Andy Warhol ‘Headlines’ at National Gallery of Art

A Calder mobile is suspended above the mezzanine-level entrance to “Warhol: Headlines,” which will be on view through Jan. 2, 2012. Three Joan Miró canvases from 1962 are in the background.

WASHINGTON DC—Andy Warhol, who was obsessed with fame and the media, often created art by replicating newspaper layouts and mocking tabloid news. “Warhol: Headlines” at the National Gallery of Art is the first exhibition to explore the theme of news and media in the artist’s work.

“Headlines” includes more than 80 works of art in a range of mediums—including paintings, drawings, photographs, film and video—that capture Warhol’s fascination with sensationalism. According to the National Gallery, “Warhol cropped, altered, obscured, and reoriented the original texts and images, underscoring his role as both editor and author.”

The exhibit opens with the artist’s jumbo 1962 “A Boy for Meg” canvases recreating New York Post headlines, a nod to the public interest in the birth of Princess Margaret of England’s son. The works included in the show date from the 1950s to later collaborations with Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat, to the headline announcing Warhol’s death in 1987.

“Headlines” will be on view from Sept. 25, 2011 to Jan. 2, 2012 and includes a number of Warhol on the Mall events in conjunction with the Hirshhorn Museum, also a Smithsonian institution, which is currently showing “Andy Warhol: Shadows.”

Photos by Arts Observer

The following Warhol quote is featured prominently at the start of the exhibit: “I always have it in my head that if your name’s in the news, then the news should be paying you. Because it’s your news and they’re taking it and selling it as their product…If people didn’t give the news their news, and if everybody kept their news to themselves, the news wouldn’t have any news.”

“Daily News,” circa 1967 (screenprint on paper). In 1967 Warhol made a series of screenprints that were to be displayed as advertisements on the side of Daily News delivery trucks, but they were never used.

“Tunafish Disaster,” 1963 (silkscreen ink and silver paint on canvas). Warhol was as captivated by the lives of the ordinary as he was the rich and famous. This work was created from the Newsweek article, “Two Tuna Sandwiches,” about two Detroit mothers, neighbors who ate tuna sandwiches while they watched their children play and, two days later, the women died apparently from botulism.

“Gardner Cowles,” 1977 (synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, four panels). Cowles was the founder and publisher of Look magazine; At right, a test video of Brigid Berlin, whose father ran the Hearst company, serving as host for Warhol’s Factory Diaries in the early 1970s. Berlin and the artist, were friends and shared news gossip and he thought she would be perfect for the talk show, which never aired.

The front page headline of the New York post announces Warhol’s death nearly 25 years ago in 1987.

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