NSW gallery to celebrate Warhol, women and photography

Earlier this week it was announced that the Art Gallery of New South Wales (NSW) will host a major Andy Warhol exhibition in February 2017.
The gallery will feature works from the famous pop culture artist well as a retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography. Modernist women artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington Smith are also among some of the gallery’s highlights in the coming year.
Wayne Tunicliffe, the gallery’s head curator of Australian art, emphasised the gender diversity among the collections at the launch event.
He also reminded those attending the launch that among the Australian collection of AGNSW, some 56 per cent of works made in the past ten years came from women artists, with some involved in the 2017 programme. These include BC (previously known as Brown Council), Pat Brassington and Mikala Dwyer.
“If women hold up half the sky, it’s a miracle it’s not fallen on our heads in the state and national galleries,” said Mr Tunicliffe.
“We are working very hard to address that situation.”
Earlier this year, the ‘Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei’ show at the National Gallery of Victoria was known to be a record breaking success, reports the Guardian. Following on from this, the 2017 exhibition titled ‘Adman: Warhol Before Pop’ is predicted to be popular and is believed to be one of the most comprehensive displays of Warhol’s early work.
Taken from the archival collections of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, more than 200 objects will be exhibited at the gallery.
Exhibition curator Nicholas Chambers commented: “The story of 1950s Warhol not only shows us the beginnings of his rise above the pop culture icon but it also reveals a lot to us about the world of art and the world of advertising in the pre-poll, pre-Madman era, and this is the era that dramatically shifts the course of narrative popular culture.”
Rare drawings, photographs, vintage ads, recreated department store windows and artist books, which dip into the pre-Mad Men, pre-pop era of commercial art and reveal Warhol’s development as a queer artist, and his early influences of Matisse, Cocteau and Picasso, are expected to be among the exhibition.
Before arriving at the NSW gallery in July, ‘Making Modernism’ will feature at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Victoria.
This collection celebrates international modernism by three women artists: Preston and Cossington Smith (two of Australia’s most celebrated 20th century artists) and American artist O’Keefe.
In June, the art gallery of NSW will also reveal its historic Grand Courts which have been reinvented as an ‘authentic Victorian display space’ and will showcase over 80 19th century watercolours from the gallery’s collection that are rarely displayed due to conservation difficulties.
Other exhibitions that will feature at the gallery in 2017 include ‘The You Beaut Country’ by John Olsen in March and ‘The Perfect Medium’ by Robert Mapplethorpe in October. The latter will be a major showcase of the photographer’s still lifes, portraits, erotic imagery and rare colour photographs.