These works, made during one of the artist’s most prolific periods, signify a culmination of the themes and processes explored throughout Warhol’s career. The exhibition will feature ten large-scale paintings from the Skulls, Hammer and Sickle, Rorschach, Knives, Dollar Signs and Reversals series, amongst others, and date from 1974 through 1987, the year of Warhol’s death. Andy Warhol: Late Paintings will be on view at Skarstedt (20 E. 79th Street) from September 19 through October 31, 2015.
“I had energy and wanted to rush home and paint and stop doing society portraits.”
In the late 1970s Warhol was turning fifty. Consumed with reexamining himself and his accomplishments, he was looking for stimulation and change—something to inspire him. Warhol often traveled to Europe, discovering new imagery to explore in his work. And it was on a trip to Paris in 1977, while visiting the art museums with Pontus Hultén, the founding director of the Pompidou, that Warhol discovered this newfound motivation, and the stimulation to experiment with untried ideas in painting.
Warhol reengaged with the act of painting and developed new techniques, combining the tools in his repertoire, including the mechanical production of his early Pop paintings, and more recent innovations in process and abstraction. These experimentations led Warhol to the abstractions of the Shadow and Oxidation paintings and renewed his interest in the process of painting itself—going so far as to highlight his own hand with his brushstrokes and finger made swirls in his Ladies and Gentlemen paintings.
The late works of Andy Warhol, as featured in this exhibition, represent a critical transition for the artist, embracing his past while simultaneously looking towards the future and establishing his lasting legacy.