The Gagosian Gallery of London celebrates Avedon and Wahrol

gagosian3.jpgThe English critics defined it “effortlessy cool” , bringing together the iconicicity of Andy Warhol and the style of Richard Avedon in one exhibition, indeed, can only lead to a successful outcome.

Larry Gagosian. the contemporary art shark, bets on two bigs of the last century for the namesake impressive gallery of Britannia Street, London, where he boasts two other spaces, in Mayfair. Where else?

My camera and I, together we have the power to confer or to take away.

-Richard Avedon

They always say That Time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

-Andy Warhol

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The exhibition opens with these two quotes of its protagonists, both rose to prominence in postwar America with parallel artistic output that occasionally overlapped. Their most memorable images are icons of the late twentieth century.

Many are the reasons why Gagosian chose to pair the two artists, often parallel not only in time.

minelli-review-warhollPortraiture was a shared focus of both artists, and they made use of repetition and serialization: Avedon through the reproducible medium of photography, and in his group photographs, for which he meticulously positioned, collaged, and reordered images; Warhol in his method of stacked screenprinting, which enabled the consistent reproduction of an image. Avedon’s distinctive gelatin-silver prints and Warhol’s boldly colored silkscreens variously depict many of the same recognizable faces, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolf Nureyev and the self portaits of the artists themselves.

The new trend in the Contemporary Art is to stop using the captions, but in this case – due to the celebrity of subjects and authors- we won’t miss them.

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Both came from modest background, but soon have tremendous commercial success working for major magazines in New York. The 1960s marked artistic turning points for both artists as they moved away increasingly from strictly commercial work towards their own mature independent styles. The works in the exhibition, which date from the 1950s through the 1990s, emphasize such common themes as social and political power; the evolving acceptance of cultural differences, and the glamour and despair of celebrity.

Meanwhile the other two London spaces of “art broker”, (which boasts galleries in the world’s best hot-spots), not surprisingly nicknamed “Larry Go-Go,” display the German Albert Oehlen and the American Harmony Korine. But if you are around Mayfair, take the opportunity to admire the Master of Bronze, Arnaldo Pomodoro, at Tornabuoni Gallery, and Piero Manzoni at Mazzoleni. Here, once in a while, we can feel proudly Italians.

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