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Andy Warhol
Velvet Rage and Beauty

09.06.2024 to 06.10.2024
Neue Nationalgalerie

Andy Warhol is arguably one of the most widely known and discussed artists of the twenties’ century. While his depictions of consumer products and celebrities became household famous, there is a red thread through his career, starting even in the late forties until his untimely death in the 80s that is continuously searching to visualize an ideal of beauty, male beauty, finding form and creating lasting images of what Warhol desired. He visiualized and therefore eternalized this contonious pursuit of ideal beauty.

From the early line drawings to his screen tests and moving image experiments and films in nineteen sixties, the torso paintings in the nineteen seventies through his collaborations with Jean-Michel Basqiuat, there is a continuous search to express this ideal. During his lifetime these works where either considered inappropiate, immoral, deviant or even pornographic or illegal. Many of these works never received the public exposure and recognition that they deserve. 

Neue Nationalgalerie is for the first time putting together a large survey focused of this thematic and central aspect through out Warhol’s different production phases and stages of career.

Bringing together more than two hundred fifty works, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, polaroid’s, film and collages, the exhibition allows an expansive and inclusive insight into a Warhol, that during his lifetime never had a real coming-out.

The exhibition Andy Warhol. Velvet Rage and Beauty takes its title as an homage to the book The Velvet Rage that describes how it feels to grow up and live as a gay man in a predominantly straight world. Warhol died in 1987 at the age of only fifty-eight. He left an incredibly complex and influential body of work, but during his lifetime never experienced the open acceptance that we now have to look at these specific bodies of work. While this openness seems at risk again today through changes in so many socities, the exhibition takes on Berlin in 2024 as a window of opportunity, to bring these works together for the first and hopefully not for the last time. 

Curatorial Team

The exhibition is curated by Klaus Biesenbach, director of the Neue Nationalgalerie, with Lisa Botti, co-curator.

Curatorial assistance and project management: Nikola Richolt.


The exhibition is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie.

A special exhibition by the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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10785 Berlin

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