An exhibit of pop art icon Andy Warhol’s most well-known works are currently on display at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. The traveling exhibition is entitled, "Andy Warhol’s Dream America" and showcases until Jan. 6. The array of 100 screenprints hale from the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and include popular portfolios such as the "Marilyn Monroe," "Mao," and "Campbell Soup" series.
The Warhol display is surprisingly impressive. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is a smaller venue compared to the expansive, urban-based museums where works such as those included in the Dream America exhibit are generally found. Despite the rarity of this collection, local appreciation for the exhibit is lacking.
On the first Wednesday of every month, the UMFA hosts a free admission day hosted by Salt Lake City’s Zoo, Arts, and Parks program. Admission to the museum is free and the museum remains open later than usual until 8 p.m. On the Nov. 7 free admission day when one would expect packed crowds, the museum was bare around 6 p.m. Warhol’s history with art enthusiasts and critics is certainly conducive to disapproval and controversy, but that is all the more reason Warhol is not receiving the public attention deserved now.
Andy Warhol pioneered the world of pop art in the 1950s and 1960s, painting and screenprinting images of everyday items and celebrities. The subliminal messages on American culture, economics, and consumerism beneath his work were left to the imagination. Warhol infamously commented very little on his works and when he did, it was always with a hint of sarcasm. He credits the inspiration for his "Campbell Soup" to memories of home and all the celebrity artworks to being shallow and starstruck.
The Warhol exhibit includes a comprehensive guide, which includes explanations of each artwork showcased, a short biography on Warhol, and a letter from the collection’s owner. The front page includes a famous quote from Warhol that is the inspiration for the title of the exhibit.
The UMFA is open Tuesday through Saturday. Go to www.umfa.utah.edu for more information on the exhibit or Andy Warhol.