Not only for times when you cannot experience ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITS a glittering alternative live: a small sample from our mumok APP.
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Andy Warhol said: “I thought that the way to finish off painting for me would be to have a painting that floats, so I invented the floating silver rectangles that you fill up with helium and let out of your windows.” These bright balloons float in the room; we can walk under them, and looking up we are reflected in their soft shapes. The parameters of the room are dissolved to become immaterial reflections. The Clouds react to draughts of air and changes in temperature and when they touch each other they are set in motion. This gives the impression that the balloons have their own uncontrollable autonomy. Warhol showed his Silver Clouds for the first time in 1966 in an exhibition at Leo Castelli in New York. One room in the gallery was devoted to the Clouds and another to the Cow Wallpaper. Traditional paintings were not exhibited. Fullness and void, the materiality of the wall and immaterial reflections, polychrome versus monochrome, sculptural versus pictorial—these are just some of the contrasts that Warhol presented with this joint show of his Cow Wallpaper and silver balloons. The exhibition was transformed from a salesroom into a playful experiential space. After the commercial success of his paintings, with their consumer motifs that made then such desirable collector’s items, he now showed an installation that rejected the market, and this in a commercial gallery. Neither a piece of torn-off wallpaper nor a deflated balloon had any particular market value in 1966. Warhol, who had addressed the theme of art as commodity and part of consumer culture like no other, here attempted to withdraw from the cycles of commodification. This is a kind of fictional game of cat and mouse, as the artist was clearly aware that the art market is ultimately able to appropriate all kinds of refusal. His installation is an abrupt change of position, a skillful enactment that Warhol laconically commented on: “Painting was just a phase that I have now left behind me. Now I am making flying sculptures: silver rectangles that I blow up and that float.”