A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms at the Hayward Gallery

There are some exhibitions which get my attention immediately and get me thinking of when I will be able to visit and there are others that kind of register in my mind but don’t fill me with overwhelming excitement. I have to admit that when I first became aware of it, the new Andy Warhol exhibition at the Hayward Gallery kind of fell into the second category. However, my interest slowly developed and I found time in my stupidly busy schedule to go along on Sunday. I had become conscious of missing certain exhibitions recently (mainly Cezanne at the Courtauld and other smaller shows) so wanted to make full use of my Southbank membership and ensure this was not another addition to the list.

Upon entering the exhibition I was slightly taken aback by just how much stuff there is in the first room. Some of his iconic prints line 2 of the walls, a three double-sided large screens fill the centre of the room, the far wall is full of various postcards, album sleeves, photographs and in the background the Velvet Underground & Nico can be heard drifting across the gallery…it is certainly a striking start to the show. As you walk up the ramp you see various Warhol quotations alongside more iconic photographs (of the man himself). From then on however the exhibition concentrates on his films and TV programmes, as well as including a selection of audio clips.

The second room features a large area containing televisions where you can sit (on carved, star-shaped wooden seats) to watch some of Warhol’s TV programmes which he made for American TV channels during the 1980s. I watched parts of different programmes he made on fashion. I’m sure Warhol would have enjoyed the fact that people were being encouraged to sit in an art gallery and watch TV programmes. I left via the striking red, white & blue curtains before heading off to listen to some of the audio recordings (in nice comfortable booths).

The final part of the exhibition is downstairs and exclusively focuses on Warhol’s films, including his epic recording of the Empire State Building………talking of which…only 27 days to go before I go to New York!

I left unsure whether I really liked Warhol’s art. His prints and paintings certainly have iconic appeal and his influence is unquestionably wide-ranging but a lot of his film and TV programmes left me cold and didn’t really make any impression. In fact, I am struggling to remember much about them (only days later). I didn’t have time to check out the other exhibition by Robin Rhodes but will no doubt return soon……

No comments: