Andy Warhol – 15 Minutes Eternal Exhibition @ ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

My wife Rachel and I love visiting museums. Thanks to the folks from URA and the ArtScience Museum, we were invited to a guided tour of pop art great, Andy Warhol – 15 Minutes Eternal Exhibitionfollowed by a silkscreen printing workshop.

Rachel and I at the Andy Warhol exhibition at ArtScience Museum
Rachel and I at the Andy Warhol exhibition at ArtScience Museum

This exhibtion will be running from 17 March to 12 August 2012 at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands. More information is available via the Marina Bay Sands website.

Very good crowd at the ArtScience Museum on Saturday noon
Very good crowd at the ArtScience Museum on Saturday noon
Ticket prices
Ticket prices

It is the largest collection of iconic works by Andy Warhol to be on display, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the artist’s death. The exhibition, sponsored by BNY Mellon and organized by The Andy Warhol Museum in Warhol’s home town of Pittsburgh, chronicles the breadth of Warhol’s career and demonstrates the scope of his interests.

Exhibition trailer video:

Titled after a quote from the popular artist himself, “In the future, everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”, Andy Warhol – 15 Minutes Eternal features over 260 paintings, drawings, sculptures, film, and video of the legendary artist’s works, marking the first time such an extensive collection is exhibited in Singapore. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a wide range of associated documents, interactive timelines, photographs,and archival material.

Andrew Warhola (6 August 1928 – 22 February 1987), better known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker. He was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as Pop Art and was renowned for using mass production of popular culture such as advertising, comic books, and brand products, as the basis of his art. Andy Warhol – 15 Minutes Eternal features his masterpieces including Jackie (1964), MarilynMonroe (1967), Campbell’s Soup (1961), Silver Liz (1963), Time Capsule 51 (1970’s), TheLast Supper (1986), and numerous iconic Self-Portraits.

Students and working professionals in the art, advertising and media industry should all visit this exhibition to discover more about the creative genius, Andy Warhol, whose name is synonymous with the pop art movement in the 50s.

Who knows what inspirations you may come up with after viewing.

The designer for the exhibition has taken pain and effort to come up with exhibits and activities targeted at children. This ranges from artworks displayed at children’s eye levels to specially designed Andy Warhol fun packs. Hence this is a great exhibition for families to bring children along, opening them to the world of pop art.

Andy Warhol fun pack for children
Andy Warhol fun pack for children

I have always been a fan of Andy Warhol‘s works. Back when I was an art student, I was intrigued by the concept of pop art and industrial art, popularized by artists like Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

I am always of the belief that good art should be accessible too. It explains why I am drawn to Warhol’s works. They are a snub in the face of uppity critics when he took simple, everyday mundane objects and convert them into fine art subjects.

I am equally comfortable admiring the illustration on the page of a comic page or manga as I am, glancing at the Mona Lisa.

Warhol draws inspirations from the news media, advertising designs and photographs, converting these otherwise transient everyday visuals into fine art for preservation.

Visitors to this exhibition will journey through four different stages of Andy Warhol’s life, starting from his early artistic years in the 1940’s to his final works in the 1980’s. The exhibition will present an extensive range of important artworks from the various phases of  his artistic career.

Here are some gallery highlights, with images provided by © 2012 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Marina Bay Sands:

“Early Years” – 1940s to 1950s

This gallery will introduce Andy Warhol and the early influences in his art. It will showcase his drawings as a child, his first artworks as a commercial artist and the blotted line technique he created.

“Early Years” – 1940s to 1950s
“Early Years” – 1940s to 1950s
Early Years gallery
Early Years gallery
Andy's signature child-like, charming illustration
Andy's signature child-like, charming illustration in the early years
Flowers and such
Flowers and such
A very rare golden shoe, sculpted by Andy when he was working in a shoe company
A very rare golden shoe, sculpted by Andy when he was working in a shoe company

“The Factory Years” – 1960s

The 1960’s marked Warhol’s transition from commercial art to business art. It was during this time that he created the iconic masterpieces of the Campbell’s Soup Can and portraits of celebrities such as Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Films by Warhol will also be presented within this gallery, showcasing his diverse talents.

A separate space will be dedicated to recreating the Silver Factory, Warhol’s studio in the 1960’s in New York which was entirely covered with foil. To provide an interesting interactive experience, the space will feature costumes for visitors to dress up and be “a star for 15 minutes”, a photo booth to capture the experience, a reproduction of the couch from the Silver Factory from which visitors can enjoy his avant garde films, and the whimsical Silver Clouds (1966) piece made of floating helium balloons.

Andy's forage into industrial art - painted cardboard boxes
Andy's forage into industrial art - painted cardboard boxes
Campbell’s Soup (1961)
Campbell’s Soup (1961)
Time Capsule - showcasing cardboard boxes of daily inspirational objects Andy kept for posterity
Time Capsule - showcasing cardboard boxes of daily inspirational objects Andy kept for posterity
Self-Portraits
Self-Portraits
“The Factory Years” – 1960s
“The Factory Years” – 1960s
Silver Clouds (1966) piece made of floating helium balloons
Silver Clouds (1966) piece made of floating helium balloons
Reproduction of the couch from Andy's Silver Factory for visitors to enjoy his avant garde films
Reproduction of the couch from Andy's Silver Factory for visitors to enjoy his avant garde films

“Exposures” – 1970s

During the 70’s, Warhol’s celebrated use of Polaroids in photographing celebrities came toprominence. During this time, Andy Warhol focused on commissioned portraits to fund hisinterest in experimental film. This shift in focus is evident in the genre of art works on displaysuch as advertisements and silverprint photographs, which reflect Warhol’s fascination withfame and glamour. It is also during this time that he started creating time capsules whichcontained meaningful items collected from the various periods of his life. Out of the over 600time capsules Warhol created throughout his lifetime, visitors will be able to view one thatcontains over 50 magazines and books.

“Exposures” – 1970s: Andy’s celebrated use of Polaroids in photographing celebrities came to prominence
“Exposures” – 1970s: Andy’s celebrated use of Polaroids in photographing celebrities came to prominence
Wanted criminal mug shots and hospital images
Wanted criminal mug shots, hospital images and Jackie Kennedy

“The Last Supper” – 1980s

Having reached the pinnacle of success in the art world, Warhol ventured into television media with Andy Warhol’s T.V. and Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes which visitors will be able  to watch in this exhibition space. The diversity of his last decade of creation includes such works as the Endangered Species series, Rorschach series and Oxidation Paintings. The exhibition concludes with The Last Supper and Self Portrait, two iconic masterpieces he created at the very end of his life that are monumental in both scale and the impact they had in the art industry.

The  Last Supper (1986)
The Last Supper (1986)
Love the rich colours seen in Andy's later works
Love the rich colours seen in Andy's later works
Chilly, last self-portrait by Andy Warhol before his death
Chilly, last self-portrait by Andy Warhol before his death

After walking through the exhibits, it was time for some fun. We went for a silkscreen printing workshop, available to the public upon registration.

There were two print designs available – an image of the ArtScience Museum or Andy Warhol. No price for guessing which was more popular. To be fair though, the former gives a better print because of the clean cut lines.

Our workshop instructor
Our workshop instructor
Andy Warhol silkscreen
Andy Warhol silkscreen
Insert paper
Insert paper
Me doing a print of Marina Bay Sands
Me doing a print of Marina Bay Sands
Rachel's turn
Rachel's turn
Rachel taking out her print of Andy Warhol
Rachel taking out her print of Andy Warhol
Rachel and I with our respective prints
Rachel and I with our respective prints
The full classroom
The full classroom

Visiting a museum exhibition nowadays isn’t like in the past where it is just about looking at “chim” paintings hung on the wall and nothing else.

Do check out the Andy Warhol exhibition at the ArtScience Museum for an interactive museum visiting experience. While you are there, you can also visit the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition which is being featured concurrently:

There is also a Harry Potter exhibition upcoming in June which I am sure many Singaporean are looking forward to, judging by the box office success of the Harry Potter movie franchise.

Exciting isn’t it? 🙂

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