The Unseen Andy

Andy Warhol’s fascination with invisible art seems to go against the grain of his larger interest in media celebrity. Perhaps in making art that you can’t see he hoped to find an anti-dote to his own overexposure. In any event, he made some very curious invisible artworks at different stages of his career. We have just installed in the gallery a version of the last invisible piece that he made. Ironically, it was originally shown at a New York nightclub where people went to be seen.

Riffing on the ‘aura’ of holy relics as well as the ‘George Washington slept here’ pitch, Warhol stepped on a large pedastal and then stepped off again, declaring the work was now an invisible sculpture’ – as if the aura of his celebrity was so intense it would continue to bless that piece of air space for the forseeable future.


Book tickets for Invisible

Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957 – 2012
12 June – 5 August 2012

Invisible Art brings together works from the past half century that explore ideas related to the invisible and the hidden. The exhibition includes work by some of the most important artists of our time as well as younger artists who have expanded on their legacy.

From the amusing to the philosophical, there are works you can observe and others you can take part in, such as Jeppe Hein’s Invisible Labyrinth. From Yves Klein’s utopian plans for an ‘architecture of air’ to Robert Barry’s Energy Field (AM 130 KHz) from 1968 – which encourages a heightened awareness of the physical context of the gallery- this exhibition span diverse aesthetic practices and concerns.

Many of the works in Invisible seek to direct our attention towards the unwritten rules and conventions that shape our understanding of art. Other works invoke invisibility to underscore the limits of our perceptual capacities or to emphasize the role of our imagination in responding to works of art.  Some use invisibility as a metaphor that relates to the suppression of information or the political disappearance and marginalization of social groups.

Artists in the exhibition include Art & Language, Robert Barry, Chris Burden, James Lee Byars, Maurizio Cattelan, Jay Chung, Song Dong, Tom Friedman, Carsten Höller, Tehching Hsieh, Bruno Jakob, Yves Klein, Lai Chih-Sheng, Glenn Ligon, Teresa Margolles, Gianni Motti, Roman Ondák, Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol.

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