Never-Before-Seen Andy Warhol Artworks Come to the Ashmolean Museum

Highlights include a portrait of Joseph Beuys, among other late works.

Andy Warhol, Farah Ashraf Pahlavi (Princess of Iran), (1977). Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.
Andy Warhol, Farah Ashraf Pahlavi (Princess of Iran), (1977). Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.

There’s more to Andy Warhol than soup cans and Marilyn Monroe: next year at the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology a private collection of works by the pop artist will be publicly exhibited for the first time, including some of the last pieces he ever made.

Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection” is drawn from the collection of Oxford grad Andrew Hall and his wife Christine. Highlights will include key early works such as the Brillo Pads series and a four quadrant screen print of artist Joseph Beuys created after the two met in 1979.

Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, (1981). Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.

Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, (1981).
Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.

“They were the two artists who were more than artists—they became symbols of their age,” said Norman Rosenthal, the Ashmolean’s contemporary art curator, to the Guardian.

The exhibition will conclude with works from the final period of the artist’s life, including one of Warhol’s last works, a screen print chillingly titled Heaven and Hell Are Just One Breath Away.

Andy Warhol, <em>Heaven and Hell are Just One Breath Away (positive)</em>, (1985‒86). Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.

Andy Warhol, Heaven and Hell are Just One Breath Away (positive), (1985‒86).
Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.

“I was glad Andy was really at peace with himself though,” wrote Keith Haring of the artist’s sudden death in 1987 to Paige Powell, whose photos of Warhol and his milieu, including her boyfriend, Jean-Michel Basquiat, are currently on view at the Portland Art Museum. “I think the times we spent with him, and his interest in health, vitamins, crystals, God, etc., were testament to his inner peace.”

The exhibition will feature over 100 works, with loans from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh supplementing the Hall’s collection.

Andy Warhol, Be a Somebody with a Body, (1985). Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.

Andy Warhol, Be a Somebody with a Body, (1985). Photo: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc.; the Artists Rights Society, New York; DACS London.

“The substance and significance of Andy Warhol’s art becomes more evident with each passing decade and this exhibition aims to add to what we know about Warhol by highlighting unfamiliar and surprising works from across his career,” Ashmolean director Alexander Sturgis told the Press Association.

Other upcoming programming for the Oxford institution include “Storms, War, and Shipwrecks: Treasures from the Sicilian Seas,” which highlights the discoveries of the Mediterranean’s underwater archaeologists, including a Sicilian church that sunk while being shipped across the sea by the emperor Justinian in an effort to spread Christianity across the Byzantine Empire.

“Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection” is on view at the Ashmolean, February 4–May 15, 2016, with “Storms, War, and “Shipwrecks: Treasures from the Sicilian Seas,” to follow June 21–September 25, 2016. 


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