CHICAGO — In his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, the famous pop artist considered the surface nature of his life and art in a very deadpan manner. He gives equal importance to acts of throwing out gay porn magazines, flushing things down the toilet, ambitions for a TV show, things that qualify as “the opposite of nothing,” and anything else that could happen on a daily basis. Warhol’s acute understanding of American culture, consumerism, mass production, and celebrity status bubbles to the surface in Warhol and Marisol, which is a compact, tightly curated exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
This exhibition focuses on the conversational nature of artworks produced by Andy Warhol and the Paris-born American artist of Venezuelan heritage Marisol Escobar, who got to know each other in the 1960s.
Marisol, who is still alive today and lives in New York City, outlived her buddy Andy, who survived being shot but did not make it through a gallbladder surgery in 1987. Her sculptures, which she honed in the 1960s, are characterized by wooden boxy figures with either painted-on or extraneous wooden or cast plaster appendages. In contrast to Warhol’s flat silkscreens, consumer culture obsession, and manufactured multiples, Marisol’s works take on a more human, tactile feel. Not that this makes them any less-surface-oriented than Warhol’s works.
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