When most people think of Andy Warhol, they think of Campbell’s soup cans, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and other iconic, Pop Art-era renderings. Sure, Warhol was at times subversive, but most don’t associate him with overtly scandalous installations and works; all things considered, the late artist played it pretty safe by creating art with major commercial appeal.
A lot of people don’t know about Warhol’s “Thirteen Most Wanted Men,” a large mural that was commissioned by the 1964 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows in New York. The mural has been kept mostly under wraps because at the time it was created it sparked controversy among the World’s Fair organizers, and was eventually painted over. Now, five decades later, the Queens Museum will be hosting Warhol’s “Thirteen Most Wanted Men,” in its new exhibition, 13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair.
According to the Queens Museum, “50 years have passed since and up-and-coming Pop provocateur Andy Warhol sparked a minor scandal at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. As part of a prominent set of public commissions for the Philip Johnson-designed New York State Pavilion’s exterior, Warhol chose to enlarge mug shots from a NYPD booklet featuring the 13 most wanted criminals of 1962,” in what would become a massive public art controversy.
This new exhibition takes Warhol’s original work as its single subject, and addresses its creation, as well as its destruction at the 1964 World’s Fair. Developed collaboratively by the Queens Museum and The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, 13 Most Wanted Men will be a massive homage to the more subversive works of the late artist. Explains the Queens Museum, “Parallel to the striking, somber canvases, materials in the exhibition are organized in strict chronological order so the viewer can appreciate the interrelations of underground and establishment; art, protest, and gay life; painting, sculpture, and film in a key year for Warhol; fine art and mainstream culture; and the lives and careers of the major players.” It is an exhibition not to be missed.
13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair
April 27th, 2014 – September 7th, 2014