Connecting the Dots... The Warhol Legacy: Tom Friedman, Ellen Gallagher, Vik Muniz and Rob Pruitt
Fine Arts Center
University of Massachusetts
151 Presidents Drive
Through December 13
“Connecting the Dots... The Warhol Legacy” is a look at the
indirect influence of Andy Warhol on Tom Friedman, Ellen
Gallagher, Vik Muniz and Rob Pruitt using the conceptual and
transformational aspects of the famed artist and filmmaker.
The origin of this exhibition is the recent gift of over 100 Polaroids and black and white silver gelatin prints to the University Gallery by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program. That gift, and the accompanying show, “The Minox and the Big Shot,” is also on display, offering a glimpse of Warhol’s photography for comparison and contrast.
The eight works in the show can be summed up as Warhol’s influence by osmosis, but are strong choices by virtue of materials, subject matter
and commentary. Maybe Andy was here first, but the four artists of the
exhibition refreshingly challenge key themes of the Warholian oeuvre that
elevated celebrity, consumerism and the 20th century ethos of excess.
Tom Friedman exhibits four pieces here, and plays with particular
malicious glee upon American consumer products with “Care Package.”
The piece is a box wrapped with images, which are, at least at first
blush, familiar to a regular in a grocery store. But on closer inspection,
they become distortions of or re-imagined familiar goods. Some of the
packaging is merely playful — like his take on a blurry Excedrin box —
others vulgar or disgusting (yet still funny), like “Lice A Roni.” Friedman
critiques consumer culture here, contrasting Warhol’s loving odes to
consumption seen in “Campbell’s Tomato Juice Box,” and others.