Monday, September 28, 2009

Union Station's Andy Warhol exhibit opening this week

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Warhol_Campbell_s_Soup_Can_1964.jpg
​This Friday, Union Station will open the doors on its Andy Warhol exhibit. The traveling review of the pop art king's work is the largest collection of Warhol's prints to ever be exhibited. But it remains to be seen how many people will buy tickets for the show, no matter how good it is.

"Out initial estimate was 25,000 but I'm curbing that," says Christopher Leitch, director of the Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall. Leitch is helping organize the exhibit for Union Station. "I think we can get 16,000 people out to see this."

Hope Leitch is wrong, because based on what's being shown, it would be sad if only 16,000 see it.

"This brings together 85 screen prints by Andy Warhol. I think it's the largest number of his works ever gathered together in one place," Leitch says. "We have some iconic work, like his Marilyn Monroe portrait and the soup cans, and some later works which are more attentive to social issues and larger world issues such as endangered species. It also covers the series of myths that he produced in the mid-'80s confronting mental and cultural stereotypes of all varieties. And these are really big, pristine and beautiful prints. Visually this is going to be a really aesthetically tasty meal for anybody."

Aside from helping long-struggling Union Station financially, it'd be nice if the Warhol exhibit were a hit with the public because it is in many ways a test for whether the station can host fine art exhibits. Its typical events are more science and history oriented, and a successful pop art exhibit could open the doors to future art being shown.

"Any cultural institution worth it's salt is going to pay attention to its audience and its desires. We're going to listen to the community and try and take direction from them on this as well," Leitch says. "Something like this is definitely new to us, but it still fits the mission of Union Station. The arts certainly, but the subject matter allows us to educate in science -- through Warhol's endangered species work -- and social history. And the myth series really speaks to cogent and poignant social issues of cultural history."

The show runs October 2 to January 10, 2010. Adult admission is $12, children ages 3-12 are $8, and children 2 and under enter free.

Go to warhol.unionstation.org for more information.

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