The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM) latest exhibition Warhol Unlimited showcases more than 200 of Andy Warhol’s serial works with his iconic Shadows series as the cornerstone of the experience. The exhibit features 102 of the original 108 Shadows panels commissioned by Heiner Friedrich and Philippa de Menil. 72 of the works, which are displayed at the Dia Art Foundation in New York City, occupy their own rectangular room design and built specifically to house the silkscreen canvases. According to Warhol Unlimited’s co-curator, Hervé Vanel, the remaining panels not included in the exhibit belong to various private collections.
Vanel explains that Warhol Unlimited presents 30 more Shadows pieces than are typically on display, allowing for an even greater viewing experience. Additionally, the MAM exhibit showcases the pieces in a curved room which Vanel believes makes all the difference. He describes the line of Shadows as pattern similar to the unfolding of a film strip. The curvature of the room makes it difficult for viewers to see where it ends, allowing for a hypnotizing desire to move through the space.
According to Vanel, much of Andy Warhol’s work especially Shadows uses the slight differences, discrepancies and flaws as central points of interest. Vanel said, “The motif is a surface accident..Warhol was always looking for those moments where there was too much or not enough ink.” When Shadows first made its debut, Warhol wanted it to be a “disco decor” because there was disco at the opening. Vanel states that today the pieces are a gentle reminder to reconsider our relationship to art and artworks.
Additional works found in the “Warhol Unlimited” exhibition include the iconic Flowers, Brillo Boxes, Self-Portraits, Jackies, Maos, and Cows, transforming the MAM into a Warhol warehouse. The variety of pieces “show how different levels of culture are constantly intersecting throughout Warhol’s career”, explains Vanel, an aspect which he believes is rarely discussed.
Warhol Unlimited is on display at The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris through February 7, 2016.
For exhibition information, visit MoMA Paris.