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A huge Andy Warhol exhibition is coming to the Art Institute this fall

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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It's not exactly difficult to find a piece made by Pop Art icon Andy Warhol in a museum, especially in a major city like Chicago. Warhol's penchant for mass-produced art—achieved through techniques like silkscreen printing and consumer-grade photography—put thousands of his creations into the world, some of which have joined the permanent collections at local museums like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art. However, while it's easy to find Warhol's work on gallery walls, it's rare to find a sizable collection of his pieces on display in a single exhibition.

In October, more than 350 works by Warhol will come to the Art Institute as part of "Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again," the first retrospective of the artist's work assembled since 1989. The exhibit is currently on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, where it opened last November and will remain until the end of March (Time Out New York art critic Howard Halle awarded it four stars). Due to the popularity of the exhibit, the Whitney has expanded its hours and kept the museum open on Tuesdays—a day that it's typically closed—to accommodate additional visitors.

Rather than focusing on a single period of Warhol's life, "From A to B and Back Again" includes pieces from throughout his entire career, including commercial illustrations, photographs, experimental films and plenty of bold prints depicting pop culture figures. The Art Institute's version of the exhibit will include works from the museum's own collection, including Liz 3, Electric Chair and Flowers. Those pieces will be displayed alongside a sprawling collection that ranges from the obscure to the instantly recognizable, including illustrations of shoes named after celebrities that Warhol devised in the 1950s and a striking technicolor rendering of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung completed during the Cold War.

According to a report by Crain's, the Art Institute will require guests to purchase a separate ticket (the museum has not yet determined its pricing) to access the Warhol exhibition throughout its run. After opening on October 20, "From A to B and Back Again" will remain at the Art Institute for just three months before closing on January 26, 2020, ensuring that tickets to the blockbuster show will be a hot commodity in Chicago.

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