Best Museum Exhibit St. Louis 2002 - Andy Warhol's "Silver Clouds," Museum of Contemporary Religious Art
3700 W. Pine Mall
St. Louis, MO 63108
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We say heaven is a place on earth. At least it was during the bleak days of winter, when Andy Warhol's "Silver Clouds" was first housed at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art on the campus of St. Louis University. Even though he produced some giant silkscreen re-creations of "The Last Supper," it's hard to conceive of anything by Warhol as religious per se. But entering this installation, which has returned to the museum and will remain there until the end of October, changed that. Back in the '70s, Warhol -- a genius at recognizing the power and beauty of the mass-market props that emerged from consumer-mad America -- transformed material used for packaging bulk food into inflated silver pillows. These became part of the set design for Merce Cunningham's dance company in the "clouds'" first incarnation. Gallery director Terry Dempsey brought Warhol's clouds here as installation art. With fans placed throughout the space, these clouds float, swirl, turn, hover. People push the clouds about, allow the clouds to roll around them. Viewed from outside the space, through translucent curtains, the movement of the clouds becomes a dance between pure arcs of light. Heaven.