Strange circle of friends

Frank Stella, Sabra III, 1967, Acrylic on Canvas,120” x 120”.
Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann / Copyright: Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

"Friends” might not be the best word to describe the uneasy yet undeniably connected gathering of artists grouped at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art’s latest exhibit, Classic Contemporary: Lichtenstein, Warhol & Friends. The show brings together many late-20th-century American trends—abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism—but really, what brings the individual paintings together is that they all share a permanent home in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and are on loan to the Vegas property.

The Details

From the Calendar
Classic Contemporary: Lichtenstein, Warhol & Friends
Through September 7
Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
$15 ($12 for Nevada residents and seniors; $10 for students, teachers and military; free for children under 12)
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, 693-7871

Yet amazingly, the exhibition does not feel thrown together, stressing the relationships, rather than the differences, among the art movements. Lichtenstein, Warhol & Friends summons a common period, when the lines between high art, popular culture and corporate culture were crumbling. The works, by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha and others, many dating back to the ’60s, seem all too aware that, one day, they would be joined together on walls in Las Vegas. Friends indeed.


Richard Abowitz

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