An exhibition of works by the late Andy Warhol will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.
The exhibition will feature a small slice of the artist’s enormous oeuvre, in particular, his “Silver Clouds” – helium filled silver clouds that drift in the air, according to John Handley, director of galleries at Stephen F. Austin State University.
According to information found at www.warhol.org, “‘Silver Clouds’ continually surprises viewers’ expectations and is the result of a collaboration between artist Andy Warhol and engineer Billy Klüver. Exhibited in 1966 at the Leo Castelli Gallery, ‘Silver Clouds’ created an ethereal, joyful atmosphere, and challenged traditional expectations of art by mingling with and touching the viewer. Klüver’s knowledge of technology helped bring Warhol’s vision to life. The engineer recalls that their original plan was to somehow make floating light bulbs, but that when his research group at Bell Labs showed Warhol a sample of the material scotchpak – a metalized plastic film made by 3M that could be heat-sealed – he is reported to have said, ‘Let’s make clouds.’ The clouds, filled with helium and oxygen, floated through the gallery on air currents, bumping into each other and into viewers in the space.”
“The premiere of ‘Silver Clouds’ at the Castelli Gallery was accompanied by Warhol’s now iconic wallpaper, in this case, his silkscreen pink cow heads on yellow background,” Handley said. “For the exhibition at the Cole, a portion of this original presentation will be recreated.”
The exhibition will also include three of his large screen prints and several of his Polaroid photos.
An American artist who was a leading figure in the pop art movement, Warhol’s works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s.
“To this day, Warhol’s influence on American art is studied and analyzed by art historians,” Handley said.
Warhol first worked as a commercial illustrator for magazine and other publications. He later became a renowned, often misunderstood and sometimes controversial artist, Handley said. He worked in many types of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silkscreen, sculpture, film, and music.
“His studio, know as The Factory, was a well-known gathering place that attracted both distinguished intellectuals and those on the fringe of society,” Handley explained.
This exhibition is made possible by the The Andy Warhol Museum, The Andy Warhol Foundation and Texas Christian University. It is sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and the Texas Commission on the Arts, which is the state affiliate the National Endowment of the Arts.
The Cole Art Center, SFA’s historic gallery, is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.