artists & participants

press release

When it premiered in 1980, Andy Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century was met with both admiration and hostility. The series depicts such luminaries as Bernhardt, Einstein, Freud, and the Marx Brothers, among others. On view are photographs that Warhol used as source images, several preliminary sketches, a preparatory collage, an edition of the final silk-screen portfolio (of which 200 were published), and one of the five complete sets of paintings that he made for the series. Additional materials related to the portraits, including the list of nearly 100 “famous Jews” prepared by Warhol’s dealer, and television coverage of the artist’s trip to Miami for the world premiere of the series, will shed light on their creation and display.

The Jewish Museum initially exhibited three sets of paintings and an edition of prints in the fall of 1980. While Jewish audiences tended to embrace Warhol’s series, several leading art critics dismissed it as crass and exploitative. In the twenty-eight years since its debut, Ten Portraits has continued to confront viewers with these questions: Why did a Pop artist who otherwise displayed little interest in Jewish culture or causes create a series devoted to eminent Jews? How do we reconcile Warhol’s commercial motives with the high-minded portrayal of cultural and historical icons? How has our view of Ten Portraits changed since its first showing?

Following its New York showing at The Jewish Museum, the exhibition travels to the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA (October 12, 2008 through January 25, 2009).

ART, IMAGE AND WARHOL CONNECTIONS Presented concurrently with Warhol’s Jews, this mini-exhibition features works by artists who directly respond to Andy Warhol or employ techniques often associated with Warhol’s oeuvre. Warhol and themes central to his practice – such as current events, consumer culture and the superstar, are seen reflected through 26 works by a multi-generational group of artists, including Deborah Kass, Alex Katz, Abshalom Jac Lahav, Adam Rolston, Ben Shahn, Devorah Sperber, and June Wayne.

only in german

WARHOL’S JEWS:
TEN PORTRAITS RECONSIDERED

mit Andy Warhol, Deborah Kass, Alex Katz, Abshalom Jac Lahav, Adam Rolston, Ben Shahn, Devorah Sperber, June Wayne ...