Gallery explores artist’s Colorado connection
Until early 2011, Andy Warhol’s various trips to Colorado—most of them during the late 1970s and early ’80s—were a little known fact of the artist and pop icon’s well-documented life. That changed in January when DU’s Victoria H. Myhren Gallery presented Warhol in Colorado, an exhibit examining the artist’s impact on the regional art scene while showcasing more than 100 original Warhol works.
Gallery director and curator Dan Jacobs credits the Andy Warhol Foundation’s 2008 gift to the University of more than 100 Polaroids and silver prints as the stimulus for this exhibit.
“DU was one of about 180 universities around the country that received a foundation gift,” Jacobs said. “Of course, every institution started conceiving ideas for exhibitions and publications. My co-curator, Rupert Jenkins [president of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center], and I wanted a unique angle so we decided to explore Warhol’s Colorado connections.”
The internationally acclaimed exhibit featured a number of iconic silkscreens, paintings, Warhol-designed record covers and an audiovisual piece. To bring Warhol’s Colorado experiences to life, curators interviewed people who hosted and worked with Warhol during his forays to the state.
The curators also created a team of collaborators comprising art organizations, individuals and philanthropists. The University Art Museum at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and a number of local photographers and collectors joined the Cable Center, the Denver Film Society and the University of Colorado-Boulder Art Museum to collaborate on related programming.
DU students assisted with exhibition design, writing catalog text and producing video programs. Professors Catherine Chauvin, Roddy MacInnes and M.E. Warlick delivered a topical lecture and workshop. Additional programming—including a gala fundraiser at the Cable Center, five nights of Warhol-related films by the Denver Film Society and concurrent exhibitions at the University of Colorado-Boulder Art Museum—complemented the exhibit.