Fresno Art Museum reopens; Andy Warhol art exhibits

Andy Warhol, widely considered one of the central figures of the Pop Art movement and one of the most recognizable artists of recent times, now has 94 works of art on display at the Fresno Art Museum (FAM).

Closed since January 9 to set up their next exhibitions, the FAM reopened on February 5 with three new exhibitions. The exhibits, featuring the art of Warhol, Ansel Adams and Chester Arnold, will remain open until June 26.

Warhol (1928-1987) was known as a filmmaker, photographer, painter, commercial illustrator, music producer, writer and even model during his illustrious career. His unique interest in color is showcased in his collections “Ten Portraits of 20th Century Jews”, “Myths” and “Endangered Species”, currently on display.

Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup II (New England Clam Chowder), 1969, From a portfolio of ten serigraphs on 47/200 paper, Bank of America Collection | © 2022 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York | Campbell’s Soup © 2022 Campbell’s Soup Company
Andy Warhol, Sunset, 1972, from a portfolio of four serigraphs on paper, 31/40, Bank of America Collection | © 2022 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy WarholFlowers (5 out of 10 en suite from flowers portfolio), 1970, Silkscreen on paper, 28/250, Bank of America Collection | © 2022 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

The exhibit also features covers and excerpts from “Interview Magazine”, which Warhol founded in 1969. The magazine was well known for its intimate Q&A with celebrities and remained published until May 2018.

The exhibition attracted an unprecedented number of guests on its opening day, according to two different employees. Several security guards patrolled the museum to guard the art.

“I had to come when I heard he was going to be here. It’s a big deal for Fresno,” said attendee Rebecca Hayward, who was especially grateful for the local accessibility to iconic pieces.

The exhibit is made possible through the Bank of America Art in our Communities program, which was established in 2009 to “share the company’s art collection with the widest possible audience.”

“The arts matter, and Bank of America recognizes the value that museums and exhibits bring to the local economy and to building cultural connections in the community. We are therefore very pleased to be able to lend our Andy Warhol collection to the Fresno Art Museum, one of our long-time partners who will soon be able to exhibit these iconic works to the public,” said Mark Riley, President of Bank of America Fresno/Visalia.

Other sponsors of the Warhol exhibit include Cindy Wathen-Kennedy and Fresno State’s Bulldog Pride Fund, an organization formed in 2005 with two $50 donations that claims “one simple mission: to provide an annuity that supports students attending Fresno State,” according to their website.

“[Bulldog Pride Fund’s sponsorship] is primarily a way to support the FAM, but a secondary way to also raise awareness of the BPF. This is a new avenue of public relations and marketing for BPF,” said Peter Robertson, Director of Alumni Communications.

Other exhibits by Ansel Adams (1902-1984) and Chester Arnold (b. 1952), as well as FAM’s permanent collection, are currently available to visitors. Adams was best known for his black and white landscape photographs, in which Yosemite featured prominently.

FAM’s Executive Director and Chief Curator, Michele Ellis Pracy, worked closely with Arnold to select 20 large pieces and over 18 small paintings for display.

“Through the paintings in the exhibition and its texts, we travel with Arnold on his exceptional and committed journey from mid-career youth to currently seasoned artist,” says Pracy’s statement on an exhibition at the museum entrance.

As with other exhibits, Arnold’s displayed various information plaques with the paintings. However, Arnold offered his own commentary on his paintings and their influences over the decades.

The FAM will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Adults 18 and older will be charged $10 for admission, youth ages 5-17 will be charged $7, and children 4 and under can enter for free. US Army veterans and active duty military members are admitted free with proper ID.

Masks are mandatory at all times, regardless of vaccination status, and are provided on site if needed. No reservations are needed for entry at this time.

Parking is available free of charge in an adjacent lot.

James C. Tibbs