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Andy Warhol Retrospective [Paperback]

Heiner Bastian , Andy Warhol
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jan 2002
This volume is published to accompany a major European retrospective of the work of Andy Warhol, presenting him as the most significant chronicler of the second half of the 20th century. The collection of over 220 images show how his work reflected and commented on themes in American society that were also becoming international: consumerism, mass-production, celebrity, death and disaster. In the four essays Warhol scholars propose new ways of approaching the art of this enigmatic figure. Heiner Bastian, drawing on his friendship with Warhol, traces his development from commercial graphic artist to purely autonomous artist with international status. He extends the concept of Classic Modernism to almost the end of the 20th century and shows Warhol to be a deeply moral artist. Kirk Varnedoe examines the significance of Warhol's first exhibition of 1962 of the series of "Campbells Soup Cans", exploring the themes of the multiple. Donna De Salvo takes the concept of the "afterimage" in Warhol's work as a starting point for considering his painterly strategy. She shows how Warhol had a very subtle awareness of the surface in contemporary culture, tracing this back to his work for advertising agencies. Peter-Claus Schuster makes a resonant comparison between the work of Warhol and Goya, both depicted atrocity. Warhol's " Death and Disaster" sequences can be seen not as depictions of a callous, unjust society, but rather as a critique of the media message and the resulting desensitization of public consciousness. Ultimately, however, he warns against any simplistic reductions and poposes Andy Warhol to be a complex mixture of victim, superstar and redeemer.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tate Publishing (Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854374109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854374103
  • Product Dimensions: 29.4 x 23.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Andy Warhol Retrospective, the huge National galerie Berlin and Tate Modern survey of the works of one of America’s finest artists, Pop or otherwise, celebrates an enduring, too-often maligned creative force for whom 15 minutes of fame was never going to suffice. Split into "Early Drawings" and "Works 1960-1986", this bountiful exhibition catalogue, edited by curator Heiner Bastian who also contributes the volume’s main essay, reproduces the Warhol oeuvre in rich detail, acknowledging the crucial role of colour in his work, which owed much to his years as a commercial artist.

A deeply superficial person by his own insistence, Warhol professedly concerned himself only with surface, and Donna De Salvo follows his advice in writing of his skills as a painter, shrewdly singling out the "after-image" aspect to his work. A third essay traces Warhol’s similarities with Goya, while perhaps the best of the pieces, a short, unfussy study by Kirk Varnedoe, details the history of the infamous 32 Campbell’s soup cans, created in 1962. Like the cans’ reduced contents, Warhol’s work was often highly condensed, then replicated until it assumed the proportions he required of it. In the same way, to see in either a gallery or a catalogue so many of his works is to experience a unifying sense of horror and beauty. In addition, it brings to mind not only his own influences, such as Klee, Rauschenberg, Cocteau (particularly in his early portraits of Truman Capote and James Dean), Duchamp and Grosz, but also to those who’ve subsequently drawn so heavily on his Pop imagery, particularly British artists like Jamie Reid and Damien Hirst.

Though defiantly anti-metaphorical, he fetishised the staples of American life, and as a lover of its icons--Coca Cola, refrigerators, Elvis, Marilyn, Jackie Kennedy, the electric chair, his own lifelong habit of self-portraiture and those soup cans--inevitably he became one. With its emphasis firmly on the pictures, this catalogue bears lavish witness to a productive vision and brilliant body of work that will only continue to grow in stature with every repetitive viewing. --David Vincent

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Henry Bastion's book is not only a great guide to the Tate Retrospective but an informative account on the significance of Warhol to the art world and to an often bemused contemporary public.
Full of lavish coloured illustrations and informed comment the book will become vital for anyone studying Warhol, as well as being a good read in its own right. I thoroughly recommend this and hope it will spur on readers to visit the Exhibition at Tate Modern, London.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete Warhol 10 April 2007
By Reich Claude - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the catalogue for a Warhol exhibition that was held in London and Los Angeles some years ago. It is a good and comprehensive introduction to his paintings, indispensable to the understanding of the most famous pop artist. I have always been skeptic about Warhol's claim to be a great painter, seeing him more as a manipulator of ideas, however brilliant and influential. This book slightly changed my opinion in that it shows what a master of representation he was, his ability to use color as a means of communication, the way he forces us to look at reality in a different way through mundane themes, celebrities, current affairs raised to the status of icons of our society. The book is arranged chronologically, underlining the different series the artist became famous for.

Heiner Bastian is a respected dealer and curator and is very knowledgeable on his subject.I do not give it five stars because the quality of the images could have been improved.
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