Warhol’s work predicts selfie and social media
In the mid-1960s, Andy Warhol made hundreds of short films (Screen Tests) of friends and acquaintances who visited his New York studio known as the Factory. These black and white silent films have a hypnotic quality as they are unscripted and play in slow motion.
“The Currier Museum of Art is proud to present these compelling films by one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. We are delighted to offer our visitors the chance to experience these rarely exhibited works,” says museum director Alan Chong.
The exhibition is visible from March 31 to July 3, 2022.
Warhol predicted that in the future “everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes”. Warhol described these works as film portraits or playfully called them “stillies”, unlike the films.
Warhol’s studio, called the Factory, was a popular gathering space for artists, musicians, and celebrities of all types, from drag queens to socialites and public figures. Many of these visitors had their screen tests done, including well-known personalities like Bob Dylan, Salvador Dali and Dennis Hopper. Like all of his art, Screen Tests comment on media and celebrity. With good reason, these films anticipate our lifelong fascination with social media, selfies, and forms of video communication. “Although made almost sixty years ago, these films seem more relevant than ever. Warhol brilliantly tapped into our growing obsession with media and fame,” says Samantha Cataldo, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art.
Warhol shot nearly 500 Screen Tests between 1964 and 1966, each one done on a 100-foot roll of film. The Currier Museum of Art exhibit features 20 films shown across four large-scale screenings, each looping five screen tests. Digital transfers were provided by The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
About the Currier Art Museum
The Currier Museum is an internationally renowned art museum located in Manchester, New Hampshire. The museum features paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and photography, including works by Monet, Picasso, O’Keeffe, Hopper, and Wyeth. It features exhibits, tours, art classes, and community programs throughout the year. Two houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are part of his permanent collection.