Warhol's Lasting Legacy

Article excerpt

Andy Warhol may be one of Pittsburgh's favorite native sons, but a newly opened exhibit at The Andy Warhol Museum proves that his influence extended, and continues to extend, far beyond this city, and even beyond New York City, his adopted home.

Titled "Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years," the exhibit explores, to the fullest extent, the influence Warhol (1928- 87) has had on generations of artistic descendents through the display of nearly 50 pieces by Warhol himself, arranged alongside major works by 60 other artists. Many of which, like Alex Katz, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, are well-known and widely influential in their own right.

Assembled by independent curator Mark Rosenthal and Marla Prather, a curator of modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where this show originated last year, the exhibit was originally structured in five thematic sections: "Daily News," "Portraiture," "Queer Studies," "Consuming Images" and "No Boundaries."

Here, it has been copiously augmented with objects from the Warhol's permanent collection, such as some of Warhol's source material and personal possessions (even his own shoes!) in addition to loans from private collectors. This gives this iteration of the exhibit an entirely different feel than the one at the Met, says the Warhol's director Eric Shiner.

"The show in New York was a very different experience than what we have here in Pittsburgh," Shiner says. "We've made completely new comparisons and juxtapositions.

"We've, more or less, constructed the over-arching idea of his categories that he was putting everything into," Shiner says. "So, the exhibition in New York tended to be very much subject-based, and all in the same place. We've deconstructed that notion and put things back together again to create new stories and new narratives, which I think is very exciting. And we've been able to spread the show out over the entire museum."

As iconic as he was in life, since his death at 58 in 1987, Warhol has become legend and his art the bellwether of the art- auction market. So, it is only natural that he would inspire legions of imitators. Case in point: the Warhol's last large exhibit "Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After" featured nothing but work by an artist whose main focus is imitating Warhol. …