In the 1950s, a young man from an industrial town who had started to make a fortune as an illustrator in the Big Apple, wrote to the director of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Alfred Barr, offering one of his works to the institution. The all-powerful Barr was diplomatic in his refusal, but: “If you visit the MoMA today you will see more people taking photos in front of the Campbell's soup tin than Las señoritas de Avignon”, said José Lebrero, artistic director of the Picasso Museum in Malaga (MPM), this week, describing not only Andy Warhol's ascent to fame but also the fact that he is only 20th century artist to be almost as popular as Picasso.
Both artists are now together at the MPM, which is the last stop on a tour by the retrospective about the father of pop art after previously being shown in Barcelona and Madrid.
'Warhol. El arte mecánico' contains nearly 400 impressive works, and is expected to be a great success, especially as it will be on the Costa del Sol in peak tourist season. Around 485,000 people went to see it in the two previous cities.
The exhibition includes not only Warhol's most famous works, but also some of his experimental projects and his early creations, sich as illustrations for different magazines and four-minute films which were like moving portraits (or not) of different personalities.
On loan from 45 collections
This is such an important exhibition that 45 organisations and private collectors have loaned works for it, including the MoMA, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou in París, the Tate in London and theMuseo Reina Sofía in Madrid. Most of the album and book covers have been loaned by Canadian collector Paul Marechal.
The works were created throughout Warhol's 30 year-career, from his beginnings in the publishing industry to his fame on the New York cultural and social scene, including his portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jackie Kennedy, his Brillo pad boxes, the 'Silver Clouds' made with material used by NASA and much more. The exhibition continues until 16 September.