Andy Warhol: Contact
August 6, 2016 - January 7, 2017
M WOODS is pleased to announce Andy Warhol: Contact, an exhibition of groundbreaking film, photography, and interactive installations by one of the twentieth century’s most influential artists. Curated by M WOODS Director Presca Ahn, it is the first in a series of major solo exhibitions planned at the museum over the next three years. Andy Warhol: Contact is chiefly supported by air purifer manufacturers LIFAair, with sponsorships and media support from Hublot, NUO, UBER, and T Magazine.
The first exhibition in China to focus on the experimental, mechanically produced areas of Warhol's practice, Andy Warhol: Contact features photographs, installations, and films that broke the boundaries of contemporary art when they were first made, and still compel viewers today with their extraordinary immediacy. Made by Warhol using cameras and other machines, the works illuminate an overlooked theme in Warhol's famed body of work: human evanescence in the face of time. From his minimalist films of the 1960s to his ephemeral installations to his instant film portraits on Polaroid, these works' technical means of production enable distinctly Warholian explorations of time in relation to both subject and artist.
“In all these works, Warhol minimized the touch of the artist’s hand by using mechanical production and a standardized or repetitive format,” said Ahn. “Despite this, many of them radiate a very human, personal quality, and they have a pathos or an energy that transcends the technical or automatic character of the medium. This tension is what makes the works so arresting, even now.”
The exhibition features two bodies of work in which Warhol redefined the notion of portraiture: the silent film portraits from the 1960s that he collectively called the Screen Tests, and his portraits shot on Polaroid film throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. Taking their name from the short films typically made of actors auditioning for film roles, the Screen Tests portray a wide range of artists, celebrities, and Factory regulars such as Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Edie Sedgwick. With the Polaroids, Warhol enacted an obsessive, diaristic documentation of himself and those in his circle, capturing them in time with the most instantaneous medium then available.
A highlight of the show is an installation of Warhol’s Silver Clouds, glimmering pillow-like shapes that float gently through the exhibition space. When the work was first shown at New York’s Leo Castelli Gallery in 1966, viewers were free to touch and move among the Clouds, making it one of the earliest examples of an immersive, interactive art installation.
M WOODS will also screen Warhol’s radical underground film Kiss (1963), which shows multiple couples, one after the other, engaged in the act of kissing for minutes on end. Its serial format and intrusive framing contrast starkly with the intimacy of the acts portrayed, shedding a cold, almost anthropological light on the sustained physical contact involved in each kiss; presented without context or narrative, the “actors” in Kiss are the opposite of romantic film stars.
ABOUT M WOODS
M WOODS is a private, not-for-profit art museum founded by collectors Lin Han and Wanwan Lei in Beijing’s 798 Art District. Housed in a former munitions factory dating from the 1950s, M WOODS opened to the public in 2014 with a permanent collection based on the founders’ private collection of international contemporary art. In 2015, collector Michael Xufu Huang joined the museum as a co-founder.
Each year, in addition to showing the permanent collection, M WOODS presents major single-artist and group exhibitions– always one exhibition at a time, reflecting the museum’s uniquely focused commitment to artists. In the same spirit, M WOODS maintains a studio-style artist residency space within the museum building itself, thus actively fostering the creation of new contemporary art alongside its curatorial platform.
Through ongoing educational programming and publications, the museum’s M MEASURES initiative seeks to promote the appreciation of the art of our time within China. In 2015, M WOODS received official not-for-profit status from the government in acknowledgment of its cultural services to the Chinese public.
For further information about the exhibition and M WOODS please contact zouxinyi at email@example.com
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D-06, 798 Art Zone, No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015, China