Andy Warhol, the American painter, printmaker, illustrator, sculptor and film-maker, was one of the most famous yet controversial modern artists of the later 20th century.
Bold, inventive, challenging and highly ambitious, Warhol became the acknowledged leader of the Pop Art movement of the 1960s and 70s, who was responsible for bringing ‘popular’ everyday culture into museums. He played a key role in getting popular graphics and other commercial imagery (of items like soup cans, Coca Cola bottles) accepted as fine art. Recognized by the late 60s as the leader of avant-garde art in America – with interests in painting, printmaking, video art, film-making, sculpture, assemblage and conceptual art – Warhol used modern creative methods like silkscreen printing, to produce iconic portraits of celebrities like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. He turned stars into objects of modern art and in the process turned himself, the artist, into a star. This gave him access to a number of exclusive social circles featuring intellectuals, media moguls, Hollywood film stars and other wealthy patrons. He also used modern methods of production, employing a variety of assistants in his New York workshop, known as the “Factory”. Since his premature death in 1987, Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions around the world, as well as a documentary films, books and articles. In recent years, Warhol’s art – along with works by the surrealist Francis Bacon – have become the most sought after examples of early postmodernist art.