This exhibition is now closed
Young Projects is pleased to announce the first presentation of Andy Warhol’s legendary installation, Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall), in Los Angeles in nearly 50 years. The exhibition runs from November 2016 to the end of February 2017.
The exhibition is a co-creative project between Maurice Tuchman, Senior Curator Emeritus, LACMA, and the organizer of the seminal Art + Technology program at LACMA 1967-71, and Adlin De Domingo. The exhibition will also include a special ‘digital’ augmentation by the artist, Refik Anadol.
Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall) stands as one of Warhol’s most radical and unique artworks in his entire oeuvre. It was conceived in 1969 as part of LACMA’s Art + Technology program and consisted of 80 daisy-print lenticular (3-D) panels with four daisy images in each panel. Cowles Communications improved the lenticular optics later that year to allow the artist to present a single, larger, daisy image to fill each panel, providing much greater resonance and 3-D impact. A water-spray system was also employed to create a continual cascade of water (i.e. rain) that would fall from above while viewing the lenticulars.
Warhol made four editions of Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall), the first of which was presented in the United States Pavilion at EXPO 70, in Osaka, Japan (1970). The three others (all identical) traveled and were shown in museums and galleries throughout the US and Europe, including LACMA in 1971. In 1990 for instance, it anchored an exhibition organized by Jeffrey Deitch called “Artificial Nature”, offering a surprising prescience and context to the show. More recently, that same piece was featured at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, with an accompanying catalog.
None of the original versions of the work are still in existence, except for one. Surprisingly, it is the only work made in the A & T program that is not in any museum’s Permanent Collection.
Young Projects will not only present this final, extant version, but in keeping with both Warhol and the spirit of the Art + Technology program, it will also feature an ‘augmentation’ by the artist Refik Anadol. No actual rainwater will be used, but rather, Anadol will employ a state-of-the-art technological approach to create a fully-immersive, digital, rain simulation that will take place throughout the gallery space. The result is a one-of-a-kind collaboration, between a legend of the 20th century with one of today’s most brilliant wunderkinds of the technological age, to create an artwork of extraordinary presence, vision and timeliness.
About the Work
With a deep-seated interest in 3-D and holography (partly born out of seeing Bruce Nauman’s holograms at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in 1968), Warhol was quite eager to explore 3-D works on his own. During the following year, in 1969, as he was toying with possible images, he envisioned a wall-sized 3-D print that would be enhanced by genuine natural forces (wind, snow, rain, etc). To that end he built various prototypes in his studio, including a snow-blowing diorama and a water-spray device that projected a thin mist through a beam of light (predating Olafur Eliasson’s 1993 piece, “Beauty” by 14 years). After much discussion with various collaborators, Warhol then planned to create a curved-screen of repeating flower images in 3-D and have the water move in patterns from side to side. But as construction progressed however, he decided to present the flowers and the water device in a much more straightforward manner.
It should be noted that it was Tuchman who first informed Warhol about the alarming trend toward Global Warming long before it was commonly referred to; And now, 50 years later, with more environmental disasters occurring than ever before, Warhol’s can now be seen as one of the first of its kind to address such themes. Indeed, Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall) explores the dialog between the technological and the organic, while challenging the historical notion of what an image can, and should, be. In his text titled “The Genius of the Rain Machine”, written for the Rabih Hage Gallery in London, Judd Tully recounted that the artists on site at EXPO 70 spoke of the Rain Machine “to be one of the most compelling works in the exhibition because of its strangely tough and eccentric quality.”
The Turkish-born, LA-based Refik Anadol has produced an extraordinary body of work of his own, which has received unanimous, widespread acclaim over the past ten years. Dozens of institutions have commissioned him to create his awe-inspiring, digital manipulations that very often, explore the architecture where his work is displayed, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hammer Museum and Ars Electronica. In the process Anadol has developed a unique aesthetic that resides squarely between the digital and physical; the natural and the man-made; the illusory and the real—making him the natural choice to take Warhol’s project into the digital age.
Rain Machine’s latest incarnation at Young Projects, with Anadol’s augmentation, allows the work to be seen as it was originally intended but without the inevitable damage caused by actual falling water. After 6 months of continuous viewing at EXPO 70, for instance, the work was damaged beyond repair and later destroyed. The following year, at LACMA’s historic Art + Technology exhibition, an identical version was shown to such acclaim and visitor enthusiasm that it was continued on view for 3 months beyond its originally scheduled 3 month run. Therefore, it too was destroyed by the water damage incurred by non-stop falling water.
A third, identical and original iteration of the Rain Machine was displayed at the inaugural presentation of the new Permanent Collection in Pittsburgh in 1997. Tragically it too was completely destroyed in a fire at the Museum years later.
Now, the sole original survivor of the Rain Machine will come to life again, in a far more immersive, exciting and sustainable way, thanks to the innovations of Anadol and Tuchman.
For more details about the provenance and history please contact the gallery.
About the Artists
Andy Warhol is arguably the most influential artist of the second half of the 20th Century—and into the first decades of the 21st Century. His central importance is evidenced in the work of younger artists today, as well as in the marketplace, where his price structure surpasses even that of Pablo Picasso.
Refik Anadol is a media artist, director and designer born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1985. He holds a master of fine arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles in Media Arts, master of fine arts degree from Istanbul Bilgi University in Visual Communication Design as well as bachelors of arts degree with summa cum laude in Photography and Video. Co-founder and Creative director at Antilop. Anadol has received dozens of awards, public commissions, residencies and lecture positions. His site-specific audio/visual performances have been commissioned by Walt Disney Concert Hall (USA), the Hammer Museum (USA), International Digital Arts Biennial Montreal (Canada), Ars Electronica Festival (Austria), l’Usine | Genève (Switzerland), Arc De Triomf (Spain), Zollverein | SANAA’s School of Design Building (Germany), santralistanbul Contemporary Art Center (Turkey), Outdoor Vision Festival SantaFe New Mexico (USA), Istanbul Design Biennial (Turkey), Sydney City Art (Australia), Lichtrouten (Germany).
Maurice Tuchman served as Founding Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at LACMA from 1964 to 1998. He organized scores of exhibitions with accompanying publications. Among these, Art + Technology remains one of the most resonant for the Artworld today. Since his appointment as Senior Curator Emeritus he has organized a dozen exhibitions for art galleries worldwide. Tuchman and Adlin De Domingo both reside in LA and New York City.