Chicago is about to launch a major retrospective of Andy Warhol’s groundbreaking work at the Art Institute — but for the next few weeks, you can sample the genius of Warhol without leaving Central Illinois. Some of his famous polaroid portraits, including many celebrities from the 1970s and 80s, are on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s “Vantage Points: Contemporary American Photography” exhibit.
The exhibit opened on Sept. 14 and runs through Nov. 10. It’s the first of its kind in that it features photographs by 20 of the most influential artists of the 1970s through the 2000s, including Warhol. Some are in black and white, while others are in color and are no less stunning in scale and perspective.
The first contemporary photography exhibit to be hosted at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the pieces span a 35-year time frame and include work from Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Avedon, Sally Mann, Diane Arbus, Gregory Crewdson, William Eggleston and Nan Goldin. The works themselves are part of the Whitney’s permanent collection.
The exhibit is a collaboration between the Riverfront Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Art Bridges, a non-profit founded by Walmart founder Sam Walton’s daughter Alice Walton to bring outstanding American art to the public. The exhibition was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and curated by Carrie Springer, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum.
According to Springer, the artists began working at a time when photography was becoming increasingly integrated into the art world. The artists themselves took the liberty of pushing the boundaries of the medium and expanded the role of photography within the history of art, organizers say.
Peoria is one of up to three venues for the exhibit, according to the Art Bridges foundation website.
Photos by Sergio Barreto