Warhol Polaroids featured at UM Museum of Art

Posted Oct. 08, 2008, at 7:06 p.m.
Last modified March 20, 2011, at 5:55 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine— The University of Maine Museum of Art will present three new exhibitions beginning Saturday, Oct. 11 — “Celebrities & Socialites: Photographs by Andy Warhol,” “Angelo Ippolito,” and “Reclaimed: Works by Mildred Johnson and David McLaughlin.”

ä Beginning in the 1970s and continuing into the 1980s, Andy Warhol created thousands of photographs and Polaroid snapshots which often served as a basis for his silk-screen prints and drawings. Warhol, the foremost figure of American Pop Art, is best known for his images of consumer products such as Campbell’s Soup and Brillo Pads, and for silk-screen portraits of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

“Celebrities and Socialites” provides a glimpse into Warhol’s lesser known body of work and sheds new light on the importance of photography in the artist’s creative process. The exhibit features Polaroid shots of actress Farrah Fawcett, veteran golfer Jack Nicklaus, Margaret Hamilton costumed as the Wicked Witch and Ric Ocasek, frontman for the ’80s band The Cars. Individuals who posed for Warhol ranged from the rich and famous to the little-known.

UMMA is one of the institutions to receive a group of these rarely seen photographs through the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

ä Angelo Ippolito charted his own individual path as an artist and defied categorization throughout his career. His works ranged from lyrical, gestural abstractions to hard-edged compositions and from the non-objective to the representational.

Ippolito, an important figure in the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, was instrumental in opening the Tanger Gallery in New York City.

Many of Ippolito’s works were inspired by the landscape. The artist’s childhood memories of Italian hill towns and later of Midwestern farmlands, observed while teaching at Michigan State University, inform these abstract compositions. The diversity featured in this exhibition demonstrates Ippolito’s idiosyncratic approach to art and his ability to seamlessly explore a wide range of styles.

ä Like Pablo Picasso, who united a found bicycle seat and handlebars to create his symbolic bull’s head, Mildred Johnson and David McLaughlin transform old castoffs into an array of captivating wall assemblages and free-standing sculptures. These rustic constructions evoke a sense of nostalgia — an exploration of the unique qualities of articles from the past.

In Johnson’s wall constructions, found objects such as old washboards, antique letters and metal tools are carefully juxta-posed to create compositions that blend the folksy with the contemporary. McLaughlin’s large scale construction “Portable Sphere,” created specifically for this exhibition, consists of welded rusted metal rings fashioned into a spherical form that sits atop a pair of antique wheels.

Johnson maintains a studio in Brunswick. McLaughlin lives and works in Liberty.

The exhibitions run through Jan. 3. Admission to the University of Maine Museum of Art, 40 Harlow St., is free through December. Visit www.umma.edu or call 561-3350.

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