About Andy Warhol
In 1962, Andy Warhol began to create paintings by selecting a publicity photograph of a popular celebrity and silkscreening it directly onto the canvas. In a single event, he laid challenge to the history of painting, substituting the silkscreen for the brush.
Like other young artists of his generation, Warhol developed his style in the shadow of Abstract Expressionism, the dominant avant-garde. With its insistence on non-representational subject matter and on the handmade gesture, the movement was the antithesis of Warhol's screen-printed pictures of consumer products and stars.
Although he described his approach as 'machine-like', his work was far from uniform. He created an art of endless permutation, reinventing the same images and themes again and again. His capacity to discover difference within what appeared to be the same, uncovered a world of nuance in the everyday.
All of Warhol's paintings can be experienced as a late-twentieth-century simulated landscape in which everything is surface and nothing but surface. Through this mediated world, Warhol gave form to the myths - aesthetic, sexual, cultural, political and economic that continues to fuel contemporary life.
Donna De Salvo, Senior Curator Tate Modern