Avedon Warhol at Gagosian Gallery – review

Avedon Warhol exhibition, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, WC
Avedon Warhol exhibition, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, WC
Avedon Warhol exhibition, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, WC

Last month, I visited the much talked about Avedon Warhol exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery. I was pretty excited, as it’s billed as the first major exhibition to present Richard Avedon’s photography alongside Andy Warhol’s artwork.

Sadly, I left the exhibition underwhelmed.  There seemed to be more security guards than patrons, an imbalance which made the visit slightly uncomfortable. The receptionist on duty however really set the tone – she seemed more concerned with her computer work than with helping the visitors navigate their way around the exhibition.  When visitors  asked for assistance, I observed that the response appeared very cold and unwelcoming, almost as if they were bothering the receptionist.

The pictures and artwork are not labelled, so be sure if you go, to collect a free guide, which hopefully should be in the reception. You may have to hunt them down, but the exhibition will be easier to follow with the guide.  It is also a useful document for art students to add to their portfolios.  It would have been nice if there was someone handing out the guides as visitors arrived, as opposed to being greeted by stern and scary looking security guards, again adding to the cold welcome and sub-zero atmosphere.

The actual art work displayed was interesting, but more could have been made of the presentation. Unlabelled pieces, seemingly randomly hung, there wasn’t an obvious link between the 2 artists and their work. Outstanding pieces, displayed without context or relevance.

The overwhelming feeling I had when I left the gallery, was that of coldness. Cold reception, cold receptionist, cold welcome, cold environment and cold presentation. I would recommend this exhibition for anyone studying or working in the general arts field. But don’t expect to have an enjoyable time.

Rating 1.5 out of 5

The exhibition ends 23rd April 2016

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