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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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‘Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality’ opening at Dali Museum

ST PETERSBURG — A new exhibit featuring more than 100 works by pop art icon Andy Warhol aims to give patrons a glimpse of an artist whose work doesn’t show up around Tampa Bay very often.

The show, called “Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality,” will run from Saturday until April 27 at The Dali Museum.

“The entire curatorial staff got together and we thought, we have this wonderful collection, Dali, and people from all over the world will keep coming to see it as they have for 20 years,” museum director Hank Hine said. “But what can we do for our local community that makes sense? We don’t want to do shows that are gratuitous.”

The exhibit will show some of the common ground between the two artists, and shed light on some of their interactions.

Organizers say each embraced innovation and experiment. In style and substance, though, Dali and Warhol were worlds apart. Dali was a prominent member of the Surrealist movement, while Warhol dealt in Pop Art and worked amid a large entourage in a space he called The Factory. One portrayed dream-like landscapes using a wealth of symbolism-heavy imagery. The other focused ambiguously on consumer culture and replication of iconic imagery, such as photographs of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy-Onassis.

Warhol visited Dali while the latter was holding court in a New York City hotel room, photos of which will be on display at the exhibit, and Warhol featured Dali as the subject in one of his famous screen tests of popular personalities. Though they weren’t part of the same movement, Dali had a degree of influence on Warhol in terms of public identity, and the two shared a strong inclination toward the avant-garde.

“They both were kind of self-transformative personalities and they both did things in art which transformed our understanding of it, and in that sense there’s a kind of dialogue there,” said William Jeffett, special exhibitions curator at the Dali Museum.

Beyond that, though, direct connections between the two world-renowned Twentieth Century artists are pretty scant.

Hine expects thousands to come to the exhibit, which consists of pieces on loan from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Works include paintings, drawings, sculptures, Polaroid photography and video. About 10 of Warhol’s well-known screen tests, including the one featuring Dali, also will be featured.

“The idea was to show the range of the artist’s work,” Jeffett said.

Visitors will get to perform their own screen tests at the exhibit, by way of a camera that will shoot a minute-long video of them they can share via social media, thus giving them a piece of their “15 minutes of fame” in correspondence with Warhol’s famous musing.

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