MILFORD, PA — Artists Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg, aka the Hilton Brothers, have announced their joint exhibition, “Andy in Nature.” It features a selection of Makos’ …
MILFORD, PA — Artists Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg, aka the Hilton Brothers, have announced their joint exhibition, “Andy in Nature.” It features a selection of Makos’ photographs, centered on an unexplored and rich dimension of Andy Warhol’s life—his relationship with the natural world.
The exhibition will launch with a preview event on Friday, September 23, and will remain open to the public until Sunday, October 23. It will be held in Forest Hall.
The images will be exhibited alongside Paul Solberg’s well-known flower works. The combined images are a different approach to the natural world, made even more meaningful by the historic exhibition venue, a press release stated.
Forest Hall is an iconic, architecturally important 19th century bluestone building in the heart of Milford, 90 minutes from New York City.
Christopher Makos was a close friend to and an important influence on Andy Warhol in the 1970s and 1980s. His work documenting the eclectic world surrounding the “Factory,” and the vibrant New York social scene of that era, has been featured in scores of exhibitions, documentaries and publications, including the recent Netflix documentary “The Warhol Diaries.”
The new exhibit presents Warhol away from the Factory, away from New York, enjoying a restorative and deep engagement with the natural environment, at the beach, in the woods and in the Colorado mountains. The exhibit challenges the caricatured image of the commercial Andy Warhol, described as “a plastic figure obsessed with consumerism, advertising and shallow society.”
In this work, a gentler Warhol emerges. He is seen relaxing at Eothen, his Montauk, Long Island, seaside home; enjoying Central Park; and skiing on the slopes and through the forests in the Colorado mountains. “Warhol’s connection to nature, as surprising and unexpected as some may find it,” the press release noted, “ultimately led him to bequeath his multi-million-dollar Montauk property to The Nature Conservancy, which established a preserve and visual arts program in his honor.”
Solberg’s flowers in bloom offer a unique perspective. His use of the flower as a symbol recalls the abstraction of Warhol’s own screen-printed “Flowers” series in the early 1970s. “Solberg’s highly refined use of sophisticated lighting techniques renders the flowers with a clarity and texture that allow them to appear almost scientific, while retaining an unparalleled brilliance and beauty,” according to the release.
The exhibit pays homage to the history of the conservation movement, to Milford as its birthplace and to Forest Hall, where a generation of America’s first professional conservationists learned their profession.
The original part of Forest Hall was built in the 1860s, and was designed by Calvert Vaux, the co-designer of New York’s Central Park. In its original iteration, it included a residential painting studio used by masters of the Hudson River School, including Worthington Whittredge, John Weir, Jervis McEntee and Sanford Gifford. Forty years later, architects Hunt & Hunt (the sons of Richard Morris Hunt, who designed the façade of the Metropolitan Museum and the Statue of Liberty base and grounds) designed the rest of the building—where the “Andy in Nature” exhibit will be on display.
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