CATHOLIC, BOUNDARY-BREAKING ANDY WARHOL
Presenting more than one hundred works—from iconic paintings such as The Last Supper to archival materials, drawings, prints, film, and rarely seen and newly discovered items—Andy Warhol: Revelation brings a fresh perspective to the canonical artist, exploring his career-long engagement with Catholic themes, as well as the tension between Warhol’s spiritual upbringing and his life as an out gay man.
Andy Warhol is one of the most celebrated and recognizable artists of all time, but until now the impact of his Catholic upbringing on his life and work has been a lesser-known facet of his widely studied career. Andy Warhol: Revelation explores the artist’s lifelong relationship with his faith, which inspired images that appeared frequently and overtly as part of his artistic practice.
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh to a devout family who worshiped in the Byzantine Catholic Church tradition, one of twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches. Warhol grew up attending weekly services with his mother, Julia, who had immigrated to the United States with her husband from present-day Slovakia in the early twentieth century. In the Warhola family’s Carpatho-Rusyn neighborhood of Ruska Dolina in Pittsburgh, a working class immigrant enclave, life revolved around the church community, and the young artist was deeply impacted by this environment. Warhol continued to attend church in New York City, praying in Eastern, Roman, and Anglican Catholic spaces. Even after legendary parties at his studio, the Silver Factory, Warhol returned to the quiet home he shared with his mother, who prayed with him every morning before he left for another day of prolific, history-making work.
Throughout his life, Warhol continued to practice his faith while living unapologetically as an out gay man, along with his circle of social outcasts known for their creative and eccentric lifestyles, long before the mainstream LGBTQ+ liberation movement.
“Warhol both flaunted and obscured his religion and his sexuality, and these dualities are explored in Revelation along with the push and pull between sincerity and superficiality, revealing and hiding, traditional and avant-garde,” says Carmen Hermo, Associate Curator for the exhibition. “This exhibition gives viewers an opportunity to unpack some of those poignant—and very human— contradictions that functioned as one of the drivers of his art production.”
Andy Warhol: Revelations
Until June 19th, 2022
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY