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  • Marielle Bokor

Pop Art's Founding Father Andy Warhol Gets Immersive Exhibit at Cleve Carney Museum of Art in IL.

Andy Warhol’s contributions to our ideas of art and culture are monumental. The commercial illustrator had a hugely successful career long before the Campbell’s soup cans but ended up not only transitioning into the world of fine arts, but also transforming it forever. Warhol was never satisfied with one definition of art, one medium, or one viewpoint. He didn’t accept the boundaries people placed on it and what it could and should be, and explored the mundane, boring and macabre as valuable, beautiful, and worthy of portrayal. Warhol was a renegade who embraced new media, new ideas, and pop culture in general in ways that transformed the world of art forever.

Though many of us know something about him, and his impact on the world at large and the art world, we’d wager there’s much more to discover about the artist, through his work and the story of his life.

Photo: Marielle Bokor, 2023 @ Cleve Carney Museum of Art. Glen Ellyn, IL

Thankfully, if you’re living in Illinois right now, you’ve got the unique opportunity to see a deep dive into who Warhol was. Visitors can walk through his timeline, peruse his ad work for several industry giants, visit and experience the Silver Clouds exhibit, and of course, be able to see paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works on display at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art, located in the Mac, or McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage.

Our last visit here was for the fabulous Frida Kahlo exhibit, which was similarly expansive and immersive. Somehow, though, they’ve outdone themselves again. What you see when you first walk in the doors at the Cleve Carney is just a small piece of the giant exhibit, which goes so far as to have recreated Studio 54 and even Central Park with the NYC skyline Andy would have enjoyed while he was living there, complete with specially commissioned gas street lamps that match the ones in the real Central Park.

Photo: Marielle Bokor, 2023 @ Cleve Carney Museum of Art. Glen Ellyn, IL

Near every inch of the museum has something to contribute to the Warhol experience, whether it’s tributes to his work by other artists, the aforementioned Studio 54 experience or the beautiful children’s area, where there’s a special program for kids to learn about Warhol and make art. Whether you’re from Chicago or even out of state, the exhibit is worth the trip, even if you’re more interested in the 94 original works from the artist than the phenomenal surrounding exhibit.

Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop is another can’t miss from the Cleve Carney. Whether you’d been a longtime fan of his life and work or didn’t know much about the revolutionary artist, you’ll leave inspired and challenged to look at and create art in new ways.

Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop will run from June 3 to September 10, 2023, and tickets can be purchased on site at the MAC box office at 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn, IL or online.


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