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The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Presents 'Pop to Now: Warhol and His Legacy'

Showcasing work by Warhol, Basquiat and Haring and their lasting influence on contemporary artists, such as ThankYouX, Kristin McIver and HEES.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art has unveiled a new exhibition titled Pop to Now: Warhol and His Legacy. Developed in partnership with Aktion Art, the exhibition shows the influence that Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring had on the fields of music, fashion and culture-at-large, along with showing a thread to the present day through a presentation of work by contemporary figures and the burgeoning landscape shaped by NFTs.

The show beings with a series of nine portraits that Warhol created of the Betchler family back in 1973. Now approaching 50 years since its inception, the work is in part loaned from various institutions and personal collections, such as Warhol’s famous muse, Jane Holzer, and in partnership with Kasmin Gallery.

Fast forward to the present, the exhibition showcases work by ThankYouX, Kristin McIver and HEES. “While we are a museum founded on the celebration of the European modernist moment through our core collection, we are emerging as an institution that seeks to be accessible and of its moment, striving to explore the global legacies of modernism through living contemporary artists,” said Todd D. Smith, executive director. “The inclusion of contemporary artists who are working with NFTs gives us an opportunity to introduce Charlotte and our visitors to evolving technology and emerging artists inspired by modern art.”

ThankYouX, real name Ryan Wilson, is best known for his “phigital” artwork, where he creates hybrid pieces made through physical and digital means. He first came to prominence back in 2009, when he created tributary stenciled graffiti work of Warhol with the words “Thank You X” underneath. In more recent times, ThankYouX has steadily cemented his presence in the NFT world through digital tokens embedded within physical canvas artworks, along with immersive NFTs, such as one complemented by a musical composition from Hans Zimmer. For Pop to Now, ThankYouX has also created a custom mural for the exhibition that showcases his initial inspiration by Warhol.

Born in Australia and now based in New York, Kristin McIver’s conceptual practice spans sculpture, sound, painting and installation. Her works in the show explore themes of identity and celebrity in relation to participation and consumer culture. Mapped across the space are portraits created using abstracted data from several of Warhol’s most revered work.

Lastly, Kevin HEES, who simply goes by the latter alias, showcases his affinity for Basquiat by incorporating similar approaches in execution — namely, an embracing of various cultural touchpoints to create raw and unconstructed marks that meditate on universal concepts, such as geometry, music and spirituality.

Pop to Now: Warhol and His Legacy opened earlier this month and will be on view in Charlotte, North Carolina until January 1, 2023.

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

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