MANHATTAN — Andy Warhol’s most repeated quip — “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” — apparently didn’t apply to him.
The fame of the pop artist has endured well past his death 25 years ago, and he is being catapulted into the spotlight once again on the 50th anniversary of his instantly recognizable work, “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans.”
Warhol’s influence shaped countless artists, and scores of those, who are now famous in their own right, will have their work featured alongside Warhol’s in a blockbuster show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, running from Sept. 18 through Dec. 31.
“Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years,” as the show is called, is the first major retrospective exploring the artist’s effect on contemporary art, museum officials said.
Roughly 45 works of Warhol’s will be displayed with 100 works of five-dozen other artists, illustrating how they reinterpreted, responded or reacted to Warhol’s groundbreaking paintings, sculpture and films.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself,” Warhol once said. Critics agree that Warhol changed much in the art world.
His interest in mundane subjects found in newspapers and magazines, for instance, can not only be seen reflected in the works of peers at the time, like Sigmar Polke and a generation of artists like Vik Muniz. Artists like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, who appropriate department store or supermarket objects, are also indebted to Warhol’s legacy.
Traces of Warhol’s iconic portraits of celebrities like Jackie O. with “Red Jackie” (1964), and Marilyn Monroe with “Turquoise Marilyn” (1964), can be seen in the current crop of popular artists like Elizabeth Peyton, Karen Kilimnik and Cindy Sherman.
“The exhibition shows the dialogue and conversation between works of art and artists across generations,” museum officials said.
To coincide with the tale end of the show, the Andy Warhol Foundation is planning an auction of the “prince of Pop’s” never-been-seen remaining inventory of silk-screen paintings, drawings, prints, collages and photos from his estate — some 20,000 works it plans to sell at Christie’s for more than $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The foundation seems to be banking on another famed Warhol quote: “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”
Its chairman, Michael Straus, told the paper that it plans to use the revenue to increase its $225 million endowment.
But some art collectors expressed concerns that the sale will flood the market with Warhols and thereby “dilute” the artist’s brand — and prices his work has commanded.
With more than 100,000 lesser-known photos, prints and drawings, however, his art’s prices already fluctuated greatly, from a few thousand dollars to more than $5 million, the Journal noted.
Christie’s will have a series of Warhol auctions, the Journal said, starting with a Nov. 12 sale of some 350 works, followed by a series of online-only sales of lower-priced pieces in February and in subsequent years.
The Campbell Soup Company, which is one of the supporters of the Met’s educational programs connected to the show, is also honoring Warhol, issuing last week 1.2 million limited edition cans of condensed tomato soup with labels inspired by the art star.
Perhaps Warhol is smiling down at all of this from a perch at one of his favorite places.
After all, he said, “I never think that people die. They just go to department stores.”