I just came across Warhol’s great “Double Elvis” hanging in a permanent-collection installation called “Divided Heaven”, at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Although the show focused on German modern art, and the tensions between its Eastern and Western versions, the Warhol canvas looked great and fit right in, even installed on the strange Chinese-themed wallpaper of Thomas Bayrle. Warhol gives us Elvis as rock star, as gunslinger, as consumer icon, as bullion that’s starting to tarnish. This immaculate amalgam of echt American culture then gets dumped into the troubled world of Cold War Germany, where it seems to hold equal parts promise and threat and warning.
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