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New Exhibition at The Ukrainian Museum
Andy Warhol: Endangered Species

October 7, 2018 – February 17, 2019

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Image: Andy Warhol, Bighorn Ram from the Andy Warhol: Endangered Species (1983), on loan from the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Wyoming. Gift of the 2006 Collectors Circle, an Anonymous donor, and the Art Acquisitions Fund. ©2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York.

New York (September 14, 2018)—The Ukrainian Museum is delighted to announce the exhibition Andy Warhol: Endangered Species will open to the public on Sunday, October 7, 2018. Commemorating the 90th anniversary of the birth of Andy Warhol (1928-1987), this is the first Warhol exhibition ever organized by a Ukrainian American organization. Endangered Species is on loan from the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming. The exhibition at The Ukrainian Museum is co-curated by Alexander Motyl, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University – Newark, NJ; Jaroslaw Leshko, Professor Emeritus of Art at Smith College in Northampton, MA; and Adam Harris, Ph.D., Joffa Kerr Chief Curator of Art at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. James Warhola, an artist, writer, and book illustrator, and nephew of Andy Warhol, is a special contributor to the displays in the exhibition. Andy Warhol: Endangered Species will be on view through February 17, 2019.

The exhibition includes the ten silkscreens in the Andy Warhol: Endangered Species series from 1983—Bighorn Ram, Black Rhinoceros, Grevy's Zebra, Orangutan, San Francisco Silverspot, African Elephant, Bald Eagle, Siberian Tiger, Pine Barrens Tree Frog, and Giant Panda—as well as the silkscreen Sea Turtle (1985). An important component of the show at The Ukrainian Museum will be a section dedicated to Andy Warhol's early years growing up in Pittsburgh. At the vanguard of the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol is recognized as one of its greatest architects. But the influences from his youth, when he was immersed in the culture of his Carpatho-Rusyn origins, impacted his evolution into a world-renowned artist. This exhibition not only features the still relevant Endangered Species series, but also looks at Andy's heritage and other inspirations from his early years that spurred him along the path toward becoming one of the most influential American artists. Augmenting the Endangered Species exhibition are several early drawings by Andy Warhol, as well as a few personal artifacts and family photo prints.

"Andy Warhol has been studied as an artist, designer, writer, filmmaker, publisher, and even as a philosopher,” writes Alexander Motyl. “He’s been called a genius, an idiot savant, a provocateur, and a fraud. His admirers emphasize that he revolutionized art with his Brillo Boxes, silkscreens, flat surfaces, and bold use of color. His detractors claim that he cheapened art by commercializing it. But the trend-setting New York avant-garde artist was also, above all, a shy boy of Slavic peasant stock who was born and raised in a deeply religious and cloistered Eastern European community in Pittsburgh."

The silkscreen series in this exhibition, which calls attention to the plight of species that were all in danger of extinction in 1983, was the product of a proposal to Warhol by art dealers Ronald and Frayda Feldman. As he did with all his prolific and varied artistic pursuits, Warhol poured his energy and creativity into the Endangered Species silkscreens, producing an extraordinary group of works. Painting them in his characteristically vibrant colors, he brought his "portraits" of endangered animals to the status of his popular portraits of famous personalities. As Adam Harris states, “Andy Warhol’s images of soup cans and celebrities are familiar to most of us, but fewer people realize that he also created a stellar portfolio depicting endangered animals, raising awareness about wildlife in need of human protection in order to survive.” Warhol donated 100 of these prints to various conservation organizations for fundraising purposes.

"Warhol's career will always be defined by his seminal contribution to the avant-garde, as his vision guided and nurtured a generation of artists,” says Jaroslaw Leshko. “Among his vast repertory of topics was a keen interest in animals. Thus, his response to the Endangered Species project was instant and generous. It represents his most sustainable exploration of the animal theme. The title of the series defines its mission: to acknowledge and celebrate the viability and variety of animal life, and to explore and expose the vulnerability, indeed, frailty of its existence."

Andy Warhol: Endangered Species was made possible by a major gift from the Self Reliance New York Federal Credit Union, and with the support of numerous individual sponsors.

Events in conjunction with Andy Warhol: Endangered Species
Ticket information will be available online at www.ukrainianmuseum.org.

Saturday, October 27, 2018
Gallery Talk
ALEXANDER J. MOTYL, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers – Newark, guest co-curator of Andy Warhol: Endangered Species, and author of the novel Who Killed Andrei Warhol: The American Diary of a Soviet Journalist by Oleksandr Ivanov (2007, 2018), will be joined by JAMES WARHOLA, artist, writer, and book illustrator for major publishing houses, author and illustrator of the children’s book Uncle Andy’s: A Faabbbulous Visit with Andy Warhol (2003), and Andy Warhol's nephew.

February 2019 (date TBA)
Film Absolut Warhola (2001)
Director: Stanislaw Mucha
Germany; languages: Rusyn, Slovak, English subtitles; 80 min.
Documentary about Andy Warhol's extended family, whom he never met, from rural Slovakia. The filmmakers travel through eastern Slovakia to interview Warhol's surviving relatives, Rusyns (Ruthenians) living near the Polish border in Miková, and to visit the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art in Medzilaborce.

February 2019 (date TBA)
Roundtable discussion "Andy Warhol and His Carpatho-Rusyn Roots"
Jaroslaw Leshko, Professor Emeritus of Art at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; guest co-curator of Andy Warhol: Endangered Species
Paul Robert Magocsi, Professor of History and John Yaremko Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto
Alexander J. Motyl, Professor of Political Science at Rutgers – Newark; guest co-curator of Andy Warhol: Endangered Species
Elaine Rusinko, Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

 


 

About the Museum

The Ukrainian Museum acquires, preserves, and exhibits articles of artistic or historic significance to the rich cultural heritage of Ukrainian Americans; its collections include thousands of items of folk art, fine art, and archival material. At its founding in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Womens League of America, the Museum was hailed as one of the finest achievements of Americans of Ukrainian descent. Since then, and particularly since its move in 2005 to a new, state-of-the-art building in Manhattans vibrant East Village, it has become known as one of the most interesting and dynamic smaller museums in New York City. Each year, the Museum organizes several exhibitions, publishes bilingual (English/Ukrainian) catalogues, and presents a wide range of public and educational programs, including concerts, films, lectures, courses, workshops, and special events.

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