While for many, artist Andy Warhol has sadly become synonymous with his pop-art chicken noodle soups and Marilyn Monroe headshots; an enormous body of undercovered artwork lies beneath the brightly colored, four-panel pieces that now largely characterize his work. Beyond the pieces rooted in pop culture and the "celebrity" is a trove of works imbued with artistic and personal introspection, often overlooked and seldomly seen.
Thankfully, you can now take in one of Andy Warhol's true masterpieces here in New York City thanks to Calvin Klein in partnership with the Dia Art Foundation. Warhol’s Shadows, 1978–79 is now gloriously on display at the American fashion house's NYC headquarters, located at 205 West Thirty-Ninth Street. A sprawling, abstract painting split into 102 parts, each canvas is displayed edge-to-edge in honor of the artist’s original vision. 2018 marks quite the homecoming for the painting, too—with 20 years having passed since the piece was first shown in the Big Apple.
Shadows is one of the largest works that Warhol created, a culmination of the multitude of his other artistic mediums like film, painting, photography, and of course, screenprinting. With each canvas lined up, Shadows mimics a continuous film reel as viewers move throughout the space. The painting, which has found it’s home within the illustrious Dia collection of artworks, represents one of the Warhol's most enigmatic and lesser-known works as it managed to escape the overexposure its pop-art counterparts.
The exhibition comes on the heels of the brand's announcement that it would be in an ongoing partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation. Chief Creative Officer Raf Simons has expressed admiration for the NYC-based artist, noting the way that Warhol bucked and ignored the rules of high art and societal conventions.
"Andy Warhol's work has always struck me as courageous, it was not meant to conform to the expected, or to be consensual, but it was at the same time unabashedly easy and commercial," said Simons. "It is fair to say that it was an undeniable changing force in contemporary art." To continue his point, it was, is, and will be.
Andy Warhol: Shadows, Calvin Klein, 205 West 39th Street, October 26 - December 15