"Pietro Psaier" Chronology
SEPTEMBER 21 - 26, 2007: EXHIBITION OF PIETRO PSAIER RELATING TO JOHN NICHOLSONS AUCTIONEERS?
A Yahoo announcement appears as follows although the link no longer works:
WINTER 2007: FULL PAGE ANNOUNCEMENT OF "FIRST AND LAST" PSAIER SHOW IN ART IN LONDON MAGAZINE
It is unclear if this is an advertisement paid for by somebody other than Art in London or if Art in London were responsible for the page. At the top is "Pietro Psaier 1936 to 2004" followed by a large reproduction of a work by Psaier showing Marilyn Monroe popping out of a Campbells Soup Can. Below the image are the large words "The First and Last Show," followed by the web address of Art in London - www.art-london.co.uk. It appears on page 13. No mention of any auctions or auction houses, just the Art in London website.
Left: Page 13 from Art in London Winter 2007
Right: Page 55 from Art in London Winter 2007
On page 55 there is a similar page with the same work produced. At the top of the page in large letters is a quote attributed to Andy Warhol, "It's not where Psaier is going. It's where he has been." Beneath the reproduction is "As a result of the Indian Ocean earthquake which struck on December 26th, 2004 and the Tsunami which followed, Pietro Psaier's remote beach house on the coast of Sri Lanka was swept away - his body was never found." No auction house is mentioned - just the web address of Art in London.
DECEMBER 12, 2007: PIETRO PSAIER AUCTION AT JOHN NICHOLSONS AUCTIONEERS
An article (titled "Big Demand Expected for Pop Artists Work") appeared in the November 29th, 2007 Midhurst and Pentworth Observer announcing an auction of more than 100 works by Psaier - described as "partner of the world-renowned Andy Warhol" - at Nicholsons on December 12, 2007.
MARCH 15, 2008: PHILLIPS DU PURY & COMPANY OFFERS "STINK NO. 1" BY PIETRO PSAIER AND ANDY WARHOL AT THEIR INAUGURAL AUCTION IN LONDON.
Details for the item at
ANDY WARHOL AND PIETRO PSAIER
Psaier’s Stink No I
Acrylic, wood, mirror, metal and glass 43.2 x 37.5 x 13.5 cm. (17 x 14 3/4 x 5 1/3 in.) This work is from an edition of 25.
PROVENANCE Upstairs Gallery, New York
SPRING 2008: PIETRO PSAIER PAINTING ON FRONT COVER OF ART IN LONDON MAGAZINE.
Included in the issue is an article on Psaier. In the table of contents for the issue, the listing for the article says "Can't afford £50 odd million for an original Warhol? How about an original from Warhol's Studio Supremo?"
On page 12 of the issue, a full page ad appears for the Blenheim Crescent Gallery's show with a repro of a Psaier featuring Marilyn Monroe. At the top of the page in large letters is "Pietro Psaier/The Artist Behind Andy Warhol." The article appears to be basically the same info in John Nicholson's press release with the headings, "The Warhol Years 1960 to 1970," "The Big Name Clients" etc... although with some information that doesn't appear in the most recent press release from John Nicholson. For instance, it says, "So different was his [Psaier's] work from any other artist, that he joined the Neo Dada movement in New York with his dear friend, Charlotte Moorman, the topless cellist."
Again, it refers to Rupert Jasen Smith in the section "The Warhol Years 1960 to 1970" even though Smith did not begin working for Warhol until the late 1970s.
It also says in the "Big Name Clients" section, "Psaier was voted New York Artist of the Year in 1973" although does not give the name of the institution which voted him as such.
It also says, "He [Psaier] continued to create works for famous recording studios, restaurants, cafes, galleries, and other celebrities, including the tragic Anna Nicole Smith."
MARCH 10 - 16, 2008: PIETRO PSAIER EXHIBITION AT 5 BLENHEIM CRESCENT GALLERY IN NOTTING HILL.
A full page announcing the exhibition appeared at http://www.art-london.co.uk/pietro-psaier.htm. It was originally used as a reference for Psaier's Wikipedia entry. However it has since been removed from the web.
The announcement proclaimed, "Art in London in association with Peter Barham & John Nicholson presents Pietro Psaier 1936 - 2004 at Blenheim Crescent Gallery." The blurb was basically the same as John Nicholson's earlier press release on Psaier.
21 - 24 MARCH 2008: PIETRO PSAIER PAINTINGS AT THE NORTHERN ART SHOW
The list of exhibitors includes: "Peter Barham The Art of Psaier" with the notation "No website at the moment."
APRIL 3, 2008: PSAIER AUCTION AT JOHN NICHOLSONS.
A press release that was sent out after the auction described it as: follows:
Following on from the successful opening of auctioneer John Nicholson's London office, they held their first inaugural auction in St. James on Thursday 3rd April.
A star attended Champagne reception was held on the Tuesday night with several famous actors, actresses, footballers and serious collectors not only from London but all across the world coming to see some wonderful Pop Art.
The auction consisted of over 200 works by pop artist Pietro Psaier....
14 MAY 2008: A PSAIER OFFERED IN NEW YORK AT BONHAMS "THE PETER GOLDING COLLECTION OF ROCK AND ROLL" SALE
Lot No: 146/ Pietro Psaier: Jimi Hendrix/1980/print with hand-coloring, with wording New York Rock Connexion Madrid and Rock & Roll Joint Show Ibiza Spain Feeling Ibiza, framed, image 183⁄4 x 291⁄4in/ Estimate: $1,000 - 2,000
16 - 18 MAY 2008: PIETRO PSAIER PAINTINGS AT THE CUMBRIAN FINE ART & ANTIQUES FAIR
The antiques fair took place at The Rheged Centre, Penrith. The blurb for the event contained the following information:
Highlights include Peter Barham from Northamptonshire who will be exhibiting some important works by an artist most closely associated with Andy Warhol - Petro Psaier - a supreme talent who was instrumental in the development of much of Warhol's work. Psaier was commissioned by many famous stars from the music and film business throughout the 1970s to produce statement pieces for their lavish mansions. Works were produced for Keith Moon, Oliver Reed and Michael Caine to name but a few. Psaier was voted New York Artist of the
Year in 1973 and in 1974 became the second youngest artist to be award the Italian-American Institute of Art 56th Annual Award - a prize given for inspiration to artistic peers.
JULY 19, 2008: WARHOLSTARS.ORG IS CONTACTED BY SOMEONE RESEARCHING PSAIER
I received an email from a hotmail address from someone saying they were researching "Pietro Psaier" and asking if I knew anything about him. I googled "Pietro Psaier" and found the Wikipedia biography. I also typed in the name of the person who sent me the email and found out he is the Executive Producer of a film in pre-production on Psaier.
I emailed him back expressing doubts about the veracity of the information on Wikipedia which seemed to repeat the unproven allegations in John Nicholson's press releases about the artist, particularly in regard to Psaier collaborating with Andy Warhol on works of art. I complained that the website for the film repeated some of the same allegations.
On July 23, 2008, the Executive Producer wrote to me saying that my points were "valid" and asked if I would like to be interviewed for the film. I didn't respond and began my research.
JULY 26, 2008: I REQUEST A "SPEEDY DELETION" OF THE PSAIER BIOGRAPHY FROM WIKIPEDIA
After I requested a "speedy deletion" of the Psaier page from Wikipedia, most of the information on Psaier was taken off immediately due to lack of references backing up the claims made. Two paragraphs remained alleging that Psaier was linked to Warhol based on the Independent article (see page one). I requested that that information be speedily deleted as well and was told that the deletion would have to be debated for a week by users. The debate took place at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Pietro_Psaier.
AUGUST 2, 2008: WIKIPEDIA REMOVES BIOGRAPHY OF PIETRO PSAIER.
After being debated for about a week by Wikipedia users, the biography was removed due to a lack of dependable references. Nobody could prove that the artist existed, let alone worked with Warhol.
c. AUGUST 4, 2008 @ 4:00 PM: PSAIERS OFFERED AT SALE BY NORTH LONDON AUCTION HOUSE
This is a section of a page from a "Psaier" brochure:
THE FACTORY DAYS
In 1977 Andy Warhol strutted into the offices of Interview magazine at 860 Broadway at 17th Street and attacked his old friend Gerard Malanga for allowing examples of (Electric Chairs) to be sold bearing both Warhol's name and that of Psaier, as joint designs for silk-screens had been used by the staff and crew at The Factory. Nevertheless whether the authentically messy management of Warhol, Fred Hughes and others, the fact remains that Psaier was a part of the crowd who were pissing and vomiting on the artwork of the Warhol Factory. To have worked at the Factory in the 1970's was to be working in a decade that dressed like a pompaoured harlot and left, disillusioned in rags.
(MY NOTE: Printing the above does not mean I agree with the account. I have not found any reference to it in any book on Warhol. I print it only to illustrate what is in the brochure. Malanga, in addition to having worked with Warhol, is well-known for his poetry which he continues to write and is a well-respected figure who worked as Warhol's first art assistant. I do not allege that the above actually happened, only that that the incident is being described in a brochure distributed with Psaier's work. gc.)
The brochure continues:
The late Tom Sullivan had major connections with both Warhol, John Lennon and Halston. Psaier returned to Milan to stage his latest exhibition financed by Mr. Sullivan's drug deals. He was still very close to the Factory circle. Psaier did not bother to keep up with his contemporaries. He had no way of switching off. Soon he began to see that there was no virtue in his work and took off with Sullivan and Lennon to Hawaii. Psaier lived a twilight life for a year with Sullivan until his money ran out.
In making Warhol more angry, Psaier worked on Cocaine Cowboys produced by Sullivan and slowly the works of Psaier became more complex and private due to his drug taking. In late summer of 1978 Andy Warhol invited Pietro Psaier to a photo session with High Times and was asked to piss on a Warhol work in copper. Psaier was once again at the Factory and returned to silk-screening & fabricated acrylic & screened works which soon became joint works of pictorial invention, some bearing Psaier's name, other with Warhol's and others. The works are not considered as supplements to those works paraded by Leo Castelli and others, but are indeed an extension of a large body of work known as 'Studio 54' or 'Xenon' art, as so much of this team effort was used to promote 'openings,' 'galas' and happenings via the New York night scene.
If the person who wrote that brochure is referring to the extensive interview of Andy Warhol by Glenn O'Brien that appeared in High Times, the interview was actually done in June 1977 and the article appeared in the August 24, 1977 issue of High Times. I have never heard of a "body of works" known as "Studio 54" or "Xenon" art which were, of course, nightclubs in New York.
The brochure concludes:
Psaier lived and almost died at the Factory, his life has been fully a flow of pictorial invention and visual ideas... Psaier saw the signal of his release from New York in the mid-seventies, and removed his expansion of art and living on the wild side back to Europe.
His occupation as an artist is divorced from politics and economics. He works in his simple but satisfying world far way from the most memorable characters of the mid-seventies. All traces of the Factory have gone, only the packaging remains.
AUGUST 7, 2008: THE TIMES IN LONDON PRINTS PSAIER STORY.
The Times contact a British curator with the Andy Warhol Foundation who does not recall seeing anything about someone named Psaier in any of the literature about Warhol. They also contact John Nicholson who claims he has a statement from the psychic Uri Geller who Nicholson claims, "knew him [Psaier] when he was there in The Factory.” The Times contacts Geller who says in regard to Psaier, “I’ve never heard of him.” (http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article4474224.ece)
SEPTEMBER 15, 2008: THE ANTIQUES TRADE GAZETTE QUOTES PSAIER'S PSYCHIATRIST AS SAYING THAT PSAIER'S LINK TO WARHOL'S FACTORY HAS "BEEN BLOWN OUT OF ALL PROPORTION."
The article ("Auctioneer Presents Fresh Evidence for Psaier's Works") states that a therapist, Dr Carlos Langelaan, treated someone calling himself Pietro Psaier from 1979 to 1992. Psaier apparently introduced the therapist to Warhol when Warhol was visiting Madrid for the Andy Warhol: Guns, Knives and Crosses exhibition. The therapist notes: “…I visited the Galleria Fernando Vijande, where Andy Warhol’s Guns & Knives exhibition was showing. Pietro was elated when he introduced me to Andy Warhol – later that evening in the Palace Hotel I observed his disappointment as Warhol made excuses, and postponed a planned visit for the following day where he had promised to view his [Psaier’s] art.”
The article continues: "Dr Langelaan goes on to state that, in his opinion, the link with the Warhol factory has “been blown out of all proportion” and that “There is no doubt that Pietro Psaier knew Andy Warhol, but only as a journeyman artist (and possibly a lover), and it is also my belief that Warhol was involved in some of his art works. Peter the Italian was a very small fish in a very big pond of evil decadence…” (http://www.antiquestradegazette.com/news/6859.aspx)
SEPTEMBER 16, 2008: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH QUOTES PSAIER'S PSYCHIATRIST AS SAYING THAT PSAIER SUFFERED FROM "DRUG PSYCHOSIS."
From the article:
"...on Sept 4, Nicholson's researcher Jacqueline Chapman went to Madrid where she met Carlos Langelaan Alvarez, a psychiatrist who confirms that he treated Psaier between 1979 and 1992. In a notified statement, Langelaan describes Psaier as "an accomplished artist" who suffered from "drug psychosis". In 1983, he recalls, Psaier introduced him to Warhol when the American artist was exhibiting at the Fernando Vijande gallery in Madrid. "There is no doubt that Pietro Psaier knew Andy Warhol," he writes, "and it is my belief that Warhol was involved in some of his artworks." (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/09/16/basales116.xml)
The article does not state why Alvarez believes that "Warhol was involved in some of his artworks" (or what the extent of that involvement was). Presumably Alvarez believed this because his patient - someone diagnosed with "drug psychosis" - told him that Warhol was involved.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2008: JOHN NICHOLSONS AUCTIONEERS HOLDS AN AUCTION OF PSAIER'S WORK.
235 works are offered. See: http://www.johnnicholsons.com/sitedata/catalogues/pietro-psaier.pdf.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2008: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH PUBLISHES "BUYERS SPEND £123,000 ON WORK BY DISPUTED ANDY WARHOL ARTIST."
The article notes the successful results of John Nicholson's auction of more than 200 paintings. Nicholson is also quoted as saying "We have sold 2,000 of his works and I have only taken back six from people who were unhappy."
The article also states that "Sceptic Gary Comenas launched an email campaign saying there was little evidence Psaier existed and claiming the works were a hoax." I'm not aware of an email "campaign" but I have stated at the beginning of this chronology the reason why I started it: "I have started this chronology in order to try and discover whether someone named "Pietro Psaier" did ever exist and if he ever visited the Factory or had anything to do with Andy Warhol." As no birth certificate has yet materialized for Psaier, I have assumed that plugging information into a chronology might provide some light on the matter.
My main focus has always been on the claims made that Psaier played a key role at the Factory and that he collaborated with Warhol on "joint works" of art. I was also concerned about other claims being made such as that Psaier was "the last artist to draw and sketch the great Francis Bacon, prior to Bacon's death in Madrid in 1992" or that "In September 2004, Pietro Psaier was asked by Our Lady of Malibu Church, high above the Malibu coastline to exhibit his highly acclaimed The Passion of the Christ." (http://www.johnnicholsons.com/da/56037)
In regard to the Bacon claim, I emailed the Francis Bacon Estate on August 17, 2008, asking them if there was any truth to Nicholson's claim and their reply on August 18, 2008 was "as for Pietro Psaier’s claim to be the last one to sketch Francis Bacon before his death, we have no knowledge of this can therefore not confirm this claim."
In regard to the claim made about the church in Malibu, I emailed the church on August 22nd and received the following reply on the 24th of August from Reverend William F. Kerze: "I have been Pastor of Our Lady of Malibu church for the past twelve years and I have no recollection of any such exhibition or request."
In regard to the claim made by John Nicholson that Psaier worked at Warhol's studio and "often" collaborated "on pieces with Warhol," there are no Warhol/Psaier collaborations that have been authenticated by the Andy Warhol Authentication Board and none of the people who were part of the Factory that I have been in touch with recall Psaier. In regard to the alleged collaborations, the resolution of this matter is simple: Why doesn't the owner of one of the alleged collaborations submit the work to the Andy Warhol Authentication Board for their opinion?
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