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Andy Warhol. Velvet Rage and Beauty – Neue Nationalgalerie | 09.06.-06.10.2024

Editors’ Choice

Neue Nationalgalerie presents the exhibition Velvet Rage and Beauty from 9. June 2024 Andy Warhol is probably one of the best-known and most talked-about artists of the 20th century. While his depictions of consumer goods and celebrities have been widely publicised, there is a common thread that runs through his career – from the late 1940s to his untimely death in the 1980s. He was constantly searching for an ideal of beauty – male beauty, and for a form; he wanted to create lasting images of what he desired. He therefore visualised and immortalised this ongoing quest for ideal beauty.

Image above: Neue Nationalgalerie, Foto Maximilian Meisse

From his early line drawings to the screen tests and experiments with moving images and films in the 1960s, the torso paintings in the 1970s and his collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat, there is a continuous search for the expression of this ideal. During his lifetime, these works were considered either inappropriate, immoral, perverse or even pornographic and illegal. For this reason, many of them never received the public attention and recognition they deserved. For the first time, the Neue Nationalgalerie is putting together a major overview focussing thematically on this central aspect of Warhol’s various creative phases and career stages.

With more than two hundred and fifty works, paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, Polaroids, films and collages, the exhibition provides a comprehensive and inclusive understanding of Warhol, who never really “came out” during his lifetime.

The exhibition “Andy Warhol. Velvet Rage and Beauty” is a tribute to the book The Velvet Rage, which describes what it feels like to grow up and live as a gay man in a predominantly heterosexual world. Warhol died in 1987 at the age of just fifty-eight. He left behind an incredibly complex and influential body of work, but never experienced the open acceptance during his lifetime that we have today to dedicate ourselves to this specific body of work. While this openness seems to be jeopardised again today by changes in many societies, the exhibition Berlin in 2024 sees it as an opportunity to bring these works together for the first and hopefully not the last time.

The exhibition is curated by Klaus Biesenbach, director of the Neue Nationalgalerie, with Lisa Botti, co-curator. Curatorial assistance and project management: Nikola Richolt. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Prestel Verlag. The exhibition is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie.


Saturday, 8. June 2024, at 7 pm

Exhibition period:
Friday, 9. June bis Sunday, 6. October 2024

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Wednesday 10 am to 6 pm
Thursday 10 am to 8 pm
Friday – Sunday 10 am to 6 pm


Neue Nationalgalerie – Kulturforum
Potsdamer Straße 50
10785 Berlin

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