IMA set to debut Andy Warhol exhibit

IMA set to debut Andy Warhol exhibit
Andy Warhol
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Mary Milz/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Even if you don't recognize his name, you probably know his art.

The late Andy Warhol is known for shaking up the art world by blurring the lines between fine art and pop culture - take his mass-produced Campbell's Soup cans or silk-screen images of Marilyn Monroe.

A new exhibit on Warhol opens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Sunday, October, 10th.

It's called Andy Warhol Enterprises and it explores his career from his days as a commercial artist through his work into the1980s.

"He was able to tap into the zeitgeist in a way no other artist could. He was able to identify in everyday life, images of people or products that were iconic or the most recognizable figures of the time," said curator Sarah Green.

The 150-piece exhibit shows includes early shop window designs, even an awning designed for a New York store.

It also shows several of the magazine ads Warhol appeared in on behalf of various products and it includes video from his stint as a band manager.

Green said it's no surprise he became so well-known. "He was absolutely shameless in self-promotion," she said.

And it paid off.

Warhol painted and drew a lot of money, especially during the 1980s when the consumer culture was booming. Green points out he also made a lot of money. When he died his estate was worth $218 million.

It was Warhol's focus on money and commerce that led Pittsburgh-based The PNC Financial Services Group to sponsor the exhibit. New to Indianapolis, the bank is "branding" itself as a supporter of arts and education.

"Warhol Enterprises is out of Pittsburgh and it supported us bringing the exhibit here and creating this partnership with the IMA. And with Warhol's business and commerce as themes it was perfect for us," said Stephen Stitle, PNC's regional president for Indiana.

Green hopes the exhibit prompts people to think out of the box, especially when it comes to the mass-produced pieces, such as the Heinz Ketchup or Brillo boxes.

"These are very reflective of culture and society in way art is supposed to be. Art is supposed to be reflective or even critical of our culture and I think these works do that," said Green.

The exhibit runs through January 2, 2011. Admission is $14 and free for members.

Indianapolis Museum of Art