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COURTESY: PORTLAND ART MUSEUM - Andy Warhol's set of famed Marilyn Monroe prints will be on display at Portland Art Museum, Oct. 8-Jan. 1.Visit the Portland Art Museum in the next three months, and it’d be hard to miss the Andy Warhol exhibit.


The some 250 Warhol prints, courtesy of the Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation collection, will take up 10,000 square feet of exhibition and gallery space.

“It’s an immersion into Warhol’s career, specifically prints,” says Sara Krajewski, curator of contemporary and modern art at Portland Art Museum. “Because Jordan has focused on prints (rather than paintings), we’ve taken this opportunity to look at Warhol as a printmaker.

“Printmaking was central to his career. Even his paintings were made with the silk-screen process; there’s a mechanical element in those paintings.”

Painting and printmaking were both parts of Warhol’s career.

“He would return to specific images time and again,” Krajewski says. “You see prints of Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s Soup can, Electric Chair and other subjects that he also created paintings of. This is something central to his way of working, revisiting the same images ... and exploring different avenues that the printmaking process would allow him — different colors, repetition.”

The Tribune published a question-and-answer story with Schnitzer, as well as a story about Warhol, in Tuesday’s paper. They can be read at portlandtribune.com.

In the exhibition, there’ll be a complete set of 10 Marilyn Monroe prints and two sets of Campbell’s Soup can prints.

“Warhol worked in higher numbers of prints, but they’re all limited-edition prints. They’re highly valued,” Krajewski says.

The Schnitzer exhibit, which also includes Warhol ephemera, chronologically highlights work from the artist’s entire career, 1953 to his death in 1987.

Krajewski, like Schnitzer, has been fascinated by Warhol.

“It’s his long-term, through his whole career, investigating our visual culture, our visual landscape,” she says. “That started in his beginnings as a commercial artist, when he would collect photographs and create ads based on images circulating in popular culture.

“We continue to be obsessed with images today. There’s a connection with Warhol and Instagram, in the way that photographs and images circulate easily and communicate so much to us, how images hold the power over us. He really exploited that in his art work, using techniques of art direction and photography to crop and heighten colors.”

The Warhol exhibit opens Oct. 8 and goes through Jan. 1.

“I hope it’s going to be a very popular show and surprises people,” Krajewski says. “He’s an artist of the 20th century widely recognized for his aesthetic, color and imagery, which resonates today, not only in art but design. It’s going to really attract a lot of different types of creative people.”

The curator says that because the Portland Art Museum was able to work with only one collector — Schnitzer — it made putting together the exhibit rather easy, logistically.

“He has a wonderful storage facility, he displays things at home, he allows museums and universities to borrow ...,” she says. “It’s one lendor, located nearby, otherwise a show like this would have taken three or four years to put together. We did it in a year and a half.”

Schnitzer and Rick Axsom, a curator at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin, will give a discussion on Oct. 9. Krajewski speaks Oct. 22. There’ll be other speakers along the way.

For more: www.portlandartmuseum.org.

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