What a show in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne! It might be the most interesting exhibition we write about in 2015! Never-before-seen works by two great names (one of the greatest) in contemporary art – Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei – will be presented in a joint exhibition in NGV Melbourne. This is the largest international exhibition in the NGV’s history and will feature rare and never-before-seen Warhol works and five world-first new commissions by Ai Weiwei. The show is entitled Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei and it draws extensively on the collections of The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and the studio of Ai Weiwei.
Over 200 works by Andy Warhol will be exhibited during Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition in NGV in Melbourne. The exhibition will feature more than 200 of Warhol’s most celebrated works including his famous silk screens, over 500 polaroids documenting Warhol’s friends, colleagues, artistic and social milieux and his 1966 installation Silver Clouds. Among 200 Warhol works that will be exhibited are artist’s most admired works such as celebrity portraits of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor, Flowers, Mao, Electric Chair and Campbell’s Soup Cans. All these famous (and not so famous Warhol’s works that were never seen before) are exhibited together with brilliant art of Ai Weiwei.
After having problems with obtaining necessary Lego Toys for this exhibition, everything ended well when it comes to Ai Weiwei’s works. One of the new commissions by Ai Weiwei is titled Letgo Room, 2015. The immersive environment incorporates more than two million plastic building blocks featuring portraits of twenty Australian activists, advocates and champions of human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of information and freedom of the internet. Portrait subjects include Julian Assange, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Peter Greste, Professor Gillian Triggs, Rosie Batty, The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, Archie Roach, Julian Burnside AO QC and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, among others from the fields of international law and academia, social welfare, media, community activism in support of indigenous people, asylum seekers, sex workers and the gender non-specific, among other contexts.
Other spectacular new works by Ai Weiwei are an installation of 1500 bicycles from his Forever Bicycles series, a sparkling five meter-tall work from Ai’s Chandelier series of crystal and light; Blossom, a new installation in the form of a large bed of thousands of delicate, intricately designed white porcelain flowers; and Caonima Balloons and Bird Balloons, 2015, a new floating inflatable work developed by Ai Weiwei in response to Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds 1966.
While an exhibition of the work of Andy Warhol or Ai Weiwei is a significant cultural event in its own right, the presentation of both artists together is a unique opportunity that promises new understandings and insights. Indeed, the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition is a rare opportunity to see original works by this two giants in one place. In addition to exhibition, NGV in Melbourne is organizing an extensive discussions programs, as well as educational programs (more information about these programs, you can find on the official website of the National Gallery of Victoria). Be sure not to miss this gigantic show! The exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei will be on view from December 11, 2015 until April 24, 2016 at National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
Featured Images: Ai Weiwei - Chinese 1957– .Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia 2006. from the Study of Perspective series 1995–2011. type C photograph various dimensions. Ai Weiwei Studio © Ai Weiwei; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Exploding Plastic Inevitable (EPI) gallery © Abby Warhola ; Installation view of the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, 11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016. Andy Warhol artwork © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS, New York. Administered by Viscopy, Sydney. Photo: John Gollings ; Installation view of the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, 11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016. Ai Weiwei artwork © Ai Weiwei. Photo: Brooke Holm; Ai Weiwei at National Gallery of Victoria exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, 11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016. Ai Weiwei artwork © Ai Weiwei. Photo: John Gollings; ; Installation view of the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, 11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016. Andy Warhol artwork © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS, New York. Administered by Viscopy, Sydney; Ai Weiwei artwork © Ai Weiwei. Photo: John Gollings . All Images courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria.