Andy Warhol paintings come to Calgary for sporty exhibit

Some of the works from one the most well-known artists in the world are making a rare appearance in Calgary this month.
Calgary's Museum of Contemporary Art artistic director on Andy Warhol: The Athlete Series. 1:20

Some of the works from one the most well-known artists in the world are making a rare appearance in Calgary this month.

Calgary art lovers will get to see some of Andy Warhol’s paintings in person at the upcoming Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition entitled Andy Warhol: The Athlete Series, which runs from Saturday to Jan. 30.

"Who's not going to want to come see Andy Warhol? People are going to love it," said the museum's artistic director Jeffrey Spalding.

Andy Warhol: The Athlete Series exhibition will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary on Saturday. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

Spalding even had the chance to meet Warhol at Ohio State University years ago.

"Obviously the place was packed.... He came to the podium and sat with me on the stage. People don't get this about him, but he was spectacularly shy."

The exhibition features 10 Warhol paintings of Muhammed Ali, O.J. Simpson, Pele, Jack Nicklaus, Dorothy Hamill, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chris Evert, Tom Seaver, Willie Shoemaker and Rod Gilbert.

Calgary artists and athletes are also teaming up to take part in the sporty exhibit.

"We've combined Warhol with other Calgary artists who are in interested in relatable themes ... and sport," said Spalding. "It's sometimes a surprise to some people that those worlds go together.... I don't know why it should be, but we know an awful lot of artists who put themselves through school on sports scholarships."
  • Watch the video above as Spalding gives CBC reporter Devin Heroux a sneak peek.