As I was wandering about Prague’s Old Town, my eye was drawn to an Andy Warhol poster in the corner of the square. Imagine my excitement when the poster was advertising an exhibition of his work in the Prague Gallery of Art organised in conjunction with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh featuring over forty globally-renowned pieces including those depicting Marilyn Monroe, Chairman Mao, Flowers and, of course, the Velvet Underground.
The Velvets’ are rightly regarded as the Godfathers of alternative music and the Banana motif on their debut album with Nico is instantly recognised the world over. Warhol championed Nico’s involvement and had a defining influence on the band during their embryonic development. Popular legend decrees that the album only sold thirty thousand copies in the early years, but everyone who bought a copy formed a band. Perhaps an exaggeration although the sentiment is valid as everyone from Roxy Music to Nirvana subsequently cited The Velvets’ as a primary influence.
Promotional Poster For the 2016 Warhol Exhibition at the Gallery Art Prague.
Images From the Gatefold Sleeve Edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico Album Featuring Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Maureen (Mo) Tucker & Nico Who Sang on Only Three Songs.
The Original Warhol-designed Sleeve Featured a Banana Sticker With the Words “Peel Slowly & See” Printed Near the Tip.
The Velvet’s Second Album, White Light/ White Heat Released in 1968 Featured a Cover Inspired by Warhol Even Though the Relationship Between Band & Artist Was in Decline at This Point.
Set of Original Slides Taken by Warhol For the Second Solo Album by John Cale Entitled The Academy in Peril.
Perhaps the Most Famous Image in Rock n’Roll, The Velvet Underground & Nico Album Was Released in 1967 to Distinctly Luke warm Reviews.
Original Poster for a Velvets’ Gig in 1993 Still Featuring the Banana Image.
Warhol Loved Debbie Harry’s Image & Was She Was Given the Canvas Treatment. He also Designed the Cover for Debbie’s Rockbird Album.
Unsurprisingly, Morrissey Used a Cropped Warhol Image From the Film Flesh on the Cover of the Debut Album by The Smiths.
The Cult’s Edie (Ciao Baby) Single Featuring a Photograph of Edie Sedgwick Taken by One of Warhol’s Co-workers, Gerard Malanga.
Framed Montage of the Original Renowned Artwork for the Velvet Underground & Nico Album.
Warhol’s Equally Famous Images of Chairman Mao Were Produced in 1972 Following a Visit to China by President Richard Nixon. The Original Canvas Sold at Auction For £7.6 million in 2014.
Produced in 1962, the Campbell’s Soup Cans Series Features 32 Canvases Each Depicting One of the Brands Varieties Available at the Time.
Warhol’s Flower Series Originally Debuted in 1964 as a Set of Paintings Before Being Released as a Series of Ten Screenprints in 1970.
The Original Silkscreen Painting of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol is Owned by The Tate Gallery in London. It is Known as the Marilyn Diptych & Contains Fifty Images of the Actress.
Completed in the Weeks Following the Death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962, This Image Was Voted the Third Most Influential Pieces of Modern Art in a Survey of 500 Artists in 2004.
Monroe Was a Favoured Subject For Andy Warhol Believing Her Persona to be Symptomatic of Society’s Commodification of Individuals.
Another Well-worn Warhol Quote Immortalised on Posters First Displayed in Sweden in 1968.
Original Poster For an Exhibition at Williams College Museum of Art in 2015.
Chanel No. 5 Perfume Received the Warhol Treatment in 1980 as a Further Statement About Consumerism.
One of Warhol’s Most Famous Quotes Published in a Programme for an Exhibition of His Work in Sweden in 1968.
Inside, the exhibition did not disappoint and one was struck by how Warhol’s pop-art aesthetic has seeped into mainstream culture, advertising and brand design. Many of the most famous pieces represent Warhol’s observations regarding the commodification of celebrity and the throwaway nature of modern society. Beautifully curated, the exhibition included a screen-printing workshop where visitors produced their own designs in an atmosphere constructed to mirror one of Warhol’s legendary Factories in New York.
Original works now sell for millions of dollars and Warhol’s place as one of the greatest modern artists is assured. Having an opportunity to reappraise my understanding and appreciation of his contribution was one of the highlights of an epic trip to one of Europe’s most magnificent cities.