Warhol from the Sonnabend Collection
Paul Taylor: I saw Ileana [Sonnabend] today and asked her what I should ask you, and she said "I don't know. For Andy everything is equal."
Andy Warhol: She's right.
Paul Taylor: How do you describe that point of view?
Andy Warhol: I don't know. If she said it she's right.
--"the Last Interview," 1987
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings, sculpture and works on paper by Andy Warhol from the collection of the late Ileana Sonnabend. Individual works from the Sonnabend collection have been lent to various museum exhibitions before, but this will be the first exhibition and catalogue exclusively devoted to this outstanding body of work by Warhol.
A renowned gallerist and dedicated art collector, Sonnabend was an early and fervent supporter of Warhol and presented three important exhibitions of his work at her Paris gallery, where she showed the series Death and Disasters (1964), Flowers (1965), and Thirteen Most Wanted Men (1967). During this time she assembled a private collection of seminal works, acquired directly from Warhol's studio at the time of their making. All but three of the works in the Gagosian Gallery exhibition date from the critical years 1962 to 1965.
The exhibition spans Warhol's career, from his earliest paintings of Campbell's soup cans to his later portraits of Mao Tse-tung. Other major series represented include Death and Disaster, Liz, Marilyn, Jackie, Thirteen Most Wanted Men, Brillo Boxes, Flowers and Hammer & Sickle: potent images confronting power, money, and mortality that have become embedded in American visual culture. The exhibition traces Warhol's transition from making hand-painted works to his full adoption of the silkscreen technique in 1962, a move that realized his seamless integration of high art and mass culture.
The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Estate of Ileana Sonnabend, Nina Sundell and Antonio Homem. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Picasso scholar John Richardson(who delivered the eulogy at Warhol's funeral) and Brenda Richardson, a leading Warhol scholar who was a close friend of Ileana Sonnabend. The latter essay gives an insightful portrait of the highly regarded dealer and her relationship with Warhol, illuminated by previously unpublished private letters. Included in the catalogue will be facsimile reproductions of the exhibition catalogues published by Galerie Ileana Sonnabend from 1964, 1965, and 1967.
Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is widely regarded as a defining figure not only of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s but of an entire cultural era. He worked prodigiously across a vast range of media, including painting, photography, print-making, drawing, sculpture, film (sixty experimental films between 1963 and 1968), television (Andy Warhol's TV, 1982 and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes, 1986), publishing (Interview magazine and various books), happenings, and performances. He also endorsed products, appeared in
advertisements and made business deals, giving new currency to the philosophical and practical interplay between art as a reflection upon society and art as a product of society.