Was Andy Warhol the most influential artist of the past 50 years? Regarding Warhol: Fifty Years, Sixty Artists at the Metropolitan Museum of Art goes a long way to proving that he was. The exhibition covers themes that are central to Warhol's cannon: consumer culture and disaster and death; celebrity portraiture; queer identity; appropriating images; and the business of art. These concerns are shared by the 59 contemporary artists who, along with Warhol, are represented here. Shown above, for example, is Warhol's Green Coca Cola Bottles, 1962 (left) and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's mixture of commercial culture and an ancient form in Neolithic Vase With Coca Cola Logo, 2010. The exhibition contains a generous sampling of Warhol's famed icons: Marilyn Monroe, the electric chair, Campbell's soup cans and more images that overturned previous conceptions of appropriate subjects for art–and whose repetitious treatment (as in the image at left above) reflect our media-saturated society.
“Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” runs through Dec. 31 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St., NYC, (212) 535-7710, www.metmuseum.org
For more on Andy Warhol, see my reviews of the book "Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol" by Tony Scherman and David Dalton and the exhibition “Andy Warhol: The Last Decade” at the Brooklyn Museum, June 2010.