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An early look at 'Andy Warhol: The Last Decade' at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art showcases more than 50 Warhol works spanning the last years of his career.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

There was a moment, in the late 1970s and early '80s, when it seemed pretty clear that Andy Warhol had lost it. There was his appearance on "The Love Boat"; his willingness to do a portrait of and for just about anyone; his huge, decorative pai ntings made with urine or imitating camouflage -- it all looked like a big and splashy sellout. Now it's becoming clear that Warhol's selling out should count as some of his best and most important art. A recent show in London and Ottawa made the convincing argument that some of the main figures of today -- Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami -- couldn't have existed without Warhol in his final phase. (He died in 1987.) A major show called "Andy Warhol: The Last Decade," opening Oct. 17 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, will give us a chance to figure out if Warhol truly was one of those great artists, in the mold of Titian or Rembrandt or C├ęzanne, who came on strong at the end. -- Blake Gopnik

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For a gallery of images from the upcoming exhibit "Andy Warhol: The Last Decade," visit http://washingtonpost.com/fallarts.

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