A new exhibition of Andy Warhol’s art has opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition is called “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years”, and includes some of his best-known pieces as well as works from some of the artists he inspired.

For decades, critics have observed that Andy Warhol exerted an enormous impact on contemporary art, but no exhibition has yet explored the full nature or extent of that influence. Through approximately forty-five works by Warhol alongside one hundred works by some sixty other artists, Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years juxtaposes prime examples of Warhol’s paintings, sculpture, and films with those by other artists who in key ways reinterpret, respond, or react to his groundbreaking work. What emerges is a fascinating dialogue between works of art and artists across generations.

An Andy Warhol self-portrait is one of the works in “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years,” a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From left, Julian Schnabel’s “Barbara Walters,” Andy Warhol’s “Red Jackie,” Francesco Vezzoli’s “Liza Minnelli” and Jeff Koons’s “Michael Jackson & Bubbles.”

 A Warhol self-portrait.

Clockwise from top left: Warhol’s “Icebox,” Sigmar Polke’s “Plastik-Wannen,” Warhol’s “Brillo Soap Pads Boxes” and Cady Noland’s “Untitled (Bin with Octane Boost).”

Among the visual high points is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Neo-Expressionist painting of an immense scarified head in the fourth of 12 galleries. A marked departure from the show’s prevailing cool, it looks great; clearly African-American and seemingly about to explode, the head both rails against and is startlingly illuminated by its neighbor, Warhol’s “Orange Disaster #5,” with its repeating electric chairs.

From left, Alex Katz’s “Ted Berrigan,” Richard Avedon’s “Truman Capote,” Warhol’s “Diamond Dust Joseph Beuys” and Chuck Close’s “Phil.”

The show reprises Warhol’s 1966 show at the Leo Castelli Gallery: fluorescent “Cow Wallpaper” and helium-filled silver pillows.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Before and After I, 1961. Casein on canvas, 68 x 54 in. (172.7 x 137.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Halston, 1981.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Icebox, 1961. Oil, ink, and graphite on canvas, 67 x 53 1/8 in. (170.2 x 134.9 cm). The Menil Collection, Houston.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Big Campbell’s Soup Can, 19¢ (Beef Noodle), 1962. Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 x 54 1/2 in. (182.9 x 138.4 cm). The Menil Collection, Houston.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Red Jackie, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 40 x 40 in. (101.6 x 101.6 cm). The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Nine Jackies, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 65 x 53 x 2 in. (165.1 x 134.6 x 5.1 cm) overall. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Halston, 1983.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Green Coca-Cola Bottles, 1962. Silkscreen, acrylic, and graphite on canvas, 82 3/8 x 57 in. (209.2 x 144.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Flowers, 1964. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm). Mugrabi Collection.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Screen Test: Nico, 1966. Still of a 16mm film transferred to DVD, black and white, 4 min. Collection of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 90 x 70 in. (228.6 x 177.8 cm). The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987). Self-Portrait, 1967. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 72 x 72 in. (182.9 x 182.9 cm). Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Friends of Modern Art Fund.

Conceived by Mark Rosenthal five years ago, the project has finally come to light, and at an excellent moment. Too often, Warhol’s legacy is associated with the flowers and celebrity portraits he is most famous for, but the exhibition brings the truth to light — he was ultimately interested in the darker side of humanity. The most successful art and artists of the exhibition appear to realize the intellectual complexity of his work, even though, as an artist, he constantly sought to reduce it. Warhol was famous for responding to interview questions with the answer, “I don’t know,” but after visiting this exhibit, a smart viewer will realize that he knew much more about the present and future than we give him credit for.

Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” runs through Dec. 31 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  (212) 535-7710 NYC

The exhibition will travel to The Warhol Museum from February 2 through April 28, 2013.

Credit: Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and Librado Romero/The New York Times