Art Institute pulls out all the stops for massive Andy Warhol retrospective

From Campbell soup cans to gritty car crashes, the work of Andy Warhol will be celebrated in a big way as The Art Institute of Chicago prepares to open a new, multi-faceted exhibition devoted to four decades of classic iconography from the eclectic pop artist.

Opening Friday and running through January 26, 2020, “Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again” is the first major retrospective to be organized by a U.S. institution in 30 years — and 32 years after the artist’s untimely death.

“The exhibition really encompasses all media that he worked in, from paintings to prints, film, TV, music and books,” says Jay Dandy, collection manager for the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition includes 400 pieces, some world-famous like Warhol’s “Silver Marlon” portrait of actor Marlon Brando, and some rarely seen, including one of the 600 time capsules Warhol assembled from everyday ephemera to document his life.

“Visitors will get to see Warhol’s style back in his school days and the way Warhol transformed when he moved to New York City in late ‘40s to ‘50s to become a successful commercial illustrator [including pieces on display from his time on contract with the Israel Miller shoe company], and how that laid the foundation for what he would do as a pop artist in the ‘60s,” continues Dandy.

In addition to the classic paintings and prints such as “Triple Elvis,” The Art Institute of Chicago has also assembled some of the macabre “Death And Disaster” series from the early ‘60s that counteracted the glitz and glamour of celebrity life that Warhol admired. There are also pieces of the “Flowers” exhibition from 1965 in which Warhol famously declared he was retiring from painting, which of course never really happened. Some of his final works, including “Camoflauge Last Supper” is also included as is a black box room which loops 15 of his films as well as snippets of “Andy Warhol’s T.V.” and the “Factory Diary” videos.

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