Photos: Andy Warhol, The Last Decade, at the Brooklyn Museum.

I spent a better part of Saturday afternoon wandering around Andy Warhol: The Last Decade at the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve long felt ambivalent about Warhol as an artist. I love the ways in which he innovated the use of commercial imagery, but get worn out by the relentless rich-people portraits cranked out factory-style. I like the way he could play the media, but the hijinks can grow tiresome. Some pieces are clever, others too self-aware. But the gathering of silkscreens and paintings at the Brooklyn Museum, all produced during the last ten years of the artist’s life, contained a number of works that genuinely moved me — from the whoa-nelly-this-shit-is massive Last Supper (the middle shot above) to the maligned collaborations with Jean-Michel Basquiat (there’s a hopefulness and a darkness to Sin More that I find really compelling). I was totally absorbed — primarily by the works on the fifth floor portion of the exhibit.

But above all, I learned one important lesson: It might occasionally behoove me to clean the lens on my camera.

Andy Warhol, The Last Decade, is up at the Brooklyn Museum through Sept. 12. Plus, an interesting fact: Warhol used to like to celebrate his birthday at Serendipity.

3 comments

  1. Chris Rusak

    It’s nice to hear someone voice this opinion.

    Many Warhol devotees I come across are not yet aware of his more sublime abstract works. “Zeitgeist: Reflected” 1982 (208 x 1072cm) is large work reminiscent of an engorged seismo- or electrocardiograph. It’s one of his more rhythmic patterns where repetition works to lift the composition past his more traditional, artful-commercial vision. His weight of prescience in his later years has always amused me, and it’s good that an exhibition like this is being presented domestically after the 2004 Late Work exhibition in Düsseldorf.

    Your photos are fantastic selections, too, behooved or otherwise.

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