Why Ai Weiwei is not Andy Warhol

Warhol

Andy Warhol

BY THE early 1980s, Warhol was not an artist in critical favour. The art world had moved on from the Pop Art and Minimalist sensibility of the 1960s and ’70s and was looking for new commentary on a western world that was changing rapidly. Warhol’s ‘art about nothing’ no longer reflected the spirit of the time or place – the zeitgeist – to use the noun of the moment. Robert Hughes, an art critic widely respected for his insight and critical rigour, wrote in The New York Review of Books in February 1982 that ‘…Warhol’s output for the last decade has been concerned more with the smooth development of product than with any discernible insights….  It scarcely matters what Warhol paints; for his clientele, only the signature is fully visible.’ Continue reading

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