New Warhol and Ai Weiwei exhibition coming to Melbourne gallery – with a side of cats

By Maria Kyriacou

Image: Supplied: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Ai Weiwei at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1987 with Andy Warhol's self-portraits.
The entire lower floor of Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria will play host to the works of two significant artists this December.

An exciting new art exhibition will feature two of the most famous artists of recent times, Andy Warhol and China’s Ai Weiwei at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Unusually, cats will also be thrown into the mix.

The NGV has described the pairing of the 21st Century Beijing artist Ai Weiwei as a natural fit with 20th Century icon Andy Warhol.

According to the NGV website, the exhibition will “explore the significant influence of these two exemplary artists on modern art and contemporary life, focusing on the parallels and intersections between the two artists’ practices.”

Ai has courted controversy in his native China, spending time in incarceration and being prohibited from leaving China by the Government.

Ai’s interest in Warhol was an untold story according to NGV director Tony Ellwood, and was discovered while developing the exhibition.

“Ai Weiwei went to New York and studied [Warhol’s] practice and was very aware of what he was doing, but the two artists never met,” he said.

“Now we see Ai Weiwei as probably the most celebrated and famous artist working today, and it’s fascinating to see the way that those intersections have occurred, even though the artists never got to meet.”

The exhibition will also include a project devoted to cats as part of the NGV’s kids’ series.

Felines have featured prominently in both of the artists’ lives. Ai Weiwei’s studio currently has 40 cats in residence while Warhol lived with over a dozen cats, all named Sam, bar one.

The exhibition will take place at the NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA, MELBOURNE between 11th of DECEMBER 2015 to the 24th of APRIL 2016.




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