Amidst the adult debauchery, Las Vegas, Nevada, otherwise known as the City that never sleeps, is currently home to The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art “Warhol Out West.” The exhibit, organized in partnership with The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, focuses on Warhol’s depiction of all things Western. “Warhol Out West” will showcase 59 of the iconic artist’s works including paintings, sculptures, photographs, screen prints and wallpaper. Exhibits will include Warhol’s 1960s Pop paintings of celebrities and consumer products, the 1980s advertisement series, the beloved “Double Elvis” painting and his rarely seen “Cowboys and Indians” series.
The variety of works that the show offered was definitely a highlight. Unfortunately, the space was a dud. Warhol, who deals with seriality, multiplicity and repetition would have scoffed at the congested curatorial choices that were made. I understand when showing Warhol’s polaroids, curating a feeling of foreverness reinforces the idea of endless possibilities that can be expressed in a simple portrait. Where it becomes problematic, is when the only piece that has any breathing room is “Silver Clouds” set in it’s own room.
The piece is wonderful and certainly a bread winner in the show. Maybe it was the easiest to sit with as it was set in it’s own gallery and the viewer is given a chance to digest it without the buzz from every angle of their periphery.
Although the space left something to desire, I do appreciate the choice of city for the show. The landscape of Las Vegas was a nice stroke f thought to think about with Warhol’s works on display. Following thoughts of kitsch and advertisements, Vegas becomes an ideal geographical choice to expand the conversation of the artwork outside of the white walls into the greater surrounding.
Walking out of the space I was happy to have seen it for a few select pieces. The “show” may have fallen short, but as individual works it was a welcome relief from the glitz and glamor of the Las Vegas Blvd. hotels and casinos to enter into the glitz and glamor of Warhol’s stardust commercialism.