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Loyola University Museum of Art


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Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds Exhibition Opens at LUMA

Unique Exhibition Combines the Visual and Performing Arts



CHICAGO, January 23, 2008 - On February 16, 2008, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) unveils a seldom-displayed art installation by pop artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Warhol's Silver Clouds exhibition, which will be on display through April 27, 2008, consists of large helium-filled, pillow-like forms made from silver plastic film. First shown in 1966 at the Castelli Gallery in New York, the clouds will float through 3,000-square feet of gallery space within LUMA. The helium-filled clouds glide gently on fan-propelled wind allowing visitors to experience an interactive and blissful walk through a pop interpretation of the heavens.

Warhol was known as one of the innovators of pop art, the 20th century movement that utilized the imagery and techniques of popular culture. The artist often used mundane objects from consumer culture as well as images of celebrities in his work. Silver Clouds is an example of his talent, creativity, and individual style. Billy Kluver (1927-2004), an engineer by education and Warhol's close friend, designed the clouds using a then new plastic film called Mylar. 

"I've always been fascinated by this Warhol piece," said Pamela Ambrose, LUMA's director. "So little has been written about it that we can only guess what was in Warhol's mind at the time he created it. When you think about the Warhol persona, with his aluminum foil-lined walls at the Factory, the clouds perhaps symbolize the artist himself: ephemeral in personality, always moving, floating from person to person, and reflecting light as much as absorbing it."

Companion Exhibitions to Silver Clouds

Merce Cunningham's RainForest 
LUMA will screen, in large format, a DVD presentation of RainForest by dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham (b. 1919), which was first performed in 1968. Inspired by a visit to Silver Clouds, Cunningham incorporated Warhol's clouds into a set design by David Tudor. 

Warhol and Silver Clouds at the Factory: Nat Finkelstein's Photography
From 1964 to 1967, photojournalist Nat Finkelstein (b. 1933) took many photographs of creative intensity and intimacy, furnishing an insider's view of the Factory and the famous, and sometime infamous, milieu surrounding Warhol.

This exhibition contains 37 black-and-white photographs with some of Finkelstein's best-known images, including Warhol working in the studio and the installation of Silver Clouds at the Castelli Gallery. In addition, the display includes photographs of visiting celebrities, Marcel Duchamp, the Velvet Underground, and Bob Dylan. 

Finkelstein has been widely exhibited and published; his photographs can be found in many museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and Pompidou Centre (Paris).

Andy Warhol Print Portfolios 1971-1980 (On Loan from the Bank of America Collection)
Five print portfolios of Andy Warhol's later work are also on display, courtesy of the Bank of America Collection. Warhol extended the idea of the commonplace to include types or categories of images associated with American ideas and its ideals. Included in the exhibition are Myths, Grapes, Flowers, Muhammad Ali, and Jews of the 20th Century.

The loan of the portfolios to LUMA is part of Bank of America's new Traveling Exhibition program. This unique program enables museums to borrow complete exhibitions at no cost from Bank of America. More than 10 exhibitions from the Bank of America Collection are scheduled for display in museums across the U.S. in 2008. 

As part of its multi-tiered arts program, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation provides millions of dollars in philanthropic grants to museums and arts-related non-profit organizations every year. Additionally, the company underwrites national and local exhibitions at cultural institutions across the country.

"We are pleased to work with LUMA to stage this very special exhibition," said Rena M. DeSisto, arts and culture executive, Bank of America. "By lending from our collection to museums and galleries in communities throughout the United States, we are helping museums enhance their offerings while supporting arts organizations, an important underpinning for local economies. This goes to the heart of Bank of America's commitment to create healthy communities."

...point...to line...to plane: Labanotation and Antony Tudor's The Leaves are Fading
Dance notation as a type of schematic drawing is the subject of this exhibition. Using Airi Hynninen's notation of the dance work The Leaves Are Fading by celebrated choreographer Antony Tudor (1908-1987), the system of labanotation records a choreographer's work for posterity. Segments from The Leaves Are Fading, Gelsey's Song, and an ensemble piece illustrate how a fleeting performance can be captured. Tudor's piece premiered in 1975 and was created in conjunction with the music of Antonín Dvorák (1841-1904).

The exhibition is made possible through the guidance and courtesy of the Antony Tudor Trust and the Dance Notation Bureau. The exhibition also coincides with the 100th anniversary of Tudor's birth in 1908.

Public Programs:

Nat Finkelstein Lecture
Saturday, February 16, 1 p.m.
Simpson Lecture Hall, LUMA

Photographer Nat Finkelstein visits LUMA for a question and answer session related to his exhibition, Warhol and the Silver Clouds at the Factory: Nat Finkelstein's Photography.

Loyola Dances
Tuesday, February 26, 7 p.m.
Silver Clouds Gallery, LUMA
Amy Wilkinson, dancer and adjunct faculty in Loyola's Department of Fine and Performing Arts, leads dance students in a performance that combines both structure and improvisation. Free with museum admission.

Dance + the Visual Arts: A 20th Century History from Picasso to Cunningham
Tuesday, March 11, 6 p.m. 
Simpson Lecture Hall, LUMA
Bonnie Brooks, dancer, historian, and chair of Columbia College's Department of Dance, will lecture on collaborations between dancers and visual artists in the 20th century.

Children's Dance in the Clouds
Saturday, March 15, 2 - 4 p.m.
Silver Clouds Gallery, LUMA

Children, up to 12 years of age, and their parents are invited to dance in the clouds to upbeat music, creating their own collaboration with dance and art.

Dance in the Clouds: A Series of Dance Performances
Silver Clouds Gallery, LUMA
Over the course of several weeks, LUMA welcomes various Chicago-based dance companies to perform improvisational work and set pieces, with each company offering a unique interpretation of Warhol's production.

The Seldoms
Tuesday, February 19, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 23, 3 p.m.

Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak
Tuesday, March 4, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 8, 3 p.m.

Thodos Dance Chicago
Tuesday, March 25, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 29, 3 p.m.

The Chicago Moving Company
Saturday, April 5, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, April 8, 7 p.m.

Hedwig Dances
Saturday, April 12, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, April 22, 7 p.m.

The exhibitions and their accompanying programs are partially supported by a grant from the Irving Harris Foundation, Bank of America, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit!