Listers, our beloved National Gallery of Victoria (so that’s what ‘NGV’ stands for…) has announced its summer blockbuster and it’s a biggie. This summer, Melbourne’s biggest art gallery plays host to Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, a double-whammy exhibition showcasing art by two of modern art’s most famous and controversial figures, opening this December.
So, Ai Weiwei and Andy Warhol. Who are they, and what should you know about this epic double-whammy?
Whether you’re an art fan or not, it’s damn near impossible to have grown up on this planet within the past 50 years and not heard of Andy Warhol, father of Pop Art and all-round celeb culture champion. Most recognised for his bright portraits of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and a stack of other famous faces, Warhol also advocated everyday objects being the subject of artworks. Campbell’s soup tins, washing powder boxes, bananas…Warhol screen-printed them all in his New York studio, The Factory, as well as being famously sighted partying with Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Calvin Klein and other pop royalty at infamous nightclub Studio 54.
So, you know your Warhol, but you’ve never heard of Ai Weiwei? This Chinese artist is one of the most controversial figures on the art scene today. Never afraid of tackling political topics, he’s faced numerous run-ins with the Chinese government, all the while producing and promoting sculptures, installations, videos and photography that are exhibited around the world (Tate Modern, Brooklyn Museum…). He also covered Psy’s Gangnam Style with his own political twist, and released a heavy metal album in 2013—pretty impressive stuff for a 57 year-old dude who’s his home country’s public enemy #1.
Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei at the NGV brings together these two heavy-hitters in a colossal show that will feature over THREE HUNDRED artworks. If you’re a Warhol fan, you’ll be in heaven—over 200 paintings and prints will be on show, alongside 500 Polaroids from Warhol’s studio days. Even if you’re not an art fan, this once-in-a-lifetime mega-show combining two of today’s most influential art figures is not to be missed.
Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei | NGV
11th December 2015 – 24th April 2016
Image credit: NGV