Warhol’s Lasting Legacy

Joanne Artman Gallery
Feb 21, 2019 7:21PM

Three decades after Andy Warhol’s death, he remains one of the world’s most provocative and recognizable artists. His influence on popular culture is so pervasive, that it continues to affect generation after generation of artists and has had lasting authority over fashion, advertisements, and artistic expression.

In the Whitney Museum of American Art’s current Warhol retrospective, the showcased body of work created over his career propels his cultural impact to yet another generation of young museumgoers and future artists. Drawing inspiration from both first hand encounters and out of admiration for his contributions to the Pop Art movement, artists Marjorie Strider, Billy Schenck, and James Wolanin continue to develop the legacy revolutionized by Warhol.

Exhibiting her bold paintings of pin-up girls alongside Andy Warhol in the 1960s, Marjorie Strider’s figural works aimed to subvert sexist images of women in popular culture. By turning objectified female bodies into forms that directly confront the viewer and challenge any passive gaze, Ms. Strider often added materials such as cardboard and wood to her paintings to make the surface more sculptural. These “build-outs” were used to sculpt breasts and bottoms of the women and have the female body realistically emerge out of the image.

Incorporating elements from both Pop Art and Photo-Realism, Billy Schenck’s techniques praise and mimic classic Western images. Working for Warhol as a teenager, Schenck credits the experience as an early influence on his work. Characterized by hot colors and juxtapositions that explore clashes between wilderness and civilization, the individual and community, nature and culture, freedom and restriction, Schenck’s works provide a deep introspection into society.

Identifying with Pop artists such as Warhol, James Wolanin taps into our culture’s collective visual conscious, creating vibrant, stylized reflections of American life. Integrating motifs based upon popular imagery, Wolanin captures a mirror of the real world through collating memories and pop culture. Primarily populated by women, the sleek surfaces of his resin works on panel conjure the glossy magazine covers that his subjects evoke. Paying homage to the 60s era through his color palette and his stylized women, Wolanin’s work presents a vision of a past that is rich in nostalgia and cultural history.

Whether Warhol’s subject matter depicts the magnificent or the mundane, his innate interest in the human form, celebrity status, and consumerism is always distinct, unique, and continues to withstand the test of time.

Installation View, Andy Warhol, From A to B and Back Again, Whitney Museum of American Art

Joanne Artman Gallery