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UMPI’s Warhol exhibit to include never-before-seen selections

The University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Reed Fine Art Gallery will showcase several never-before-seen photographs from its Andy Warhol collection, as well as several newly acquired original Warhol screen prints donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as part of its latest exhibit, Warhol: Faces, which will be on display from Jan. 20 to Feb. 21. The public is invited to view the exhibition throughout the show’s run and attend the Opening Reception, on Feb. 6 from 5-7 p.m., which is being held in conjunction with the First Friday Art Walk.

This exhibition will focus on Warhol’s attention to the portrait. With access to pop culture icons, socialites and the Hollywood elite, Warhol photographed his subjects countless times to prepare for his finished art work. Warhol: Faces will include images of Wayne Gretzky and Carly Simon. These images are part of the collection of 153 silver gelatin prints and Polaroid photographs—valued at more than $100,000—that UMPI was gifted from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in 2008.

UMPI’s Reed Art Gallery was among 183 college and university art museums and galleries across the U.S. to receive such a gift from the program so that greater access could be provided to Warhol’s artwork and process. The University was one of three institutions in Maine, along with the University of Maine and Colby College, to receive a gift from the foundation. The Reed Fine Art Gallery was the first in Maine to put these photographs on display for public viewing.

The five Warhol original screen prints that will be on display during the show comprise the second gift of its kind to UMPI from the Andy Warhol Foundation. These images, valued at about $25,000, include screen prints of Queen Beatrix, Queen Margrethe and Sitting Bull, as well as pink camouflage and a fiesta pig, and range in size from approximately 20×30 inches to 38×38 inches. These prints were created between 1979 and 1987.

Some of these prints were completed close to Warhol’s death in 1987 and are thought to not have left his studio until the Foundation cataloged the work. This means these prints have not been exhibited before, although there are other editions of these images that are on display. For example, Indiana State University has a print similar to UMPI’s Sitting Bull piece.

“The University and the Reed Gallery are delighted to be showcasing our Warhol collection and to debut our newly acquired screen prints. This exhibition is another clue into the artistic process of Warhol. We get to see the people he had access to, the subtlety of his postures, and the completed work full of color, using the screen printing process. It’s such a fascinating insight and we’re so pleased to be able to share that with the public!” Reed Gallery Director Heather Sincavage said.

The public is encouraged to come out to First Friday on Feb. 6 and attend this free event. Light refreshments will be served. The Reed Fine Art Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and University holidays. For more information about this event, please contact Sincavage at 768-9442 or heather.sincavage@maine.edu. Please follow gallery happenings on the Reed Gallery Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ReedArtGallery.