Whitney’s Warhol: new blockbuster show to reinvent artist for the Instagram age

The Art Newspaper | Hannah McGivern

The Whitney Museum of American Art is pulling out all the stops for its forthcoming Andy Warhol blockbuster, opening in November. Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again (12 November-31 March 2019) will take over more than half of the Renzo Piano-designed museum downtown—almost the equivalent of its entire former home in the Breuer building, says the Whitney’s director, Adam Weinberg. The first Warhol survey exhibition organised by a US museum since 1989, it will travel in 2019 to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Planning for the show began “at least seven or eight years” ago, Weinberg says, well before the Whitney’s move to the Meatpacking District in 2015. The long gestation reflects a trio of significant curatorial challenges posed by Warhol’s work—both “a vast amount of knowledge” and “a lot of space” are needed to approach and represent its sheer volume comprehensively, while seven- and eight-figure sales prices have raised the insurance costs for loans beyond the reach of most museums today. The new exhibition will have indemnity from the US government, Weinberg says. “It’s hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Rising to these challenges is the Whitney’s deputy director for international initiatives and senior curator, Donna De Salvo. Having worked with Warhol on two shows at the Dia Art Foundation in the 1980s, De Salvo is “now among the last curators who actually had a direct connection” to the artist in his lifetime, Weinberg says. She also organised the Tate Modern iteration of the major touring exhibition in 2001-02 (presented at one US venue, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles)…read more

Image: Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych (1962)