Flashback Fridays are posts and images about remembrance and reminders of things past, moments that need to be preserved for their impact on how we think about, look at, and react to modern design today and tomorrow.
Photo by Nathan Gluck. © Estate of Nathan Gluck. Courtesy of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Andy Warhol’s window display at Bonwit Teller department store, 1961.
In April 1961 Andy Warhol exhibited five large paintings in the window of Bonwit Teller, a New York department store where he had been working for some time producing window displays. The paintings, which were based on comic strips and black-and-white newspaper advertisements and positioned behind mannequins wearing the latest fashions, marked a turning point in Warhol’s transition from a highly successful commercial illustrator to an iconic figure in the New York avant-garde. Through the lowbrow subject matter of his canvases and its collapsing of the distinction between the space of art and the space of commerce, Warhol’s Bonwit Teller window display in many ways announced the artist’s forthcoming assault on the form, content and production of mainstream art and on how we look at and understand art in the context of popular and consumerist culture. Warhol’s impact on the art world is in many ways the subject of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, which aims to account for Warhol’s influence on other artists.