The first Andy Warhol exhibition in Saudi Arabia is now showing in AlUla

Andy Warhol’s obsession with fame is the focus of this new exhibition…

Few American artists are as ever-present and instantly recognisable as Andy Warhol. Through his carefully cultivated persona and willingness to experiment with non-traditional art-making techniques, Warhol understood the growing power of images in contemporary life and helped to expand the artist’s role in society.

And thanks to Arts AlUla, some of Warhol’s most iconic artworks are currently on display for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

The one-of-a-kind exhibition, titled ‘FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla’, is being showcased exclusively in the award-winning Maraya until Tuesday May 16.

Highlights from the exhibition

Produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – the internationally renowned American institution that holds the world’s largest collection of the artist’s work, and curated by Patrick Moore, that institution’s director, the new AlUla exhibition highlights Warhol’s personal fascination with fame and celebrity.

It features rarely-seen archival photographs and ephemera, black-and-white pictures, Polaroid portraits, paintings and prints of Hollywood stars, sporting legends and musicians, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali and Dolly Parton, as well as filmed portraits described as “screen tests” of 60s counter-culture icons.

Silver Clouds

The installation also includes Andy Warhol-designed wallpaper and Warhol’s ground-breaking work, Silver Clouds – still one of his most mesmerising projects to date. It is an immersive and touch-friendly exhibition featuring metallic cloud-shaped balloons. Inflated with a custom-made mixture of air and helium, the clouds neither stick to the floor nor float to the ceiling, but hover in mid-air.

Art aficionados will also be able to participate in various talks, workshops, and masterclasses in screen printing and design so that you can learn more about Warhol and his practice.

Screen printing

Untangling Andy Warhol

Beneath the glamour of Warhol’s wide-ranging creations is a deep engagement with the social issues of his time that continue to resonate today.

Captivated by Hollywood glamour, Warhol dreamed of escaping his childhood in industrial Pittsburgh and being a part of an exclusive world. As Warhol achieved that dream, becoming one of the world’s most famous artists, he also came to understand that fame comes with many complications.

If you want to dive deeper into the works of Andy Warhol, check out the complimentary guided tour, available in English and Arabic.

FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla, until May 16, Wed to Sun, 2pm to 9pm, Maraya, AlUla. Free entry. Book your visit here. @artsalula

Images: Provided / Social