“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” –Andy Warhol
Yes, Andy’s most famous quote WAS prophetic. And starting this year, he’ll be MORE famous himself, if that’s even possible. About 40 exhibitions of his work, much of it unseen by the public — will be out there in university art museums and institutions. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which is ending its final round of a record-breaking program of donations, has given away more than 14,000 works, mostly photographs and prints, with the proviso that the work be exhibited within five years. The foundation has distributed an astounding 52,786 works by Warhol to 322 institutions since ’99.
In the next six weeks alone, Warhol exhibitions are opening at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, (including a screen print of Nixon’s face titled “Vote McGovern”); the Middlebury College Museum of Art in Vermont (featuring a screen print of Mao Zedong); and the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson (Polaroids and gelatin-silver prints of the downtown New York scene in the ’70s and ’80s).
The foundation has $280 million in an endowment and their assets close to $350 million. This year alone it’ll give away almost $14 million in cash grants, mostly to institutions in the U.S. Joel Wachs, the foundation’s president said about the number of works Andy created;
“They didn’t call it the Factory for nothing.”
The Cantor Arts Center received the largest of the recent Warhol gifts, including a staggering 4,115 sheets of negatives — covering the entire collection his of black-and-white photography — and 3,624 contact sheets. Connie Wolf, the Cantor’s director says;
“Stanford can do something other institutions couldn’t, which is take a truly interdisciplinary and multilayered approach to Warhol, which is appropriate.”
Warhol assembled six “family albums,” with varying numbers of Polaroids. The foundation gave one album each to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; the George Eastman House and the Portland Art Museum in Oregon.
So, you’ll be seeing a LOT of work of all sorts throughout the US this year. And the question of whether all of this work is exhibition-worthy or even art at all, was answered by Andy himself;
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
(Images, The Andy Warhol Foundation: via The New York Times)