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La Salle News

April 17, 2012

Andy Warhol: Portraiture and the Business of Art, a Collection of the Artist’s Photographs Now on View at the La Salle University Art Museum

Andy Warhol: Portraiture and the Business of Art, an exhibition featuring the iconic artist’s rarely-seen photographs is on view at the La Salle University Art Museum until June 28, 2012.

The exhibition features a selection of original Polaroid and black and white 8-by-10 inch silver gelatin prints created by the late Andy Warhol during the 1970s and 1980s.

Warhol was a prolific portrait artist and produced thousands of silkscreen paintings of the movie and art industries’ elite. His lucrative portraiture business generated steady revenue to support his other ventures such as Interview magazine, which he founded in 1969, along with film and television productions.

The concept of the exhibition is based on Warhol’s philosophy that art is a business, and business is an art. In writings and interviews, Warhol stated, “making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” The exhibition looks at Warhol’s portraiture business, highlighting his working methods and offering insights on important personalities and interests of his time.

“The exhibition looks at Warhol’s photographs, Polaroids, and prints from a perspective of his business activities, the networking that he and his colleagues engaged in, the various art collectors with whom he interfaced, and various members of high society in the 70s and early 80s,” said Klare Scarborough, Ph.D., Director and Chief Curator of the La Salle University Art Museum. “His photography was just one facet of his business enterprise. The portraits were one way he reached out to clients and really promoted his art work.”

All the photographs featured in the exhibition were acquired by the La Salle University Art Museum in 2008 as part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. The Art Museum was one of 183 college and university art museums to receive photographs from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Although not all on display for the exhibition, the Art Museum’s collection of 150 photographs consists of original Polaroid and silver gelatin prints which were taken by Warhol between 1971 and 1985. The collection includes headshots of celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Carolina Herrera, and Cheryl Tiegs as well as some cityscapes, landscapes, and other figural compositions.

In relation to the exhibition, Alexis McCarthy, head of the Philadelphia office for Christie’s, known as the world’s leading art business, will present “A Story of Resilience: Finding Value in a Time of Change, ” a lecture on art collecting and the art market, on Wednesday, April 25, at 1 p.m. in Holroyd Hall.

The La Salle University Art Museum is located on the lower level of Olney Hall. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Art Museum will be open to the public from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 and Saturday, May 19, 2012. Admission is free, although donations are accepted.