Marking the 30th anniversary of the arrival in Milan of Andy Warhol’s The Last Supper debut – a riff on Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic work – the Museo del Novecento–in collaboration with Gagosian Gallery–cuts the ribbon on its exhibit centered around the painting on March 24. Entitled Andy Warhol: Sixty Last Suppers, the prime art work comes from the pop artist’s repeat icon series that also featured Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Jackie Kennedy, to name but a few.
Lead Photo: Andy Warhol Sixty Last Suppers, 1986 Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.
The Last Supper by Warhol is, of course, the epicenter of the Museo del Novecento’s presentation and is striking to see in person. The black-and-white repro of the famous supper scene recurs 60 times and is formatted on a 10m-wide silkscreen canvas. Muted in monochrome black, white, and grey, it was – hauntingly – the last piece created by Warhol. Step back, and it looks like a post-modern building blocked out in geometry, encased in concrete.
In 1984, Warhol was commissioned by gallerist Alexandre Iolas to create his interpretation of the original The Last Supper, the mural dating back to 1494 painted on the rectory wall of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. This summertime museum exhibit prepares the way for the gallery’s eagerly awaited 2019 project, “Milan and the Legacy of Leonardo 1519-2019”, that will mark 500 years since the death of Leonardo. There’s no relatable synergy lost here; the two exhibits clearly relate well on the gallery calendar.
The exhibit also looks at more than 100 case studies of the original painting, which were Warhol’s artistic response to his commission. The media on display ranges broadly from silkscreen paintings to prints on paper. For pop culture fans and chasers of European artworks, this is a display not to miss.
Andy Warhol: Sixty Last Suppers is on at the Museo del Novecentoin and Gagosian Gallery from March 24 to May 18, 2017.