Skarstedt Gallery, based in New York, is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition of its new
gallery in London in October 2012. Similar to the New York gallery, Skarstedt Gallery London will
mount historical exhibitions, expanding its program to a wider audience. To celebrate it’s launch,
Skarstedt Gallery London will hold an exhibition comprised of seven paintings and four drawings titled
Andy Warhol “The American Indian.”
Andy Warhol was known for his focus on traditional portraiture beginning in the early 1960’s when he
made drawings and paintings from newspaper photographs of celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Marilyn
Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. By the mid-seventies Warhol captured more liberal and contemporary
subjects such as cross-dressers in his Ladies and Gentlemen series; and by 1976, he made the series of
paintings and drawings of the American Indian, Russell Means.
Russell Means was a Native American actor, activist and celebrity who perfectly blurred the lines of
societal status. Though a minority, Warhol presents Means as a celebrity with exaggerated, glamorized
features. Using ubiquitous publicity shots, Warhol transferred these images of Means to silk-screens
and then printed them on canvases. Some of the canvases include hand painted embellishments and
decorations which distinguish this series from the mechanical approach of his 60’s celebrities.
Throughout this process Warhol transforms a repeated and banal image into a dignified, majestic
portrait of the American Indian.
Born in 1928, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Warhol moved to New York City in 1949 where he spent the
rest of his artistic career before his untimely death in 1987. He has been the subject of a myriad of
national and international one-man gallery and museum exhibitions throughout his prolific career. In
1989, the Museum of Modern Art organized a major retrospective of his work and in 2001 Hernier
Bastian curated a retrospective in Berlin, which traveled to the Tate, London and Museum of
Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Shortly after his death, the Warhol Foundation for the Arts was
founded, at his request, in order to further the advancement of the visual arts. In 1994 the Carnagie
Institute and the Dia Foundation for the Arts, along with the help of the Foundation, opened the Andy
Warhol Museum in Pittsburg.