Warhol in Colorado

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January 20 – March 13, 2011


Warhol in Colorado is an exhibition inspired by the recent gift of 158 original Polaroids and silver prints by The Andy Warhol Foundation to the Myhren Gallery at the University of Denver. Opening with a gala Warhol Happening on January 20, 2011, the exhibition will be a wide-ranging exploration of Warhol’s many connections to Colorado, both surprising and significant. The exhibition includes original artworks by Andy Warhol from DU’s holding as well as from Colorado collectors and institutions. It also features documentary materials and oral histories about Warhol’s visits to Colorado and his many Colorado connections.

An illustrated catalog includes essays by Christoph Heinrich, director of the Denver Art Museum, Darrin Alfred, and exhibition co-curator Rupert Jenkins.

Andy Warhol brought people together in ways that fueled their enthusiasm for art. His prowess at networking and finding commonalities inspired us to partner with Colorado organizations, artists, and collectors to create a show enriched by the enduring connections Warhol made when visiting Colorado in the late 70s and early 80s.

Warhol’s use of photography was the central tool that enabled both his art and social relations. Warhol in Colorado features the collection of Warhol Polaroids and silver prints gifted to the University of Denver by the Andy Warhol Foundation in 2008. Images by Colorado photographers (John Bonath, Valere Harris Shane, and Mark Sink) who photographed the artist in New York and Colorado in the 1980s, turn the camera on Warhol himself. Complimenting the photography are iconic hand-finished works by Warhol drawn from Colorado collections, such as complete sets of the 1972 Mao series and 1982 Myths series.

Warhol’s prolific output of works relating to music is represented in screen prints of Mick Jagger, record album covers, and magazines. Posters, works on video, and assorted ephemera add further context to Warhol’s Colorado connections.

History of the Project

In 2008, the University of Denver’s Victoria H. Myhren Gallery became one of 183 college and university art galleries and museums across the US to receive an unprecedented gift of Andy Warhol photographs from the Andy Warhol Foundation. The gallery received 158 original Polaroid and gelatin silver prints selected by Jenny Moore, curator of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy program.

Principal sponsors: The Cable Center; J.P. Morgan; Vicki & Trygve Myhren; Trish & Ralph Nagel; University of Denver. Sponsors: The Barton Family Foundation; Design Works by Dave & Mike; Dry Creek Gold Leaf; Mary Junda; William O’Connor; Unique Litho; VuConcepts. Partners: Colorado Photographic Arts Center; CU Boulder Art Museum; CSU Fort Collins University Art Museum; Denver Art Museum; Denver Film Society; Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Arts; MCA Denver. Private Lenders: Paula Bard; Susan Beckerman; John Bonath; Merle Chambers & Hugh Grant; Devon Dikeou; Philae Dominick; Cathey & Richard Finlon; Rupert Jenkins; William Matthews; Jan Mayer; The JPMorgan Chase Art Collection; Vicki & Trygve Myhren; Rick Peterson; Valere Harris Shane; Victoria & Lewis Sharp; Mark Sink.

Concurrent Exhibition: The CU Art Museum (University of Colorado, Boulder)presents: Highlights of the CU Art Museum’s Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program Gift. January 21, 2011 – June 25, 2011

In 2008, the CU Art Museum received 158 photographs by Andy Warhol as a gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. The CU Art Museum will premier 112 of the gifted photographs which include Polaroids and gelatin silver prints featuring celebrities such as Martha Graham, Pelé, and John Denver, as well as portraits of patrons, friends, and anonymous models. Included among the gifted gelatin silver prints are also landscapes and interior settings, both rural and urban, which reveal an aesthetic of the banal as well as the transcendental. The photographs provide valuable insight into the artist’s blurring of the distinction between “life” and “art” and his construct of “the celebrity.”  The exhibition includes 80 Polaroids and 32 gelatin silver prints taken by the Pop-Art master.


Warhol +1 Film Screening

Tuesday, February 1: “Basquiat,” dir. Julian Schnabel, Tuesday, February 8: “Factory Girl,” dir. George Hickenlooper, Tuesday, February 15: “A Walk into the Sea,” dir. Esther Robinson (in person), Tuesday, February 22: “Beautiful Darling,” dir. James Raisin (in person), Tuesday, March 1: “I Shot Andy Warhol,” directed by Mary Harron (with Adam Lerner, director of MCA Denver and other guests TBD. Location: Myhren Gallery).


Andy Warhol and Mario Montez on the set of CHELSEA GIRLS.
Andy Warhol and Mario Montez on the set of CHELSEA GIRLS.