Due to the obvious restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the art world has had to adapt entirely and exhibitions potentially the most. I attended the Tate Modern’s virtual tour of their Andy Warhol exhibition and was surprised with the extensive amount of information given, curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran discuss a brief history of Warhol’s life and work. Having a quick recap on Warhol's career before talking further about each room makes this tour friendly to a large audience whether they know a little or lot about the artist. Importantly, there was nothing distracting from the art itself and instead we are given insight on Warhol’s feelings, insecurities, and intentions regarding each art piece.
As the discussion ends there is a large, detailed summary of each room with images of each art piece. Something I do appreciate, is the accessibility of a virtual art tour, there are many who do not consume any art in a very academic lifestyle, and I do think it is a necessity to witness creation and be a part of creativity. Therefore, small informative sections of artistry are perfect for someone who cannot dedicate large amounts of time towards artwork.
I’ve never attended a virtual art tour before aside from online photography portfolios, and I can say I’ll do it again. The curation of each piece and description tells a chronological narrative of Warhol’s life and informed me about things I never knew, the intaking of information is very similar to physically exploring an art exhibition.
One thing I would’ve liked to of seen and something I was expecting from a large-scale modern gallery, was virtual interaction such as a 3D moveable view of the exhibition. Whilst this may have added to the tour it didn’t take too much away from missing it.
I learnt many things from the event, most intriguing was that Warhol was shot and claimed clinically dead but was revived by doctors, this had a permanent effect on his physical and mental health but also his work, as he became cautious around people his work became more reflective of his mentality. The event has left me considering the emotions and history behind not just Andy Warhol’s art but all art pieces in a new way, I’m used to analyzing the meaning of mostly photography, but this has given me something further to consider behind art pieces.
Although there are many examples of documentary that inform a viewer of similar information surrounding art, this is a great medium to deliver information quickly if someone does not want to spend over an hour on an informal video. As we come further into the digital age, methods are advancing in presenting art, it is shame that some people can’t dedicate proper time to art as they once did but tours such as this are making a difference, especially in the pandemic.
I’m intrigued to see if the Tate Modern expands their ideas of virtual presentation with their exhibitions.