By Annette Michelson

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), probably the most celebrated artists of the final 3rd of the 20 th century, owes his distinctive position within the background of visible tradition to not the mastery of a unmarried medium yet to the workout of a number of media and roles. A mythical paintings international determine, he labored as an artist, filmmaker, photographer, collector, writer, and dressmaker. starting within the Nineteen Fifties as a advertisement artist, he went directly to produce paintings for exhibition in galleries and museums. the variety of his efforts quickly multiplied to the making of flicks, images, video, and books. Warhol first got here to public detect within the Nineteen Sixties via works that drew on ads, model names, and newspaper tales and headlines. a lot of his best-known photographs, either unmarried and in sequence, have been produced in the context of pop paintings. Warhol used to be an immense determine within the bridging of the distance among low and high artwork, and his mode of creation within the recognized studio referred to as "The manufacturing facility" concerned the popularity of paintings making as one kind of company between others. the unconventional nature of that firm has ensured the enduring prestige of his paintings and person.Andy Warhol comprises illustrated essays through Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Thomas Crow, Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Annette Michelson, and Nan Rosenthal, plus a formerly unpublished interview with Warhol by way of Buchloh. The essays tackle Warhol's relation to and impression on mass tradition and the recurrence of catastrophe and loss of life in his artwork.

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By contrast, Warhol’s interventions into the aesthetic of the early 1960s would seem fully plausible and necessary to a viewer aware of the implications of the Dada legacy, in terms of that movement’s continuous emphasis and reflection of the inescapable symbiotic ties between aesthetics and commodity aesthetics. Warhol’s “scandalous”assaults on the status and the “substance”of pictorial representation were motivated by the rapidly dwindling options of credible artistic production, a fact that had become more and more apparent as the conventions of modernism and avant-garde practice had finally been rediscovered, but even more so by the increasing pressure and destruction that the accelerated development of the culture industry exerted now on the traditionally exempt spaces of marginal artistic deviance.

In light of this range of previously established techniques to apply and repeat mechanically factured pictorial marks, the frequently posed question of whether it was Rauschenberg or Warhol who first used the silkscreen process in painting is utterly futile. Warhol’s mechanization—at first timid and unresolved, as we saw in his earliest paintings which still adhered to the manual gesture—developed at first gradually (and then rapidly) from 1960 to 1962 and led from the hand-painted diagrams through the rubber stamps and stencil paintings in 1961–1962 to the first fully silkscreened canvases of Troy Donohue, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis Presley, which had already been shown—along with Tango—in his first New York exhibition.

Therefore he decided not to transgress these conservative limitations inherent in painterly practice and refrained from acquiring (or reconstituting) the status of the unaltered readymade in any of his works until 1966. Perhaps it was Warhol’s skeptical and opportunistic positivism (to anticipate that all radical gestures within the framework of an institutionalized and industrialized high art production would inevitably and ultimately generate marketable artistic objects,would end up as mere “pictures” in a gallery, merely legitimizing the institutional and discursive conventions from which they emerged) that allowed him to avoid the mistakes inherent in Duchamp’s radical proposition of the readymade.

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