Warhol Museum to open two new exhibits this month

By: Megan Tomasic | The Duquesne Duke

Later this month, The Andy Warhol Museum will open two new exhibits that feature Warhol’s early works and pieces that display historic artwork of the modern era.

The exhibits, titled 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair and Chuck Connelly: My America are set to open at the Warhol on Sept. 27.

Features - warhol - courtesy of warhol press
These images were a part of Andy Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair collection of 13 Most Wanted Men.

13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair recreates the mural of the mug shots of 13 criminals from the 1960s era. However, due to controversy the mural was covered up and never viewed by those who attended the fair.

Curator of art at the museum, Nicholas Chambers explained what Warhol’s perspective may have been when he put together the gallery.

“The mural was an extraordinarily bold proposal for the pavilion. Warhol was in the early stages of his career and the commission represented a high profile opportunity,” Chambers said. “However, rather than propose a pop subject associated with his practice at that time, such as Campbell’s Soup, he decided to depict a group of criminals wanted by the NYPD.”

The exhibit includes paintings that Warhol created later that year as well as documents explaining the story behind the mural and the controversy that surrounds it. This year will be the 50th anniversary of the scandal.

Chuck Connelly: My America represents Connelly’s life through the years, featuring pieces from when he first started painting to today, allowing him to capture moments in history while relating them back to his personal life.

Assistant curator of art at the Warhol, Jessica Beck said that the “painting is incredible.” “It’s sort of this tragic style, a little bit of fantasy, a little bit of personal narrative, mixed in with a little bit of cynicism, but it all comes back to these sort of grand art historical themes,” Beck said.

Being Connelly’s first solo exhibition, he has amassed a large amount of canvases. The Warhol is excited to host the exhibition and celebrate the 40 year long career of Connelly.

The Connelly exhibit is featured in the Pittsburgh Biennial, which is co-organized by Carnegie Museum of Art, Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, The Andy Warhol Museum, SPACE Gallery, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Mattress Factory, Biennial founders Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Each of these organizations presents an exhibition of works which reflects on artists from the Pittsburgh region.

“I think that some of the themes in these paintings sort of have urban grittiness to them that sort of resonates with the time that Chuck would have been growing up in Pittsburgh” Beck said, making Connelly the perfect candidate for the Pittsburgh Biennial.

The Pittsburgh Biennial begins Sept. 12 and a complete schedule and times can be found at pittsburghbiennial.org.

Both exhibitions are hosting discussions about the pieces and history behind the works. In Discussion: 13 Most Wanted Men, with John Giorno and Nicholas Chambers, Milton Fine Curator of Art will take place on Dec. 12 while In Discussion: Chuck Connelly: My America, with the artist and Jessica Beck, will take place on Oct. 18.