A tapestry of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol is on display to the public for the first time in the UK as part of ‘Love Is Enough’, an exhibition exploring the similarities between William Morris and Andy Warhol curated by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller; at Modern Art Oxford from December 6th until 8th March 2015.
The work was presented by Charles Slatkin Galleries in 1968 as part of the American Tapestries exhibition, in which the gallery invited a group of contemporary artists to submit designs for tapestries. Warhol gave this Marilyn design, which was hand woven into a woollen tapestry for the exhibition.
Warhol agreed to 20 editions, but it is believed that only six were ever made, and this is the only version The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh has ever recorded. The tapestry is in the private collection of entrepreneur and businessman Larry Wasser, and will be displayed in a public museum for the first time as part of the Modern Art Oxford exhibition ‘Love Is Enough’.
The tapestry is being displayed in a room that demonstrates how the childhood obsessions of Andy Warhol and William Morris went on to influence their work as artists. Warhol was interested in celebrity from young age, and collected signed photographs of Hollywood stars. As a child, William Morris was obsessed with mythology. In the final panel of the epic Holy Grail tapestries series created by Morris & Co., which shows the attainment of the Holy Grail, is being displayed alongside Warhol’s Marilyn tapestry.
‘Love is Enough’ highlights the many points of connectivity within the work and lives of the two artists. Morris and Warhol both established printmaking businesses and distributed their work through new forms of mass production. Both were natural collaborators who worked with the prominent artists of their day to develop working methods that did much to redefine the artist’s relationship to the studio and factory.
Jeremy Deller added in a statement: “For me, these two figures have so much in common, not least their tendency to be contradictory. Morris railed against capitalism and yet he established a shop in central London bearing his family name, and Warhol’s trademark blankness, I think, belies a deeply political artist. With Love is Enough I’m asking the audience to suspend their disbelief momentarily and make connections about art across two centuries.”