If you thought you knew everything there was to know about Andy Warhol, the undisputed high priest of Pop art, the exhibition Warhol Underground at the Centre Pompidou-Metz in Paris might just change your mind.
“I never wanted to be a painter; I wanted to be a tap dancer” and “I don’t paint any more, I gave it up about a year ago and just do movies now” are just two of the many statements made by Warhol in the 1960s that signified his ambitions beyond the pictorial field.
Proclaimed as an unprecedented re-reading of Warhol’s work, “Warhol Underground” explores the impact of the music, film, and cutting-edge choreography of New York’s underground scene on Warhol’s multidimensional, multilayered practice.
Visitors will rediscover Warhol’s work through more than 150 photographs by the likes of Nat Finkelstein, Billy Name, Steve Schapiro, and Stephen Shore, as well as a selection of films, vinyl record sleeves, and some of Warhol’s most emblematic paintings and prints.
“Warhol Underground” will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Warhol’s pivotal 1965 meeting with Velvet Underground members Lou Reed, John Cale, and Sterling Morrison which led to Warhol becoming the manager of the pioneering experimental rock band.
The Velvet Underground were one of the many now famous regulars at Warhol’s legendary New York “Silver Factory” studio, workshop, and concert space, which has been recreated for the exhibition complete with the iconic aluminum-foil-lined walls.
Other highlights of the exhibition include a reconstruction of Warhol’s multi-media live performance experiment, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (EPI), as well as a presentation of Merce Cunningham’s dance piece Rainforest (1968) where dancers perform among Warhol’s Silver Clouds.
“Warhol Underground” is at the Centre Pompidou-Metz until November 23, 2015. The exhibition is curated by Emma Lavigne, Director of Centre Pompidou-Metz, and is presented in partnership with the Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and the Tate Liverpool.
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