Through April 18, a selection of 100 Polaroids and 50 original black and white gelatin silver prints dating from 1972 to 1985 will be on display at the USC Fisher Museum of Art in Los Angeles. The museum’s website describes the exhibition, entitled “Looking into Andy Warhol’s Photographic Practice,” as “the source materials for Andy Warhol’s portrait paintings…There is a broad range of subjects, from celebrities to unknown figures in the Polaroid photographs, and from candid shots to formal compositions in the black and white prints.”
If you can’t make it to the exhibit, you can view several of the Polaroids (granted through the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program in honor of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s 20th anniversary in 2007) on the LA Times website. Like many of Warhol’s better-known Pop Art prints, the Polaroids seem to elevate the quotidian to a kind of fever-pitched mania. His ability to extrapolate an ironic gradient from any image is present, too, evinced in the almost frightened angle of Muhammad Ali’s eyebrows or the organic geometry of a post-dinner table setting. A fascinating glimpse into the artistic process of a modern legend.