Winter 2016 Director's Statement
Dear valued guest,
This spring marks the opening of the highly anticipated major international exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei. To celebrate this exhibition featuring two of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, the museum is hosting a free community day and public opening on June 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Developed in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and Ai Weiwei, the exhibition explores the influence of these two artists on modern and contemporary life, and it will be presented throughout the seven floors of our building. Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei saw record-breaking attendance in Melbourne, Australia, at NGV, and we are excited for you to make this exhibition equally successful in Pittsburgh!
We are also thrilled to welcome José Carlos Diaz as The Warhol’s new Milton Fine Curator of Art. Diaz was previously curator of exhibitions at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, Florida, and he assumes his role at The Warhol on May 16. Jose’s dynamic ideas for future museum exhibitions will help us redefine Warhol for the 21st century.
Launching in May with an introductory iteration of prints by project leader and artist D.S. Kinsel, Activist Print is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum, BOOM Concepts (a creative hub for artists to incubate ideas), and the North Side printmaking studio Artists Image Resource (AIR). Activist Print is inspired by the long history of artists using silkscreen and print-based media to raise awareness of contemporary issues and inspire change, and it will feature socially and politically inspired print work by three Pittsburgh artists—Bekezela Mguni, Paradise Gray, and Alisha B. Wormsley—throughout the year. The artworks will be showcased on the façade of Rosa Villa, a building across the street from The Warhol that the museum has used for public artworks while working on a plan to rehabilitate the site.
Pittsburgh-based artist Zhiwan Cheung’s Exposures installation Hanging Fruit opens May 11 in The Warhol Store’s street-facing windows, and it is on view through August 14, 2016. It explores the seemingly banal details of our everyday lives that can harbor important messages about race. Through video and installation work, Cheung focuses on the intersection of personal history, identity, and place. Cheung joins Associate Curator of Art Jessica Beck in The Warhol theater on May 14 for an artist talk about his installation and how working in Pittsburgh has shaped his practice.
Our education department is full of activity, engaging communities through new programing initiatives and established favorites. We hosted our first sensory-friendly event in March for teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorders and sensory sensitivities to high acclaim from participants and their families. This summer and fall, we host four more events, two for teens and young adults ages 14 to 20 and two for adults ages 21+. Our museum staff focuses on ways to make the museum experience fun-filled and enjoyable by providing thoughtful accommodations, like dedicating quiet spaces throughout the museum and providing weighted blankets, and through activities, such as using Warhol’s portraits to identify and interpret facial expressions. Two always phenomenal youth activities—Youth Invasion and LGBTQ+ Youth Prom: Disruption—take place May 13 and June 4, respectively. This year’s youth prom is presented in collaboration with THRIVE of Southwest PA, and the theme “Disruption” explores LGBTQ+ activism, boundaries, and resistance.
While you’re enjoying our galleries and programs this summer, remember to look toward the fall for our Carnegie Music Hall performance Yo La Tengo with special guest Lambchop. On this rare and special occasion, both bands pull from their extensive catalogs, perform new material, and collaborate on each other’s songs.
We’ll see you this summer at Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei!
The Andy Warhol Museum