(to July 2009)
Jonas Mekas' three hour film, Walden: Diaries, Notes & Sketches (1970), will be released on DVD on August 25, 2009. Includes appearances by Andy Warhol, Timothy Leary, Jack Smith, Edie Sedgwick, Nico, the Velvet Underground, John Lennon and Yoko Ono amongst others.
A press release issued today (August 11) has announced a change of agent for Billy Name:
"Billy Name, the driving force behind New York’s counter culture of the 1960’s and The 'Gate Keeper' and major artistic influence of Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory, announces the Irvine Contemporary Gallery, 1412 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. and Dr. Martin Irvine, Gallery Director, as his gallery and agent. Billy Name has added Kymara Artistic Management as his artistic manager.
Known as the most important pop culture icon of modern time, Billy Name is announcing that all inquiries are to be directed to Kymara Artistic Management."
[Update 23 October 2010: Billy Name is no longer represented by Kymara Lonergan.]
A documentary on Warhol star Mary Woronov is now in production. Woronov had the most success of Warhol's stars after leaving the Factory - appearing in more than 90 films and television episodes. Among her fans she's known as much for her work in cult films like Death Race 2000 and Eating Raoul as for her Warhol films. She's also an accomplished visual artist and is represented by Bert Green Fine Art in Los Angeles. The documentary on Mary will be directed by Fancesca Di Amico and produced by Claudia Unger with plans for a 2010 release.
A walking tour of Warhol related sites in New York has recently begun operating in New York. The well-researched tour is just over two hours in length, beginning on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and ending up in Union Square, focusing on the key locations in which Andy Warhol lived, worked and entertained from his earliest days in the city as a commercial artist to his death.
Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas they were having their own Warhol birthday celebration at the Mohawk with guests invited to attend in Warhol drag.
And on Twitter, the singer/songwriter Billie Ray Martin, who bought flowers for the deceased artist, left a series of "tweets" about Warhol's birthday: "It's Andy Warhol's birthday. The world is a less exciting and glamourous place without him. I'll bring him back in my thoughts." The night before his birthday she tweeted: "Build a shrine. Get ready to bow down and worship. A few hours to go until it's Andy Warhol's birthday."
Update 3 August 2009: Bibbe Hansen added to list of panelists.
The official Factory photographer, Billy Name, will be participating in a panel discussion at the premiere screening of Lords of the Revolution: Andy Warhol at the Paley Center in New York on Thursday, August 6, 2009. Other participants include Danny Fields, Robert Heide and Sally Kirkland. Details here. (Note: The Paley Center website incorrectly identifies Robert Heide as "Warhol's main screenwriter.")
After the screening and panel discussion, a party (open to the public) - "Andy Warhol's Midsummer Madness Birthday Party" - is being held at the Gershwin Hotel "featuring Billy Name, Robert Heide, Taylor Mead, Lou Reed, Gerard Malanga, Brigid Berlin, Sally Kirkland, Danny Fields, Bibbe Hansen, Ivy Nicholson and Ultra Violet."
An exhibition of works by Eduardo Paolozzi from Ambit magazine will be shown at Raven Row in London from September 4, 2009 until November 1, 2009. The exhibition is guest curated by David Brittain and Four Corners Books which recently published a facsimile edition of Paolozzi's Ambit works as pictured above. One of the articles reproduced in the facsimile edition makes reference to Warhol's The Chelsea Girls, which is compared unfavorably to Shirley Clarke's film, Portrait of Jason, with Clarke's film demonstrating, according to the article, "the difference between an artist (i.e. Miss Clarke) and a commercialist (i.e. Andy Warhol and other recorders of the boring prurience that evolves on the screen in freak-show terms as The Chelsea Girls.)" In addition to Paolozzi's work for Ambit, the Raven Row exhibition will also include bronzes from the late fifties, prints from the 60s and 70s, artists’ scrapbooks as well as a range of space age toys from the artist’s collection.
From the introduction to The Jet Age Compendium: Eduardo Paolozzi at Ambit by David Brittain:
"By 1967 New York had replaced Paris as the undisputed capital of the art market and there was commercial interest in British Pop art there. Paolozzi's visits across the Atlantic had begun to increase from 1960, and he was represented by the prestigious Betty Parsons gallery... From the late fifties an interest in cybernetics was translated into works of art such as his series of bronzes made with circuit boards (such as Large Frog (New Version), 1958). Now the latest technology was informing the activities of some of the best American artists. Paolozzi found parallels with his own machine style for instance, in Andy Warhol's factory aesthetic of prefabrication and reproduction."
Paolozzi is considered a seminal influence in the history of British Pop. The term "pop art" first appeared in print in the U.K. in 1956 - well before it became an art movement in the states. Alison and Peter Smithson used the term to refer to popular art in their article "But Today We Collect Ads" in the November 1956 issue of the British magazine, Ark. British art writer Lawrence Alloway is often incorrectly credited with using the term first - something which Alloway, himself, denied. (See "First Use of The Term 'Pop Art' in Print.") Paolozzi's early collages (actually pages from his scrapbook) known as the Bunk collages are often considered as precursors to Pop, along with the 1956 This is Tomorrow exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in which Paolozzi participated. Art writer Marco Livingstone has noted that some of Paolozzi's work (along with that of Richard Hamilton) have "retrospectively come to be regarded as among the first standard-bearers of British Pop." (ML33) Among the general public however, Paolozzi is probably best known for his mosaics in the Tottenham Court Road tube station and his monolothic sculpture of Isaac Newton in the forecourt of the British Library.
The exhibition at Raven Row will also include work by Dave Hullfish Bailey and Nils Norman. Details here.
Merce Cunningham died on Sunday, July 26, 2009. A statement issued by the Cunningham Dance Foundation said that Cunningham "died peacefully in his home of natural causes." Warhol's silkscreens of Cunningham from the 1960s and Warhol's Silver Clouds (used as part of the stage set of Cunningham's RainForest dance in 1968) are currently on exhibit at The Warhol museum as part of the "Warhol Live" show. Well before Warhol took the ordinary and made it extraordinary by putting it first on canvas (in the case of the Soup Cans) and later on film (Eat, Drink, Sleep etc.), Merce Cunningham was similarly creating dances derived from ordinary movements such as walking - sometimes employing chance methods such as tossing coins to order the dance movements, just as his partner, John Cage, had done with music.
Sally Banes [dance writer]:
"His [Merce Cunningham's] innovations in dance paralleled those of his friend and colleague John Cage in music. Essentially, he made the following claims: 1) any movement can be material for a dance; 2) any procedure can be a valid compositional method; 3) any part or parts of the body can be used (subject to nature's limitations); 4) music, costume, decor, lighting, and dancing have their own separated logics and identities; 5) any dancer in the company might be a soloist; 6) any space might be danced in; 7) dancing can be about anything, but is fundamentally and primarily about the human body and its movements, beginning with walking." (TS6)
"Robert Rauschenberg has been the most important to me and my thought... Cage, too, is a person of many ideas, and of missionary mind, bringing the word. And Merce Cunningham's work. Those are the essential people." (JJ242)
"I was with Jasper Johns at an exhibition and Andy's pillows were just piled in a corner. I immediately thought they would be marvelous on stage because they moved, and they were light, and they took light. So I asked Andy and he said, 'Oh sure.'
Some of the pillows were filled with air - they stayed on the floor - but some were filled with helium and they floated. The dancers had to understand the technique of working with them: you had to push, not kick, to get them to float. When we first did RainForest they had only had one rehearsal with the pillows, and a lot went out into the audience.
We used them once in an event we did in Persepolis - we thought they would look marvelous against the stone pillars. But it was an open-air performance and most of the pillows got away. They were easy to take on tour, though. The air-filled pillows could be deflated, and the helium ones we gave away to children."
(Judith Mackrell, "The Joy of Sets," The Guardian (London), 6 June 2005)
The New York Musical Theatre Festival will be presenting Andy Warhol Was Right from September 30 - October 3, 2009 - a full-length narrative dance musical consisting of four stories which, according to the NYMF blurb, "dance around the question of celebrity in a party hosted by Warhol himself."
The Yale Repertory Company will be presenting the world premiere of Pop! from November 27 - December 19, 2009 at its theatre at 1120 Chapel Street. The play (with book and lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman and music by Anna K. Jacobs) is described on the company's website as a "whodunit musical" directed by Mark Brokaw about "who shot Andy Warhol" hosted by an actress playing Warhol star Candy Darling "in which the famous—and infamous—denizens of Warhol’s legendary Factory all have motives to pull the trigger."
Casting is yet-to-be announced but it will be interesting to see who will play the parts of surviving Factory members such as Billy Name and Gerard Malanga. The person who really shot Andy Warhol was, of course, Valerie Solanas who shot Warhol in his downtown offices - by which time the silver Factory had ceased to exist. The real-life Candy Darling, who only appeared in two full-length 'Warhol' films (directed mostly by Paul Morrissey) after the silver Factory had already closed, died on March 21, 1974.
The Warhol museum is currently exhibiting three installations by Conrad Ventur - The Glamorous Marlene Dietrich performs... featuring Dietrich singing Pete Seger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone? originally filmed in London in 1972; The Late Marilyn (2009) utilizing footage of Marilyn's "Happy Birthday" tribute to John F. Kennedy projected through a rotating crystal pendant; and Billy Name, Screen Test 1 (2009) pictured above. Venues at which Ventur has previously exhibited include Somerset House in London, the Stockholm Konsthall in Sweden and the Kunstverein Munchen Goethe Institute in New York. He is also the editor of Useless ("Because Life is Longer Than You Think") magazine and has lectured on independent publishing at the Hayward Gallery, London and Art Basel, Switzerland.
The exhibition continues until September 13, 2009.
Evanly Schindler, founder of BlackBook magazine, has been named as the new president of Interview magazine. Stephen Mooallem, previously an editor at Interview, has been named as editor in chief. Andy Warhol brought out the first issue of Interview in November 1969. At that time there were four editors listed on its masthead - Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, John Wilcock and Andy Warhol. By the fouth issue, Malanga's name was dropped and Soren Angenoux was hired as managing editor. Bob Colacello replaced Angenoux as managing editor in the autumn of 1970 (at a salary of $50 a week) and in late 1971 Glenn O'Brien replaced Colacello. Rosemary Kent of WWD magazine was made editor in chief in August 1973 and O'Brien quit to run the New York office of Rolling Stone magazine. Kent was fired on June 11, 1975 and soon after Colacello became the editor and then executive editor. The last issue that Colacello worked on was the February 1983 issue. After numerous staff changes and reorganizations O'Brien returned to the magazine last year as the editorial manager (a duty shared with Fabien Baron) but, according to the New York Times, was "forced out" earlier this year. Amazon is currently offering a one-year subscription to Interview for $9.97 here.
An exhibition of Warhol's work from his last decade, "Andy Warhol: The Last Decade," will open at the Milwaukee Art Museum on September 26, 2009 and continue until January 3, 2010. The show's exhibition catalogue by Joseph D. Ketner II is due to be published in September 2009 by Prestel and will feature essays by Keith Hartley and Gregory Volk and contributions by Bruno Bischofberger, Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel. It is available through Amazon here.
Guest curated by Joe Ketner (and organized at the Milwaukee Art Museum by John McKinnon), the show will include more than 50 works of art, including some of Warhol's collaborations with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Warhol's final major work of art - his Last Supper series.
An extensive program of events will take place at the Milwaukee Art Museum in conjunction with the show including a screening of Warhol's videos and TV episodes (October 22 at 6:15 pm); a talk by Vincent Fremont on Warhol's TV work (October 23 at 1:30 pm); a talk on the Last Supper by DaVinci expert Martin Kemp (November 5 at 6:15 pm); and a not to be missed lecture by Charles Stuckey on Warhol as a "has-been" and "comeback" artist. There will also be three book salons (free with museum admission) based around POPism: The Warhol Sixties by Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett (October 10); Edie: American Girl by Jean Stein (November 14); and The Andy Warhol Diaries by Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett (December 12). On September 25th a selection of Warhol's Screen Tests will be shown with The Chelsea Girls. If the drug addicts, alcoholics, homosexuals or transvestite featured in The Chelsea Girls aren't your thing you can always go to the Andy Warhol family day - "Holiday Time with Uncle Andy" (free for Boys and Girls Club members) on December 6th.
After Milwaukee the show will travel to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (February 14 - May 16, 2010), then to the Brooklyn Museum (June 18 - September 12, 2010) and finally to the Baltimore Museum of Art (October 17, 2010 - January 9, 2011).
The Colorado State University Art Museum is hosting two Warhol exhibitions through September 25, 2009. "Through Warhol's Lens" is an exhibiton of photographs by the artist. Subjects include Martha Graham, Truman Capote, Mick Jagger, Paloma Picasso, Edward Kennedy and John Denver. "Warhol's Flowers" - running concurrently with "Through Warhol's Lens" features ten original large silk screened works on loan from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
In conjunction with the exhibition the University has started three blogs including "Memories of Andy" which asks contributors to "Share your memories of Andy Warhol’s 1981 visit to Colorado State University."
Mark Sink (from Memories of Andy):
“We met on a crisp warm day in September 1981 in Fort Collins Colorado. I was an art student and bicycle racer. Andy was my hero. I found him almost by himself signing Kimiko Powers posters. I plopped down right next to him and asked if I could help.
Later, I was summoned to the “Inn.” Racing over there I was pulled over by the police. I told him in a panic, ‘ I’ve been summoned by Andy Warhol!’ He let me go without a ticket. Andy asked me for ideas for photos for his book America. I showed my recent bloody scrapes on my legs from a bicycle crash racing. I had to pull my shorts up to show him the injuries all the way up to my hip; he shot a whole roll in the parking lot of the motel. Andy then had the opening and the book signing. I stood in line for him to sign my book. I was a wonderful moment. When it was my turn for the signature he signed dozens of pages choosing his favorite portraits. The next month I was on the masthead of Interview while crash learning the hierarchy and cast of his universe..."
Details of the exhibition here.
The blogs can be accessed here.