“Glam/punk” and Campbell’s soup: Warhol on display at UMFA

By By Carlos Mayorga

By Carlos Mayorga

More than 400 students flooded the Utah Museum of Fine Arts to celebrate the art of iconic American pop artist Andy Warhol on Wednesday.

Students ate grilled cheese sandwiches with Campbell’s brand tomato soup, watched a demonstration on making screen-print art and tried on “glam” clothing all in celebration of the Warhol Exhibit.

The event was hosted by the Student Museum Advisory Council and sponsored by Associated Students of the University of Utah, the College of Fine Arts and UMFA.

Featuring nearly 100 prints from the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, the exhibit features some of Warhol’s most famous works, such as prints of Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s Soup, Mick Jagger and Chairman of the Communist Party of China Mao Zedong.

“Certain prints of Andy Warhol are American icons,” said Alex Weiss, a junior in finance and biochemistry. “But some of his other stuff I really haven’t seen before, so I like the contrast between the really well-known and the lesser known.”

A central figure in the pop art movement starting in the 1960s, Warhol painted the things he liked most — from Campbell’s soup cans to Coca-Cola bottles to Marilyn Monroe.

“I like that he takes ordinary everyday things and incorporates them into art and removes them from their actual everyday meaning,” Weiss said.

Chris Talby, a graduate student in architecture, said he vaguely remembers having seen some of Warhol’s work in books, but that it is better to see the prints up close.

“It’s really nice to see art like this coming to the University of Utah,” Talby said. “It gives a lot of people more exposure to art like this.”

Warhol’s approach to art was controversial for his time — he used silk-screen prints and other people to mass-produce his art, which freed up time to write and make films, creating a name for himself in celebrity circles.

“Anyone can approach his art,” said David Davis, a junior in art history, who dressed up in what he calls a “glam/punk” look for the event.

“(Art) is not necessarily something you should approach in a highbrow way all the time,” Davis said.

Students attending the reception were encouraged to try on a number of colorful accessories while they viewed the exhibit.

“Andy (Warhol) didn’t wear glam/punk stuff, but the idea is to make (the exhibit) fun,” Davis said.

The reception was the first for the student council, but more museum parties will come, said Cody Lee, a senior in art history and member of the group.

“Dream America: Prints by Andy Warhol” will be on display at UMFA until Jan. 6. Students get in free to campus museums with a UCard.

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Clayton Norlen

Clyde Ashby, a senior in printmaking at the U, works on a screen print for the Warhol exhibit at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts on Wednesday during the exhibit’s opening reception.