Andy Warhol + Ai Weiwei Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria


Andy Warhol epitomised the pop art of the 20th century, Ai Weiwei the Instagram generation and activism of the 21st. Now the two artists will be brought together in a major new exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in December 2015.

Developed by the NGV and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (where it will show in June 2016), Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei will present more than 300 works, exploring the parallels and points of difference in their art and influence on contemporary culture.

The exhibition will span painting, sculpture, film, photography, publishing and social media – no surprise given the involvement of Ai, a prolific blogger who has 277,000 followers on Twitter, 108,000 on Instagram and claims to spend up to eight hours online every day.

The Chinese artist has spoken openly of the influence of Warhol – and his “famous for 15 minutes” prediction – on his work. When Ai moved to the US in 1981, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again) was the first book he purchased. In 1987, he took a self-portrait in front of Warhol’s multiple self-portrait at the Museum of Modern Art, showing both artists adopting the same gesture.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei will run at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne from 11 December 2015 to 24 April 2016.

(Photo: Andy Warhol/ARS, New York/National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne/Gao Yuan)