Thursday, May 08, 2014

Before and after

As long time fans of Andy Warhol you won’t be surprised to hear we dragged ourselves out to Queens to see an exhibition based on his controversial commission for the 1964 World's Fair. One of a number of commissions Warhol's did not last long and was quickly painted over (with silver paint).  Thirteen of the most wanted criminals in the US surveying the Fair was just too much especially with the preponderance of Italian criminals and an overtly gay theme. The anniversary exhibition at the Queens Art Museum includes some of Warhol's subsequent Most wanted paintings as well as other works of the time (flowers, electric chair, Jackie Kennedy) plus documentation covering the commissioning by architect Philip Johnson and his dissembling over who was responsible (not me).

Stepping out from the museum and across a small park the New York pavilion that Warhol’s work had been made for is still there. Despite a few additions and a sense of being very much at the back of the building, it is still recognisable.  And so we took an 'after' pic.

Images: The American pavilion, then (1964) and bottom, now.