Andy Warhol was an artist who symbolized the pop art movement both through both his work and his eccentric personality. His influence on contemporary art is undeniable. This exhibition is a chance to look back across some of his silk screen prints.
His most recognised works are the Campbell’s soup can series and his brightly coloured prints of Marilyn Monroe. Both are represented here, though Marilyn only features once and they aren’t the focus of the show.
The exhibition has an approachable layout, opening with the works everyone is familiar with and then gradually moving on to those that are less recognisable. Warhol was effective when using simple lines and bright colours, so the prints of Muhammad Ali seem thoughtful but the ‘Grapes’ series feel relatively cluttered.
The exhibition saves the best for last, with Warhol’s ‘Myth’ and ‘Endangered Species’ portfolios forming the highlight of this show. The Grevy’s Zebra is hypnotic whilst Superman feels as if he’s about to burst forth from the print.
As a tribute, Keith Haring has created a cheeky series of prints where Warhol is hybridised with Mickey Mouse to draw attention to society’s obsession with consumer culture. A similar approach can clearly be seen in a recent exhibition by Gerard Rancinan.
The ubiquity of simple forms and bright colours in much of modern art is testament to Warhol’s immeasurable impact. Though this exhibition does look at his usual subjects of celebrities and consumerism, it’s the little known animal prints that steal the show.
Andy Warhol: The Portfolios is on at Dulwich Picture Gallery until 16 September. Adult tickets are £10 and include admission to the permanent collection.