Andy Warhol was an icon. He shaped the arts for decades to come. An example and inspiration for a generation. So Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum put together an exhibition offering a “window onto the artistic thinking of this trendsetting artist, revealing the ‘conceptual soul’ of his work”. Hmm. This description should have been a warning. If the curator needs vague concepts like artistic thinking and conceptual soul, that usually means she tried to find a theme to go with an exhibition, instead of the other way round.
Indeed, I found the exhibition disappointing. But maybe this only shows that the exhibition fulfilled its aim. I was shown the artistic thinking and conceptual soul, and I concluded that the Warholian world is, simply, outdated. Yes, I can see that Warhol’s experiments with e.g. video were groundbreaking at the time. But viewed from the 00’s, they look strangely pale and boring. Art has moved on.
Which makes me wonder: How come I still like the Beatles? What do we conclude from this about modern popular music?