Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of Andy Warhol's Dollar Signs series of paintings and drawings. Created in 1981, the paintings are being shown for the first time since Leo Castelli's 1982 exhibit. In addition, this show will premiere the dramatic large drawings Warhol made as studies to explore and elaborate his representation of the dollar sign in the final version of the painted silkscreens.
The Dollar Signs are among Warhol's most powerful and essential images, perhaps equal to the historic Campbell's Soup Cans of 1962, in their brash reinvention of what is allowed in a work of art. In the Dollar Signs, Warhol unabashedly said that "big-time art is big-time money" and, with his brutal truthfulness, bluntly printed the sign for money as the sign for art.
On the other hand, given their wild color and flamboyant drawing and design, the Dollar Signs are "artistic" in the extreme. Like his greatest works, they empty and glamorize in one stroke, making the object blank and banal, yet lyrical and deliciously seductive. Recall the famous Marilyns from 1962, where he screened the image of the dead movie star on candy colored backgrounds and titled the series The Flavors. The Dollar Signs exhibit the same panoramic understanding of the commodity, in all its crassness and allure, but focus even tighter upon its essence: money.
The Dollar Signs are signature works in the extreme – the signature for cash, for art, and for Warhol, himself. They also epitomize his deadpan genius for truth-telling and sizing-up the future. When he completed the Dollar Signs in 1981, the worlds of art and business had just begun a historically money-mad decade. The pertinence, originality, and affront of these paintings are even more alive today, as the nations of the planet combine into the biggest commodity trading floor mankind has ever known.
The Gagosian Gallery exhibition is also accompanied by a catalogue fully illustrated in color, with an essay by Arthur C. Danto.
The Art History of Presidential Campaign Posters
Against the backdrop of the 2020 US presidential election, historian Hal Wert takes us through the artistic and political evolution of American campaign posters, from their origin in 1844 to the present. In an interview with Quarterly editor Gillian Jakab, Wert highlights an array of landmark posters and the artists who made them.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: Allen Midgette
Raymond Foye speaks with the actor who impersonated Andy Warhol during the great Warhol lecture hoax in the late 1960s. The two also discuss Midgette’s earlier film career in Italy and the difficulty of performing in a Warhol film.
Andy Warhol: From the Polaroid and Back Again
Jessica Beck, the Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, considers the artist’s career-spanning use of Polaroid photography as part of his more expansive practice.
On Collecting with Norman Diekman
Rare-book expert Douglas Flamm speaks with designer Norman Diekman about his unique collection of books on art and architecture. Diekman describes his first plunge into book collecting, the history behind it, and the way his passion for collecting grew.
Gwen Allen recounts her discovery of cutting-edge artists’ magazines from the 1960s and 1970s and explores the roots and implications of these singular publications.
Cast of Characters
James Lawrence explores how contemporary artists have grappled with the subject of the library.