NorthPark Center, Dallas
I discovered that the upscale NorthPark Center in Dallas has an art collection that includes 10 Warhol serigraphs,
The NorthPark Center art collection features major works by renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Joel Shapiro, Jim Dine, Jonathan Borofsky, James Rosenquist, Antony Gormley, Barry Flanagan and Beverly Pepper, among others. Mark di Suvero’s monumentally impressive 48-foot-tall, 12-ton Ad Astra, 2005, fills the two-story NorthCourt where it can be viewed from two levels. This is the only indoor, public display of the artist’s work in the world.
On a wall at my nearby NorthPark Center are 10 signed Warhol serigraphs, 38″ x 38″. They’ve been on display there for many years. NorthPark was one of the first structures to contain air conditioning back in 1965. Just a cotton field north of Dallas, NorthPark Center was developed by Raymond Nasher. The prints are on loan from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher foundation. The ten original screenprints are: Volkswagen Lemon, Life Savers, Ronald Reagan Van Heusen, Macintosh, and Judy Garland Glama on top, and below: Mobile Gas, James Dean Rebel, Chanel, Paramount, and Donald Duck.
Searching for Andy Warhol
Being enrolled in Warhol MOOC I was interested in going beyond web images and seeing some of his work in person. I discovered that the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth Texas (which I had visited) had 20 Marilyn’s on exhibition. But that was more than a 60 mile trek for me. Then I learned about the 10 Warhol’s even closer on display and in public at NorthPark Center.
I went on my journey and once at NorthPark Center I looked around but couldn’t find the Warhols! I asked the information person at a desk and was directed to the location of the Warhol prints. After a short walk I found all 10 there on a wall next to an Uptown Popcorn Store and the Spanx outlet store. Also 2 stores opening close by were Armani Exchange and Tesla. I thought it was appropriate that Warhol’s work was in a very consumer oriented area free for the public to view.
On January 12, 2007 virtuoso concert violinist Joshua Bell famously played for 45 minutes during rush hour for morning commuters at a metro station in Washington, DC, and almost no one noticed or cared. Now it was my turn to play with the public perception of great art. It seemed funny that no one at NorthPark Center looked at the Warhols the whole time I was there. So I sat down and intensely stared at the Warhols. I created a small gathering of people looking as I was looking. Some asking if it really was Andy Warhol’s work on display as the bronze placard claimed? Finally I left, and with that the crowd dissipated and no one else stood to admire the prints, they just rushed by without notice.
To be honest, before today, I hadn’t noticed the prints either. I’ve been in and out of NorthPark Center many times, and purchased many espressos from Starbucks, without any notice at all. One of the greatest artists of the 20th Century was right ahead and neither I, nor anyone else, seemed to notice. Most often I sat at the tables outside Starbucks in the concourse area with my back to the Warhols.
All of these works of art are of advertising products: people places, and things to help sell products. If Judy Garland and James Dean like it, you like it, so you buy it. Warhol worked in the advertising business for many years. Why not make his art into fictional and nonfictional advertising and sell it at a profit on a mass scale?