Bloomberg reports that Andy Warhol’s Mao portraits—conceived as celebrity icons—will be removed from the Warhol Foundation’s travelling show when it makes its way into mainland China:
“They said the Maos won’t work,” Eric Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, said in an interview in Hong Kong. “This is disappointing because his imagery is so mainstream in Chinese contemporary art.”
A person familiar with the show, who asked not to be named because of the political sensitivity of the issue, confirmed the Mao works had been rejected by the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t immediately respond to faxed questions seeking comment today.
The exhibition which opened first in Singapore, and runs through to March 31 at the Hong Kong Museum of Art, will then travel to Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo, as part of a 26-month Asian tour to mark the 25th anniversary of Warhol’s death.