian Wonders

Continuing in my freelance writing adventures... I just wrote a little article for the June 2012 issue of Berks County Living about a great Andy Warhol exhibition that's currently at the Reading Public Museum here in PA. Fun fact: did you know Warhol was a Pittsburgh native?

When you walk into the Reading Public Museum between now and June 17th, you’ll be greeted by a six-foot lineup of Campbell’s soup cans. The cans pay homage to Andy Warhol, whose screen prints of the iconic soup cans hang in the second floor gallery space as part of a temporary exhibition featuring the renowned pop artist.

Warhol had an interesting relationship with American products like Campbell’s soup and Coca-Cola. He made consumer products the subject of many of his photographic works and publicly celebrated their ubiquitous qualities. He is famous for interpreting the everyday and mundane aspects of regular life in neon layers of silk-screened prints.

The Warhol exhibition starts with a 1967 self-portrait of the artist as a young man, a screen print on plastic with a simple white and red palette. Included in the exhibition are some of Warhol’s other portrait works, including prints of actress Elizabeth Taylor, first lady Jackie O., and Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger. The second room of the exhibit opens up to a series of Marilyn Monroe portraits, six of Warhol’s most distinguished prints.

Across from the celebrity portraits, you’ll find screen prints of dollar signs, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and Chanel perfume bottles. These consumer products juxtapose with the celebrity faces on the opposing wall and expand on Warhol’s admiration of consumer culture. The exhibition also includes some of Warhol’s later works, including traditional cowboy and Indian imagery and his cropped version of the legendary Birth of Venuspainting by Botticelli. The final rooms of the exhibit feature Warhol’s Silver Cloudsinstallation, an interactive part of the curation that involves huge silver balloons, perfect for young art aficionados to experience.

If you haven’t been to the museum to peruse the gallery of Warholian wonders, we truly recommend a visit before the exhibition closes on Sunday, June 17th. The talented museum curator has put together a great selection of iconic and unique works by this celebrated Pennsylvania native.

Reading Public Museum | 500 Museum Rd., Reading | 610.371.5850 |

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