The exhibition, titled FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla, is part of Arts AlUla’s expanding visual arts programme. Ranging from major Land Art commissions to artist residencies, each project heralds the establishment of AlUla’s contemporary art museum, a new institution that will feature the most important international and regional artists of the 21st Century. The Museum, which is still in development, will be based in the Oasis of AlUla.
One of the highlights of the annual AlUla Arts Festival (which runs from 16 – 28 February 2023), the FAME: Andy Warhol in AlUla exhibition is curated by Patrick Moore, director of The Andy Warhol Museum – the internationally renowned American institution that holds the world’s largest collection of the artist’s work.
Bringing together some of Warhol’s most iconic artworks, as well as rarely seen archival photographs and ephemera, the exhibition focuses on the concept of fame as a key component of the artist’s life and career.
Captivated by Hollywood glamour, Warhol dreamed of escaping his childhood in industrial Pittsburgh and being a part of another exclusive world. A major component of his artistic career, and some of his most recognised works, are the paintings and prints he made of Hollywood stars, sporting legends and musicians – including Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali and Dolly Parton.
Located 1,100km from Riyadh in north-west Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage. The vast area, covering 22,561km², includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years.The most well-known and recognised site in AlUla is Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 52-hectare ancient city, Hegra was the principal southern city of the Nabataean Kingdom and is comprised of nearly 100 well-preserved tombs with elaborate facades cut into sandstone outcrops. Current research suggests Hegra was the most southern outpost of the Romans after conquering the Nabataeans in 106 CE.In addition to Hegra, AlUla is home to a series of fascinating historical and archaeological sites such as: an Old Town surrounded by an ancient oasis, Dadan, the capital of the Dadan and Lihyan Kingdoms, which is considered one of the most developed 1st-millennium BCE cities of the Arabian Peninsula; thousands of ancient rock art sites and inscriptions in Jabal Ikmah; and Hijaz Railway stations.
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