More than 15 minutes of fame: Andy Warhol’s art in Santiago

The impressive collection features paintings and screen printings from the artist’s Myths series and Toy paintings.

2011 has been a big year for art lovers in Santiago, with exhibitions dedicated to the work of such masters as Degas and Picasso. And now the Chilean capital is hosting a display of prints and paintings by the father of the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol.

Featuring works from Warhol’s Myths series, which pays homage to his childhood heroes, and the Toy paintings, which reflect his passion for collecting toys, the exhibition at the Pontificia Universidad Católica’s Extension Center Art Gallery runs until December 29.

More than just an innovative painter, filmmaker or author, Warhol was an iconic figure who had a major impact on both the art world and popular culture.

The Santiago exhibit begins with a timeline composed of photos, clippings and information displays, which traces the story of the artist’s life from his birth in 1928 to his death in 1987.

Arranged chronologically, there are portraits of Warhol from his childhood and teenage years alongside his family, friends and mentors, dispersed with images of some of his better-known works such as the iconic Campbell’s Soup painting and his colorful portrait of Marilyn Monroe.

The main exhibition space is dominated by the artist’s Myth series, which contains drawings of Mickey Mouse, the witch from the Wizard of Oz, Superman and Santa Claus.

Developed in 1981, the screen paintings are in Chile on loan from the Andy Warhol Museum and Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh.

Alongside the portraits are the smaller Toy paintings, which Warhol created between 1983 and 1985, featuring representations of a model airplane, a spaceship, a police car, a boat, a helicopter, a mouse, a clown, a wind-up drumming panda and a parrot.

It’s also well worth climbing the stairs to the loft area suspended above the main exhibition space, where a display shows the collection of toys that provided the inspiration for the paintings.

The Extension Center Art Gallery is located in Pontificia Universidad Católica’s Casa Central (Alameda 340, Santiago Centro), right by the Universidad Católica metro stop. The gallery is open from 10am-8pm, Monday to Saturday and entry is free.