Download Press Release PDF (139 K)
The American Indian
Paintings and Drawings
October 10 – November 17, 2012
Skarstedt Gallery, based in New York, is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition of its new gallery in London in October 2012. Similar to the New York gallery, Skarstedt Gallery London will mount historical exhibitions, expanding its program to a wider audience. To celebrate it’s launch, Skarstedt Gallery London will hold an exhibition comprised of seven paintings and four drawings titled Andy Warhol “The American Indian.”
Andy Warhol was known for his focus on traditional portraiture beginning in the early 1960’s when he made drawings and paintings from newspaper photographs of celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. By the mid-seventies Warhol captured more liberal and contemporary subjects such as cross-dressers in his Ladies and Gentlemen series; and by 1976, he made the series of paintings and drawings of the American Indian, Russell Means.
Russell Means was a Native American actor, activist and celebrity who perfectly blurred the lines of societal status. Though a minority, Warhol presents Means as a celebrity with exaggerated, glamorized features. Using ubiquitous publicity shots, Warhol transferred these images of Means to silk-screens and then printed them on canvases. Some of the canvases include hand painted embellishments and decorations which distinguish this series from the mechanical approach of his 60’s celebrities. Throughout this process Warhol transforms a repeated and banal image into a dignified, majestic portrait of the American Indian.
Born in 1928, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Warhol moved to New York City in 1949 where he spent the rest of his artistic career before his untimely death in 1987. He has been the subject of a myriad of national and international one-man gallery and museum exhibitions throughout his prolific career. In 1989, the Museum of Modern Art organized a major retrospective of his work and in 2001 Hernier Bastian curated a retrospective in Berlin, which traveled to the Tate, London and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Shortly after his death, the Warhol Foundation for the Arts was founded, at his request, in order to further the advancement of the visual arts. In 1994 the Carnagie Institute and the Dia Foundation for the Arts, along with the help of the Foundation, opened the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg.