Traveling exhibition Warhol’s West on view at Eiteljorg Museum March 12-Aug. 7
An intriguing exhibit on the work and life of Pop Art Icon Andy Warhol will be on view at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, March 12 through Aug. 7. Warhol’s West is a traveling exhibition that explores the fascination Warhol had with the American West and Native Americans. Making the exhibition even more engaging will be a series of public programs at the Eiteljorg where visitors can learn more about Warhol and his art.
The show will feature Warhol’s screenprint portraits created late in his career of important historical figures of the West, including Geronimo, Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull, as well as of pop culture figures such as Western movie actor John Wayne. Warhol’s West includes source material such as photographs Warhol used to adapt and create his prints, as well as movie posters and lobby cards from one of his films. Adding to a discussion of the ways in which Native cultures have been culturally appropriated and represented, the exhibit also will feature a selection of Native American images by noted photographer Edward S. Curtis, whose work Warhol collected extensively.
Internationally known for his Pop Art creations of the 1960s, including screenprints of Marilyn Monroe and famous images of the Campbell’s Soup can and Brillo soap pad box, Warhol also harbored a lifelong interest in the West, and he personally collected items of Native American art and Western art. Twenty-one original silkscreen prints in bold colors are featured in Warhol’s West. Many come from the series Cowboys and Indians, the final suite of printsthat Warhol created in 1986, not long before his death in 1987 at age 58.
“With the Eiteljorg Museum’s focus on the art, history and cultures of Native America and the American West, we are looking forward to hosting this thought-provoking exhibition of Andy Warhol’s late-career work,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “I have encountered many people who were unaware and surprised to learn of Andy Warhol’s fascination with the West. However, the myths and realities of the American West have always been a profound part of our nation’s persona. And so, it is really no surprise that the icon of Pop Art, Warhol, was inspired by this area of American mythology; and the works he created are sure to fascinate Eiteljorg visitors.”
Warhol’s West was organized by the Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, GA, and the Cochran Collection, LaGrange, GA, and the Eiteljorg is the latest stop on its tour.
The exhibition explores how Warhol culturally appropriated historic images of Geronimo, Sitting Bull and other historic Native Americans to create screenprints. It also looks at how Warhol portrayed and critiqued individuals such as General George Armstrong Custer and Theodore Roosevelt, who in the late 19th and early 20th centuries often were seen as heroic figures, but in today’s world are considered troubling and problematic due to their histories of racism, colonialism and imperialism.
Several related museum programs about Warhol’s work that encourage public involvement and discussion will coincide with the exhibition:
- Friday March 11, 6 p.m.: Members-only Preview Party. The exhibit-opening celebration features food and a cash bar. Reservations are required; visit eiteljorg.org/events.
- Saturday March 12: Warhol’s West Opening Day activities. Learn about the artworks with a curator-led gallery tour at 11 a.m. Attend a presentation at 1 p.m. about “Warhol and the American Cowboy” by Jessica Beck, the Milton Fine curator of art at The Andy Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh. Join in an art-making activity in the Eiteljorg’s studios from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Events are included with regular museum admission.
- Saturday, March 26: Author Talk and Book Signing. At 1 p.m., author Stuart Lenig will discuss his book The Many Lives of Andy Warhol, which takes a deep look into the Pop artist’s career. A book signing will follow. It’s included with regular museum admission.
- Saturday April 23: Warhol Family Day activities. Author, artist and storyteller James Warhola, nephew of Andy Warhol, will hold a book reading of his two popular children’s books about his famous Uncle Andy. Pop Art-making activities also will be available throughout the day. Events are included with regular museum admission; visit eiteljorg.org/events for the full schedule of activities.
- Friday-Saturday May 13-14: Pop artist Brent Learned (Cheyenne / Arapaho). Attend events with Brent Learned, a Native American artist who uses a vibrant, colorful Pop Art style to depict Native American subjects and stories. An art workshop titled Pop the Cork with Pop Art takes place at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13; it is age 21+. At 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14 is a members-only Coffee and Conversation event with Learned. Visit eiteljorg.org/events for the full schedule of activities and registration.
- Saturday, July 30: Coffee and Conversation and Gallery Tour: Seth Hopkins, executive director of the Booth Western Art Museum, visionary of the exhibit, and author of the book Warhol in the West, leads a members-only Coffee and Conversation event at 9 a.m., followed by a gallery tour of the exhibit. Visit eiteljorg.org/events for details.
Other summer public programs will be scheduled at the Eiteljorg during the course of Warhol’s West. On Saturday Aug. 6, the penultimate day of the exhibition, the museum plans to host a Warhol’s Birthday Bash Trivia Night event; check eiteljorg.org/events for details. At the Eiteljorg Museum Store, the related art catalog is available for purchase: Warhol in the West, featuring works from the show.
Warhol’s West at the Eiteljorg is presented by Raymond James and Associates in Indiana and is sponsored by Capital Group and Avis Foundation, Inc., with additional support from the Indiana Arts Commission and the Arts Council of the City of Indianapolis.