Think Flat: The Art of Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami: Selections from the Freedman Family Collection and the BYU Museum of Art
Aug. 31, 2012 – Feb. 18, 2013
Check out pictures from the opening of Think Flat on Facebook.
Discover how 21st-century Japanese Pop meets swingin’ 60s style at the new Think Flat exhibition which features works by Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami. Andy Warhol’s artwork applauds the notion of thinking flat by championing the “every day” and giving that which is traditionally considered to be low the same consideration as the high. His dream for a future where everyone would become famous for 15 minutes was quite visionary for his time, but is now made possible by the proliferation of social networking sites, reality television and blogs.
Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has perpetuated this tradition by rejecting what society dictates as high or low in consumerism art. He disempowers hierarchies, but more importantly his art comes with a discreet caution: infatuation with consumerism, stardom and virtual worlds has the potential to undermine one’s sense of reality and connection with human beings. Murakami’s work reveals the paradoxes inherent in our flat world as well as the inherent delights and perils.
Jeff Lambson, Curator of Contemporary Art, writes on the exhibition:
The art of Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami encourages us to think flat. Their works inspire us to modify our perception of hierarchical differences within peoples, cultures, and the arts by fostering a space where we can consider them anew and as equals rather than high or low, traditional or popular, or better or worse, allowing us to decide for ourselves what is meaningful.
The celebration of popular culture arose in the mid-twentieth century with the work of Andy Warhol, who painted and silk-screened everyday objects from popular culture, imbuing the mundane with a new celebrity status. Warhol said, “What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, You can drink Coke, too.” He made works that both reflected and perpetuated flat thinking in America and around the world. “In the future,” he predicted, “everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes,” and in a world saturated by YouTube, Facebook, blogs, and reality television, we are living Warhol’s foretelling.Today, Takashi Murakami epitomizes flat, Warholian thinking by innovatively merging art with commerce. His works, whether exhibited in galleries or sold as merchandise in gift shops, disempower hierarchies by eliminating the distinction between high art and low art. In the process, Murakami also uncovers the paradoxes inherent in our new, flat world and the delights and perils that accompany it.