Avedon Warhol at Gagosian Gallery, London | February 9 – April 23, 2016

Gagosian Gallery London will be presenting the first major exhibition to pair works by Richard Avedon and Andy Warhol. Both artists rose to prominence in postwar America with parallel artistic output that occasionally overlapped. Their most memorable images, produced in response to changing cultural mores, are icons of the twentieth century.

Portraiture 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 Marella Agnelli, Bianca Jagger, Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and Rudolf Nureyev.

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

Both Avedon and Warhol originated from modest beginnings and had tremendous commercial success working for major magazines in New York, beginning in the 1940s. The 1960s marked artistic turning points for both artists as they moved away increasingly from strictly commercial work towards their 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; the inevitability of mortality; and the glamour and despair of celebrity.

They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. —Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol paved the way for the likes of Deborah Azzopardi and Lluis Barba.

Deborah Azzopardi works in the style of Pop Art, a 1960s art movement, utilizing flat cartoon-like imagery and bright colour in a manner stylistically similar to American artists Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Deborah Azzopardi’s distinctive features are her use of basic, bold colours, resulting in large scale compositions that critics have called lively, provoking and humorous.
In March 2014, the artist had her first solo UK exhibition of originals and limited editions on Cork Street, London and launched a book, published by Iologies Fine Art Publications. Azzopardi’s debut book ‘Sshh…’ showcases her work over the previous 10 years and features more than 100 images and a foreword by art critic, Estelle Lovatt FRSA.

“Unique in approach, you easily recognise an Azzopardi picture. America has Lichtenstein we have Azzopardi. Working simple graphics and toned shading (for depth), the Pop Art line that Azzopardi sketches is different to Lichtenstein’s. Hers is more curvaceous. Feminine. Whereas his lines are male, brash and clunky. And her humour is distinctively British.” extract from the foreword to Deborah Azzopardi’s Book ‘Sshh…’ by Estelle Lovatt FRSA

‘I’m Not In Love’ by Deborah Azzopardi. Painting inspired by Graham Gouldman of 10cc
Lluís Barba’s monumental photographs depict contemporary society using the same iconography as historical masterpieces. Each of his works is comprised of an ‘underpainting’ overlaid with contemporary visual references creating a symbolism and frame of reference that invite the viewer to navigate between the historical and ever changing contemporary celebrity driven landscape we live in.
Barba’s most recent exhibition “Travellers in Time: The Fragility of the Historical Memory and Political Powers” presented by Cynthia Corbett Gallery during the LA ART SHOW 27-31 January 2016 – included the West-Coast exclusive viewing of the artist’ seminal work — a reimagining of Picasso’s ‘Guernica’.
In Barba’s Guernica, 2014 he uses as a backdrop the Picasso painting made in response to the 1937 bombing of Guernica. A series of cultural portals in the photographic collage invite you to roam and consume. The journey begins in the foreground as a mass of collaged children’s faces, displaced from various sites of conflict, carpet the ground. Everywhere there is threat, but also hope: a tank is covered with flowers; a rainbow shoots towards an agonised woman; Angelina Jolie is an emissary of peace; and Yoda from Star Wars floats above the scene, a wise and powerful force.

Lluís Barba in front of his work ‘Guernica’