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Andy Warhol and the Conceptual framework
Here is some information in note form on Andy Warhol,
organised under the agencies of the artworld. In addition you
should add extra notes from your research and from watching
the first video from the series This is Modem
- How do you imagine, publicity and Warhol’s
notoriety have influenced the general public’s
perception of his work?
- How does the use of the conceptual framework help in
understanding the artwork of Andy Warhol?
- Pop art was a response to Abstract Expressionism in the
USA in post World War 11, 1950s and 1960s. It was based on
the culture of the masses: a world of popular culture, an
affluent society, materialistic, hedonistic and
- Pop art was a world of television, cinema, magazines
and mass produced kitsch.
- It was a world of consumer products, comics, film
stars, icons, the rich and the famous. This was also the
world of the counterculture revolution with protest,
dissent and challenge.
Activities in relation to artwork are:
- Investigate key artworks, by Warhol eg Marilyn
Diptych 1962. Compare this work to other Pop artists
work ie Rauchenberg, Lichenstein.
- Investigate the processes of silk screening, the use of
assistants, the mass-production techniques of repetition,
cropping, overprinting and the use of the grid.
- Critique Warhol's use of a “ready made”
image of Marilyn Monroe from a commercial publicity
- Investigate how Warhol’s artworks mimic the
processes and subject matter of mass production.
- Think about how this artwork signals a loss of
individuality for Marilyn Monroe: she is a multiple and she
is banal, yet Marilyn is symbolically a most potent
- Consider how Warhol’s artworks, particularly
portraits, are a social chronicle of his time.
- For critics and promoters, Warhol was a highly
publicised artist; Warhol exploited the relationship
between media, art and artists. He presented himself as a
- For dealers, museum curators, critics and historian
audiences he was a significant figure.
- For artist audiences he was a major figure in the
- He was rejected by the Abstract Expressionists, the New
York School and Hoffman.
- He was considered one of the most influential artists
of the second half of the 20th century.
- For a public audience, particularly the rich and
famous, he was a cult figure, idolised and adored.
Some significant art historical facts:
- Warhol was the son of Polish immigrants. A Catholic, he
was a member of the first American generation to grow up
with television. Before becoming an artist, he worked in
advertising and design illustration.
- He was a reticent and enigmatic figure who was also
drawn to the darker side (as demonstrated through his
Death and Disaster Series) and was
fascinated by fame, fortune and glamour.
- He understood mass media marketing and commodity
fetishism. All this impacted on him as an artist.
- A generation later, an artist called Jeff Koons
inherited the legacy of Warhol.
Margaret Marsh, Visual arts teacher