Warhol Exhibit Examines the Sensational

Opens Sunday at the National Gallery of Art

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011  |  Updated 9:04 PM EDT
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Warhol Exhibit Examines the Sensational

National Gallery of Art

Andy Warhol "Daily News, 1962" acrylic and pencil on canvas, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, formerly Collection Karl Ströher, Darmstadt, 1981

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Andy Warhol's fascination with the media is highlighted in an exhibition that opens Sunday at the National Gallery of Art.

The show is called "Warhol: Headlines."

The collection goes beyond the familiar Campbell's coup cans and Marilyn Monroe silkscreen paintings, for which Warhol is most famous, and focuses on his treatment of the news of his day.

“This is a fresh look at a body of work that hasn’t really been discussed as much but one that covers all of the themes and subjects in his entire career including … the commercialism inherent in the news,” said Molly Donovan, associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery. “He’s pointing our attention to the fact that we’re the consumers of the news and that the headlines are really a label on a package that we’re being enticed to buy, which is probably why he focused on the tabloids in particular, for their sensational headlines.”

The collection features Warhol’s work from 1956 through 1987 in a variety of media.

Some original source materials are also part of the exhibit so visitors can see the ways Warhol changed the text and images to suit his personal vision.

“He’s the one who was  supposed to have coined the phrase, ‘Everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes,'” Donovan said. “And so Warhol’s work really was about the media and the ubiquity of the media in our daily life.”

Which begs the question: What would Warhol have tweeted?

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