Two very different characters who came from two different centuries and both very influential art figures in the world art and social scenes. No one in their wildest dream in the art circle would have imagined to have the opportunity to witness a joint exhibition of Andy Warhol and Ai Wei Wei until National Gallery Victoria in Melbourne Australia presented more than 300 works, including major new commissions, immersive installations and a wide representation of paintings, sculptures, film, photography, publications and social media.
A one of its kind exhibition that has successfully collaborated the artist, Andy Warhol that symbolised the 20th century modernity and the ‘American century’ and on the other hand having the ‘Chinese century’ artist from the 21st century, Ai Wei Wei.
Among the exhibits, Ai Wei Wei’s installation of 1500 bicycles from his Forever Bicycles series is definitely one that cannot be missed by any visitors as the two wheelers standing tall with a powerful demand for attention upon entering the National Gallery of Victoria.
Blossom – 2015, Porcelain
The Blossom 2015 is another of Ai’s installation depicting a large bed of thousands of delicate, intricately designed white porcelain flowers. Interesting enough is that the only exhibits that both artists had in similarities is the Andy Warhol’s Absolut Vodka created in 1985 and Ai Wei Wei’s Tang Dynasty Courtesan in Bottle (Absolute Kurant) 1994. The former having the liquor bottle design silkscreened into typical Warhol’s presentation whereas the latter used the bottle as a representation of modernity of Chinese being influenced by the Western culture whilst reminding the public of Chinese cultural artefact that survived China’s history.
The original bottles that Warhol designed for the Absolut Warhol campaign in 1986
Clay sculpture dating from the Song dynasty (960 – 1279) in glass Johnnie Walker Red Label bottle.
Andy Warhol’s screen prints from his Campbell’s Soup II series (1969), with Ai Weiwei’s Coloured Vases (2015)
Forever Bicycles – 2015, Stainless steel bicycle frames