Iconic Andy Warhol images on display at Belfast's MAC
Andy Warhol is to give Belfast its “15 minutes of fame” when an exhibition of the celebrated artist’s work goes on display in Northern Ireland for the first time.
The capital’s newest arts venue, the MAC, will feature iconic images such as Dollar Sign, Hamburger and two of Warhol’s pop art wallpapers featuring Chairman Mao and a cow.
The iconic US artist, who died in 1987, openly acknowledged that he loved money but he loved drawing and painting it as well.
In the early 1960s he depicted one dollar bills and then in 1981 he returned to the imagery and completed a whole series of drawings and paintings of the dollar sign.
That — along with another 89 pieces by Warhol whose paintings have sold for up to £62m — will be on display in February.
Other images will include acclaimed works of Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse as well as Camouflage and a portrait of Warhol strangling himself.
Hugh Mulholland, curator of the MAC, said: “In terms of the wider public perception, you’d be hard pressed to think of an artist that people would know more about. Most people know something about Andy Warhol’s work.”
The exhibition will also feature several art house films that the artist directed such as Lonesome Cowboys, Dracula and Frankenstein.
Mr Mulholland said: “A lot of the poster images draw on the larger iconic images, the Marilyn Monroes and the Liz Taylors. We’re taking a lot of these poster images but also some of the iconic later paintings by Andy Warhol.”
The MAC, which opened in the Cathedral Quarter earlier this year, will also be running screening rooms with documentaries and Warhol films.
Art lovers as well as fans of Warhol’s work are expected to flock from both sides of the border to the MAC as there has not been a Warhol exhibition in the Republic in 14 years.
The bulk of the exhibition is made up of works from Artist Rooms, bequest contemporary art shared between the National Galleries of Scotland and the Tate.
Of the 232 pieces in that collection, the MAC is showing 80 with the remaining 10 coming from the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh.
Andy Warhol, who died in 1987, was an American artist and a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. He also coined the expression “15 minutes of fame”.