Before and Happily Ever After is a major mid-career retrospective by new York artist Deborah Kass. Including over 80 artworks, the exhibition traces the evolution of Kass’s practice since the early 1980s and explores the major themes and subjects of her oeuvre. Deeply concerned with the history of politics and art making, especially the place of women in a male dominated eld, her works engage critically with the art historical canon. They also reveal Kass’s personal identication with particular artworks, songs and personalities, many of which are referenced directly in her paintings.

Central to this exhibition is ‘The Warhol Project’ – an ambitious body of work through which Kass reassessed, celebrated, and critiqued the works by Andy Warhol. Substituting her own likeness for that of Warhol, Barbara Streisand for Jackie Kennedy, and Gertrude Stein for Chairman Mao, Kass examines questions of gender, race and sexuality. This important body of work is presented in a new light at The Andy Warhol Museum through the juxtaposition of Kass‘s paintings and related works by Warhol.

Like Warhol, Kass situates her identity within a broad cultural sphere. In doing so Kass creates variations on self-portraiture that don’t always depict the self as their subjects. Just as Warhol is reected in his Marilyn Monroe and Elvis paintings through his identication with those luminous stars, so too is Deborah Kass writ large in each and every work included in this exhibition.