Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Andy Warhol

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1982

200 x 210 cm
Physical Description
Silkscreen and acrylic on canvas
Inventory Number
LG 73
On permanet loan from Commerzbank AG, Frankfurt am Main since 2010
On display, lower level, Contemporary Art, room 10


About the Work

Andy Warhol saw the famous portrait of Goethe by J. H. Wilhelm Tischbein during a visit to the Städel. As the quintessence of German culture, it inspired him to create this work and other prints, some of which are likewise in the Städel collection. In 1962 Warhol – a key figure of American Pop Art – began reproducing press photos of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley with the silkscreen technique. He defamiliarised his pictorial models – images known all over the world thanks to their propagation by the media – by translating them into garish colours and bold two-dimensionality. Through the serial production of his art in his studio, which he himself referred to as a factory, the classical distinguishing features of the artist – for example subjectivity and originality – recede into the background. At the same time, by staging Goethe as the superstar of the Städel, the city of Frankfurt and German Classicism, Warhol was reflecting on how the mass media have changed our perception of reality.


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