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Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 18:33 GMT
Tate hopes Warhol will woo crowds
A visitor at Tate Modern
Warhol helped define celebrity
The Tate Modern gallery, London, has unveiled its new Andy Warhol exhibition, containing more than 200 works by the pop art icon.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota predicted the exhibition, which opens on Thursday, could beat the success of last year's Surrealism exhibition.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota
Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota surveys the exhibit
Among the highlights of the collection are a self-portrait drawn at the age of 14, which has never before been seen in the UK.

All 13 of his Most Wanted prints, inspired by New York police mugshots, are brought together for the first time since 1964, while nine of his Camouflage prints are also in the exhibition.

'Enormous claim'

It also features his paintings of all 32 varieties of Campbell's soup, created in 1962, and portraits of Elvis Presley, Liza Minnelli and Mick Jagger.

Curator Donna De Salvo said: "It was be an enormous claim to say he invented celebrity. But I think what he did - as any artist does - was to articulate it through visual imagery.

"He had a capacity to sense what was in the public consciousness and he seized on that."

Sir Nicholas Serota said: "I think it will rival last year's Surrealism exhibition which had around 170,000 visitors.

"Warhol is one of the figures who has shaped the way we see the end of the 20th Century and people will undoubtedly want to see the originals."

The gallery is asking visitors to book ahead for specific time-slots rather than simply turn up by chance, because the exhibition is likely to be so popular.

A spokeswoman said: "People tend not to book ahead like they would for the theatre, but we want to encourage them to think about it so we can regulate the flow more easily. It will also be more comfortable for them."

See also:

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