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Andy Warhol, Self-portrait, 1967. Acrylic and silkscreen inks on linen, 8 x 8 in. (20.3 x 20.3 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

OXFORD.- For its 2016 spring exhibition, the Ashmolean, in collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation (USA), will present an important private collection of works by Andy Warhol (1928–87). Over 100 paintings, sculptures, screen prints and drawings from the Hall Collection will be exhibited alongside loans of the artist’s films from The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.

Cultural icon, celebrity and provocateur, Warhol produced images that are instantly recognizable. This exhibition shows the artist’s work through the lens of a private collection. Among the works featured are a series of screen prints of Joseph Beuys, based on a Polaroid photograph taken by Warhol in 1979 when the two giants of postwar art came face-to-face for the first time.  

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Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, 1980. Screenprint, in white, with diamond dust on Arches Cover black paper, 44 x 30 in. (112 x 76 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, the exhibition spans Warhol’s entire career, from iconic works of the ‘60s to the experimental creations of his last decade. It is arranged chronologically, opening with the early Pop masterpieces and portraits. The first room includes works from key series such as Flowers and Brillo Soap Pads Box; a group of artists’ portraits which features Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Frank Stella; as well as some of Warhol’s earliest experiments in screen print portraits with pictures of patrons, friends and celebrities (Troy, Patty Oldenburg, Ethel Scull, Jackie). Films of the early ‘60s, including Sleep (1963) and Empire (1964) and a selection of Warhol’s Screen Tests, illustrate how the artist engaged with the moving image. This brings us to the point, in 1968, when Warhol was shot and seriously wounded by the feminist activist Valerie Solanas.  

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Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 14 x 14 in. (36 x 36 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Brillo Soap Pads Box, 1964. Synthetic polymer paint on wood, 17 x 17 x 14 in. (43 x 43 x 36 cm), Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, 1967. Acrylic and silkscreened ink on canvas, 5-1/2 x 4 in. (14 x 10.5 cm), Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, 1967. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 10 x 10 in. (25 x 25 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, 1967. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 8 x 8 in. (20 x 20 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Troy, 1962. Silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas 14 x 10 in. (36 x 26 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Patty Oldenburg, 1962. Silkscreen ink, acrylic, and pencil on linen, 21 x 18 in. (53 x 46 cm), Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Ethel Scull, 1963. Silkscreen ink and acrylic on linen, 20 x 16 in. (51 x 41 cm), Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Jackie, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 20 x 16 in. (51 x 40 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

The main room of the exhibition is dominated by a spectacular display of Warhol’s commissioned portraits spanning the 1970s right up to the year before his death. The group features performers, socialites and politicians including the singer and songwriter, Paul Anka; American celebrities, Maria Shriver and Pia Zadora; the Princess of Iran; and the West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt. 

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Andy Warhol, Paul Anka, 1976. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 40 x 40 in. (101.5 x 101.5 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Maria Shriver, 1986. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 40 x 40 in. (102 x 102 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Pia Zadora, 1983. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 40 x 40 in. (102 x 102 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Ashraf Pahlavi, Princess of Iran, 1977. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 40 x 40 in. (102 x 102 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Willy Brandt, 1976. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 40 x 40 in. (101.5 x 101.5 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

The room also includes works (Hammer and Sickle, Mao, Dollar Sign, Crosses) that offer typically ambiguous and non-committal social and political commentary; and it features a sequence of pencil portraits from the 1980s based, like the prints and paintings, on photographs of figures such as Ingrid Bergman and Jane Fonda. The gallery closes with Warhol’s response to the challenge of abstraction with Rorschach, Shadows and Oxidation Paintings.  

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Andy Warhol, Hammer and Sickle, 1976. Synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks on canvas, 16 x 20 in. (41 x 51 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Mao, 1973. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 12 x 10 in. (30 x 25 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Dollar Sign, 1981. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 20 x 16 in. (51 x 41 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Crosses, 1981-82. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen inks on canvas, 20 x 16 in. (51 x 41 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Andy Warhol, Ingrid Bergman, 1983. Graphite on paper, 32 x 24 in. (81 x 61 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Jane Fonda, 1982. Graphite on HMP paper, 32 x 24 in. (80 x 61 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Rorschach, 1984. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 21 in. (61 x 53 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Shadow, 1977. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 14 x 11 in. (36 x 28 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Oxidation, 1979. Copper metallic pigment and urine on canvas, 8 x 10 in. (20 x 26 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

The exhibition’s final room concentrates on the productive last years of Warhol’s life. In the Positive/ Negative series, Warhol revisited the subject matter of his earliest Pop works - advertising, newspaper headlines and commerical packaging - and explored new territory in overtly political and religious works such as Map of the Eastern U.S.S.R. Missile Bases and Detail of the Last Supper. Another departure was Warhol’s use of simple slogans including Stress!, Art and one of his last works, the uncannily prescient Heaven and Hell are Just One Breath Away. 

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Andy Warhol, Map of the Eastern U.S.S.R. Missile Bases, 1985-1986. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 72 x 80 in. (183 x 203 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Detail of the Last Supper, 1986. Synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas, 20 x 16 in. (51 x 41 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Stress! (Negative), 1985-1986 ca. Synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas, 16 x 20 in. (41 x 51 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Art (Negative), 1985-86. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 16 x 20 in. (41 x 51 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

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Andy Warhol, Heaven and Hell are Just One Breath Away (Negative), 1985-86. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 20 x 16 in. (51 x 41 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

Dr Alexander Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean, says: ‘We are hugely grateful to the Hall Art Foundation and to Andy and Christine Hall for making this exhibition possible with the generous loan of their superb collection. The substance and significance of Andy Warhol’s art becomes more evident with each passing decade and this exhibition aims to add to what we know about Warhol by highlighting unfamiliar and surprising works from across his career.’ 

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Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait in Fright Wig, 1986. Polaroid, 4 x 4 in. (11 x 11 cm). Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Sir Norman Rosenthal, The Hall Art Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ashmolean, says: ‘Evermore, Warhol feels like the decisive artist of his generation who peered into the future and saw his world with all its glamour and with all its horror. The Hall’s collection of Warhols demonstrates the artist’s extraordinarily diverse output, as he reacts to his world with penetrating truthfulness and wit.’

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Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait (Fright Wig), 1986. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 10 x 10 in. (25 x 25 cm), Hall Collection © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.