The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is pleased to announce its fall exhibitions opening October 28, Andy Warhol’s American Icons and Christian Marclay: Video Quartet. American Icons will be on view at the Museum through February 11, 2018, and Video Quartet will be open through January 14, 2018.
Organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Andy Warhol’s American Icons showcases Warhol’s vision and celebration of America by bringing together paintings, prints, photographs, and films that create a handbook of American cultural icons.
“Andy Warhol makes a dramatic return to the Grand Rapids Art Museum this fall,” commented GRAM’s Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen. “One of the Museum’s first exhibitions in its new building was Rapid Exposure: Warhol in Series in Spring 2008. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our tenth anniversary at 101 Monroe Center than by bringing back key works by this quintessential contemporary artist.”
American Icons spotlights iconic figures like Marilyn Monroe, Sitting Bull, Muhammad Ali, Liz Taylor, and one of the most famous Grand Rapidians, Gerald R. Ford. Products and symbols can be icons as well; the exhibition includes Warhol’s well-known Campbells soup can screenprints and an important early painting on loan from the Whitney Museum of American art, Green Coca-Cola Bottles (1962), among other symbols of America. American Icons draws on artworks from GRAM’s collection, as well as works from private collections and other public art institutions throughout the country, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.
“It’s exciting for GRAM to be organizing an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work around a theme that occupied the artist for his entire career: what products and symbols define and represent the US? Which Americans are the most iconic?” said GRAM’s Chief Curator, Ron Platt. “Thirty years after his death, Warhol is still influential and seems ahead of his time. I would argue that Warhol himself is as much an American icon as any of those represented in the exhibition.”
Rounding out the exhibition are photographs and early films, from a period when Warhol was experimenting with the mediums. Empire, an eight-hour long “portrait” of the famed Empire State Building as filmed from a static position in an adjacent building, will be on view, along with several of the artist’s Screen Tests. The Screen Tests are 3-minute filmed portraits of Warhol Factory regulars and visitors, in which the subjects stared back at or enjoyed the attention of the stationary camera, constructing their own personas before our eyes.
Christian Marclay: Video Quartet—a seventeen-minute film installation on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art—is opening in conjunction with Andy Warhol’s American Icons. The exhibition consists of four synchronized video projections that form one contiguous image-and-sound work. The installation is comprised of more than 700 individual fragments of film and sound from popular movies which feature people playing musical instruments or singing, as well as other soundtrack elements such as shouts, screams, crashes, and moments of cinematic silence.
“Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay has sampled, improvised, and remixed sound, video, and performance into multi-media works that defy categorization,” added GRAM’s Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen. “Video Quartet is an immersive installation experience that’s sure to captivate film and music fans alike.”
The clips included in Video Quartet are primarily taken from Hollywood feature films dating from the 1920s to the early twenty-first century. Marclay meticulously edited the clips on a home computer into a new unified composition in which the performers seem to improvise together free of their original context, creating moments of synchrony or seeming to spontaneously respond to each other as if performing live.
Complementing Andy Warhol’s American Icons and Christian Marclay: Video Quartet, GRAM members and the public can enjoy several events and related programming, including the Member Exhibition Party, Warhol Factory Party, Drop-in Tours, and lectures.
Support for Andy Warhol’s American Icons is generously provided by: Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Wege Foundation, Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, Eenhoorn, LLC., Greenleaf Trust, Lizbeth O’Shaughnessy, James and Mary Nelson, Progressive AE, Shelley Padnos and Carol Sarosik, The Louis and Helen Padnos Foundation, Michael and Glynn Ann Ruggeri, Dirk and June Hoffius, Greg and Meg Willit, Burr & Company, brightly, Kathryn Chaplow Interior Design, Conduit Studio, Robert Daverman, AIA / Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Joseph H. Doele, Hand Surgery Centre | Elite Plastic Surgery, ICON Sign, Glen Johnson and Tom Merchant, Ritsu Katsumata and Stafford Smith, Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler – Keeler Foundation, Peter and Helga Kleinschmidt, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Martin and Enid Packard, Rothbury Farms, Bill Scarbrough and Kate Kesteloot Scarbrough, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, The Steve & Amy Van Andel Foundation, J. Visser Design, and Mark and Wendy Wassink. Additional funding is provided by the Factory Fans and GRAM Exhibition Society.
Support for Christian Marclay: Video Quartet is generously provided by Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Wege Foundation, Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, James and Mary Nelson, Dirk and June Hoffius, and Greg and Meg Willit. Additional funding is provided by GRAM Exhibition Society.
About the Grand Rapids Art Museum
Connecting people through art, creativity, and design. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the Art Museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Art Association of Grand Rapids, GRAM has grown to include more than 5,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft.