PORTLAND, Ore.— The Portland Art Museum is pleased to present Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, opening October 8, 2016. This major retrospective exhibition of approximately 250 Andy Warhol prints and ephemera from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer is the largest of its kind ever to be presented. It spans two floors of the Museum and includes instantly recognizable images such as Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Can (Tomato) and Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn).
Printmaking was a vital artistic practice for Andy Warhol. Prints figure prominently throughout his career from his earliest work as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to the collaborative silkscreens made in the Factory during the ‘60s and the commissioned portfolios of his final years. Portland collector Jordan D. Schnitzer’s comprehensive collection establishes the range of Warhol’s innovative graphic production as it evolved over the course of four decades. The artist’s well-known fascination with popular culture also instills the exhibition with a chronicle of American life in the second half of the twentieth century. The two threads come together to reveal how Warhol’s print publishing enterprise underscores the evolution of today’s hyper sophisticated, saturated, and savvy visual culture.
The exhibition is organized chronologically and by series. The structure demonstrates in depth Warhol’s use of different printmaking techniques, beginning with illustrated books and ending with the screenprinted editions. The exhibition also highlights links between Warhol’s obsession with serial image repetition and the essence of printmaking as a mechanical means for reproducing images. With this convergence, Warhol famously complicated distinctions between the original and the reproduction. The results muddied the conventional approach of highly valuing unique works that display the artist’s touch, instead celebrating print multiples as a medium for experimentation.
“Andy Warhol harnessed the allure of media images of celebrity, consumer goods, sex, death, and disaster to create his iconic pop art,” said exhibition curator Sara Krajewski, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. "This retrospective provides an in-depth look at how the artist manipulated the seductive power of the photographic and the televisual in his printmaking. Thirty-five years of prints offer a compelling view of Warhol’s critical use of new imaging formats and technologies, from newsprint distribution to instant cameras, television and video. Our comprehensive survey of Warhol’s vast print production demonstrates Warhol’s impact on the evolution of contemporary visual culture."
Warhol’s prints present a journey through the reproduced image in American popular culture: from icons Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe to the socially charged Birmingham civil rights protests and political posters of the 1970s. In its entirety, the exhibition offers a bellwether of contemporary life and society’s ongoing obsession with celebrities, fashion, political figures, athletes, sensationalism, and scandal.
“The Portland Art Museum’s ambitious overview of Andy Warhol’s prints offers an opportunity to see the artist anew,” observes Richard H. Axsom, contributing essayist to the exhibition catalogue. “Playing upon and manipulating the imagery of popular culture, Warhol fashioned in his major print series a body of work of immeasurable power. Under-appreciated is its profound humanity, often obscured by the glamor and glitz of Warhol’s public persona. For an artist known for his superficiality, Warhol was among the least superficial artists of his time.”
Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation is accompanied by an exhibition catalog published in partnership with the Foundation. A number of public and school programs will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition, including lectures by exhibition curator Krajewski and Blake Gopnik, art critic and Warhol scholar; Jordan Schnitzer in conversation with Richard H. Axsom, senior curator at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; and a variety of workshops, artist demonstrations, school tours, and community activities. For more information and updates, please visit portlandartmuseum.org.
Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
About the Portland Art Museum
The seventh oldest museum in the United States, the Portland Art Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s holdings and the world’s finest public and private collections. The Museum’s collection of more than 45,000 objects, displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries, reflects the history of art from ancient times to today. The collection is distinguished for its holdings of arts of the native peoples of North America, English silver, and the graphic arts. An active collecting institution dedicated to preserving great art for the enrichment of future generations, the Museum devotes 90 percent of its galleries to its permanent collection. The Portland Art Museum recognized both Native American art and Photography as fine art years earlier than peer institutions, with a commitment to collection in these areas and the dedication of permanent galleries for displaying the work. This ongoing commitment is demonstrated in the arc of Native American exhibitions in 2016 and 2017 and a new space for showcasing Contemporary Native Art.
The Museum’s campus of landmark buildings, a cornerstone of Portland’s cultural district, includes the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts, the Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art, the Northwest Film Center, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art. With a membership of more than 22,000 households and serving more than 350,000 visitors annually, the Museum is a premier venue for education in the visual arts. The Portland Art Museum welcomes patrons with disabilities. For information on exhibitions and programs, call 503-226-2811 or visit portlandartmuseum.org.
The Portland Art Museum welcomes all visitors and affirms its commitment to making its programs and collections accessible to everyone. The Museum offers a variety of programs and services to ensure a quality experience and a safe, inclusive environment for every member of our diverse community. Learn more at portlandartmuseum.org/access.
About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, evolving into his lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 9,500 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections overall. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions and has organized over 100 exhibitions at more than 75 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also President of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, with 23 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit www.jordanschnitzer.org.