FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tulsa, Okla. – Philbrook Museum of Art opens In Living Color: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation on Sunday, October 18, following a well-received year-long tour to several museums across the U.S. This exhibition, organized and traveled by the Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, Nebr.), includes over 110 works by Warhol and 17 other artists working since 1945, including Keith Haring, John Baldessari, Edward Ruscha, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, and Richard Diebenkorn. Reflecting a range of aesthetic concerns and conceptual underpinnings, In Living Color highlights artists who invest in the power of their color palettes. Dispatching a seemingly endless array of colors, Andy Warhol depicted the world with the volume turned up. His example reverberates throughout contemporary printmaking.
Philbrook Curatorial staff selected this traveling presentation for their 2015-2017 Special Exhibition Series to highlight a period of contemporary art history not readily available to Tulsans. “This exhibition allows Philbrook visitors to examine the ways these artists use color as a tool to challenge how audiences understand otherwise ubiquitous and iconic imagery of popular culture,” remarked Dr. Sienna Brown, Philbrook’s Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “Furthermore, In Living Color, which is drawn from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, involves this thoughtful collector whose passion to share these vibrant and riveting works is visible through his personal participation.” Mr. Schnitzer will present two lectures to Philbrook Members during their preview events and has underwritten several related programs. In Living Color: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation will remain on view through January 17, 2016, before traveling to Jacksonville, Fla.
About the Exhibition
Andy Warhol (1928–1987) once famously quipped, “I like boring things.” Indulging this inclination throughout his career, he depicted the mundane, the everyday, the obvious, and the overused. Encompassing three decades of Warhol’s work, In Living Color examines how the artist’s “boring things” came to life through his exuberant use of color. The leading figure of American Pop Art, a movement that took shape in the 1950s, Warhol focused his attention on the social and political turbulence and unprecedented consumerism that emerged as the United States began to recover from World War II. Drawing inspiration from the rapidly changing world around him, Warhol pursued an approach to making art that was more inclusive and aware of the day-to-day conditions of contemporary life. Seeking to downplay the role of originality in art, Warhol and his fellow Pop artists adopted mechanical means of generating images, such as screenprinting, a technique that allowed for the production of multiple identical editions. In Living Color features some of Warhol’s most iconic screenprints, including his portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Mao Zedong, the splashy camouflage series, and his controversial Electric Chair portfolio.
Drawn exclusively from Portland, Ore.-based collector Jordan Schnitzer’s extensive holdings, which include over 9,000 contemporary prints, the exhibition is divided into five sections — Experimentation, Emotion, Experience, Subversion, and Attitude. Each section places a significant body of work by Warhol in conversation with prints made by fellow artists who use color as a tool to shape how viewers read and respond to imagery. The artists featured in In Living Color may not all respond directly to Warhol, yet his example reverberates throughout post-war printmaking. Just as Warhol’s vivid sunset images are thought to have been inspired by the views from his beach house on Long Island, Richard Diebenkorn’s seminal Ocean Park series reflects the intense sunshine and splashy color of the Southern California neighborhood where he kept his studio for nearly twenty years. Helen Frankenthaler was similarly motivated by her surroundings. While she often resisted identifying specific subjects in her work, Frankenthaler once explained: “I think of my pictures as explosive landscapes, worlds, and distances held on a flat surface.” Her three woodcuts in the exhibition subtly recall the golden hues of sunrise, the expanse of an insect’s milky wings, and the earthy shades of an evergreen forest.
With his signature mix of bravado and practiced deadpan, Warhol dug below the surface of contemporary culture to uncover the absurdities, prejudices, fallacies, and contemporary culture. More than thirty years after his death, Warhol’s work continues to shape our perceptions of common images and objects with humor, wit, and the occasional barb.
About the Collector
The selection of work on view in In Living Color represents a small portion of Jordan Schnitzer’s rich and diverse collection of prints from the 1960s through the present. Schnitzer grew up in Portland, Oregon. He is a 1973 graduate of the University of Oregon and in 1976 received his doctorate degree from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. Shortly thereafter, he began working full time at his family’s real estate company, Harsch Investment Properties, a Portland-based real estate acquisition, development and management company started by his father and mother in 1950. Schnitzer is now the president of the company which owns and operates 22 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family, and retail properties in six western states. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Harsch has regional offices in Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas, and San Diego. With a staff of over 230 professionals, Harsch is one of the largest privately held real estate property management companies in the Western United States.
In addition to his role at Harsch, Schnitzer has served on over 31 civic and cultural boards including the Portland Art Museum, the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, the High Desert Museum, the Citizens Crime Commission, and the Friends of Astoria Column. Following his family’s commitment to support art and culture, Schnitzer has created one of the nation’s largest contemporary print collections, which is shared with the public. He and his family foundation have funded and organized over 90 exhibitions of work from his collection which have traveled to over 72 museums including exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, the Detroit Institute of Art, and many others. He has received many honors and awards, among them the Portland State University President’s Award for Outstanding Philanthropy, State of Oregon Governor Arts Awards, and the International Print Center New York Award of Excellence for his touring art program. In 2004, Schnitzer gave a multi-million dollar gift for renovations of the University of Oregon’s art museum, which was renamed in his honor; and in 2013, he provided a five million dollar gift to stimulate fundraising for a new art museum at Washington State University’s Pullman campus. He lives in Portland with his family.
Rooted in the beauty and architecture of an historic home gifted by the Phillips family in 1938, Philbrook Museum of Art has grown to become one of the preeminent art museums across the central United States. Highlights of the Museum’s permanent collection include Renaissance and Baroque paintings from the Kress Foundation, one of the greatest surveys of Native American art anywhere, and growing modern and contemporary collections. The Philbrook main campus spans 25 acres of grounds and formal gardens, and features an historic home displaying the museum’s permanent collection, as well as a modern museum complex. The satellite location in downtown Tulsa showcases Philbrook’s modern and contemporary art collections, as well as the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and Study Center of Native American art.
Philbrook Museum of Art is open Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. CST. Philbrook Downtown is open Wednesdays – Saturdays, 12 – 7 p.m. and Sundays, 12 – 5 p.m. Museum admission runs $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and university students; Philbrook Museum Members and youth 17 and younger are always free. For additional information, visit www.philbrook.org.