PRINT January 1990


Personality Culture

NOTHING DOMINATES ART MORE THAN the name. While thousands of artists slouch toward celebrity, a few totemic Moderns cast their long shadows over the procession: Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and now Warhol. In October came the news that the Andy Warhol Museum will open in Pittsburgh, Andy’s home town, in 1992. With a seven-story, 70,000-square-foot building awaiting renovation, some 700 paintings and silk screens, all of the films, uncountable Polaroids, ephemera, sculptures, and videotapes, it will be a cult of personality with a major physical plant.

America loves its heroes, but this institutional homage marks an absurd paradox. The Andy Warhol Museum will be a grandiose tribute to the originality of an artist whose reproductions and rampant plagiarism subverted the very notion of the original, and a monument to the genius of someone who staged the disappearance of the Self

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