"a fact a day" - or more
4 May 2015: Footage of the underwhelming Empire State Building light show (for the opening of the Whitney and the ESB's birthday) has been posted on the building's You Tube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkw19uNpdCI.
Although the light show was supposed to be inspired by specific works of art (see below), it's difficult to see how the lights were related to the art. Another version of an Empire State Building light show was featured on the "Good Day New York" television show featuring Donna De Salvo as one of the guests. In that version slides were projected over a photo of the building. That footage can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3J3_ie5y94&feature=youtu.be.
I think I preferred the "Good Day New York" version. At least we got De Salvo's limited commentary about the works. I think they should have just projected a giant image of Donna De Salvo onto the Empire State Building lecturing on modern American Art. Watching the t.v. show, I wondered sometimes whether they were selling a museum or a used car. I forgot how expensive American art museums are. Although admission to the Whitney is $3 less than MoMA, it is still more than twenty times the cost of admission to U.K. museums. Entry to museums in the U.K. is free - including the Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the wonderful British Museum.
Watching the ESB footage made me wonder why nobody else has published their videos of the event on You Tube or their footage of the Times Square Screen Tests for that matter. Is it because the powers that be are not permitting any footage of these public events, other than the official footage, to be posted on You Tube? Or is it due to a lack of interest? Viewers won't "share" the official footage - they want personal footage. It was a public event after all (although the lights of the ESB probably did look more impressive filtered through a glass of champagne at the private viewing at the Whitney.)
Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life
3 May 2015: "Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life" opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on 27 October 2015 and continues until 10 January 2016. It will be followed by "International Pop" - see below - which will run 24 February 2016 - 15 May 2016.
James Rosenquist and Campbell's Soup
3 May 2015: This is the last week for for the "James Rosenquist: Illustrious Works on Paper, Illuminating Paintings" exhibition which closes 9 May 2015 at the OSU Museum of Art. Rosenquist's Screen Test is one of the Screen Tests chosen for projection in Times Square. According to art dealer Allan Stone, he (Stone) had offered Rosenquist, Warhol and Robert Indiana a three-man show prior to Warhol's Soup Can show at the Ferus, but he had been turned down. (See http://www.warholstars.org/nowhere/andy_warhol_r27.html.)
Like Warhol, Rosenquist used product imagery in his paintings - including painting a dish of Campbell's tomato soup "long before" Warhol's Soup Cans.
When I began using advertising imagery in my paintings it was never a question of beating advertisers at their own game. It was simply the idea of doing something that had the same force as advertising, using their techniques and bizarre imagery. I never used a brand name. The closest I ever came to displaying a product was when I painted a big dish of Campbell's tomato soup with parts of male and female images floating in it. This was long before Andy Warhol's soup can. It was called In the Red, meaning broke - the average bourgeois family that is always broke. (See http://www.warholstars.org/nowhere/andy_warhol_r26.html.)
2 May 2015: The Catherine Smulders gallery in Paris will be showing work by Warhol star Gerard Malanga at Photo London 2015 in London - taking place 21-24 May (with a preview on the 20th) at Somerset House.
Details of Photo London at: http://photolondon.org.
Details of Malanga exhibition: http://www.carolinesmulders.com/#!en-cours-et--venir/cc53.
Screen Test in Times Square & TV at Jewish Museum
1 May 2015: Don't miss the first Screen Test tonight in Times Square - starts just before midnight at 11.57 pm (see below).
Also, Andy Warhol is one of the artists included in the Jewish Museum's excellently curated "Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television" exhibition which opens today and continues until 20 September 2015. Included is Warhol's TV Guide cover featuring Barbra Feldon from Get Smart.
Details of the exhibition at: http://thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/revolution-of-the-eye.
TV Guide 5-11 March 1966
Superstar celebrates 84th birthday
30 April 2015: While a Warhol Screen Test is projected in Times Square, one of Warhol's earliest and most famous superstars will be celebrating their 84th birthday tomorrow night - 1 May 2015 - at another midtown location. The birthday of the Empire State Building (along with the opening of the Whitney) will be celebrated with a massive light show featuring twelve iconic artworks as interpreted by ex-Pink Floyd lighting designer, Marc Bricman. The event will begin on 8 pm on 1 May and end at 2 am the following morning. Works by Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko and others will be featured. A private view of the light show will be held at the Whitney on the outdoor terraces.
Screen Tests revisited
29 April 2015: Only two more days to the screenings of Andy Warhol's Screen Tests in Times Square. I've revised my essay on the Screen Tests, adding comments on each of the tests that are going to be shown. Re-visiting the Screen Tests reminded me of all the work and care that Callie Angell put into cataloguing and writing about them. The first volume of the film cat. rais. is an amazing piece of work. She is part of the history of the films. I think Warhol would have loved having the films screened in Times Square - not only does the Square represent New York to the rest of the world, it's so close to where the original Factory was located. R.I.P. Warhol. R.I.P. Callie.
My revised essay is here: http://www.warholstars.org/screen-tests.html.
BBC: Warhol and Fashion
28 April 2015: Sara McCorquodale has written an interesting account of Warhol's influence on fashion - particularly in regard to Warhol's Soup Can dress and the Souper Dress that was produced not by Warhol but by Campbell's. You could buy one by sending in $1 and two Campbell's soup labels. Essay on the BBC website at: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150427-soup-cans-that-changed-fashion.
The New Whitney
27 April 2015: The new Whitney opens in four days. See: http://whitney.org/About/NewBuilding. And whatever happened to the plan for a Warhol retrospective next year at the Whitney that was mentioned in the film cat. rais. press release here: http://whitney.org/file_columns/0002/7736/warhol_volume_2_press_release.pdf?
Warhol and Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls
26 April 2015: "Warhol and Mapplethorpe: Guise & Dolls" will open at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art on 17 October 2015 and run until 24 January 2016. The exhibition will focus on New York in the 70s and 80s and will include Andy Warhol's Ladies and Gentlemen series of drag queen portraits as well as Christopher Mako's photos of Warhol in drag. Work by Mapplethorpe will include images of Patti Smith and weightlifter Lisa Lyon.
An exhibition catalogue, edited by Patricia Hickson and costing $60, will be published concurrently with the exhibition. Contributors to the catalogue include Jonathan D. Katz, Tirza True Latimer, Vincent Fremont, Eileen Myles and Christopher Makos.
25 April 2015: Tracing Outlines, the documentary on the gallery that Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein and others frequented while they were students in Pittsburgh, is going to be shown for the first time at the Carnegie Museum of Art on 21 May 2015. The Outlines Gallery is probably where Warhol first met John Cage - see "When Did Andy Warhol Meet John Cage?" and "Notes on John Cage, Erik Satie's Vexations and Andy Warhol's Sleep."
Details on the screening at: http://www.cmoa.org/CalendarEvent.aspx?eid=25324.
Andy Warhol's Shadows in Paris
24 April 2015: Andy Warhol's Shadows - a 130m long installation of 102 paintings - opens at the Le Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris on 2 October 2015 and runs until the 7th of February 2016. They were previously on exhibit at MOCA in Los Angeles from 20 September 20 2014 to February 15, 2015.
During the MOCA exhibition the Shadows were likened to Rothko's work - particularly the Seagram murals at the Tate Modern in London. MOCA Director, Philippe Vergne, was quoted in the L.A. Times as saying that Warhol had given up painting by the late 1960s but after attending the opening of the Pompidou Center in France, Warhol "fell in love with art and painting again, and rushed back to New York” to create what, according to Vergne, Warhol referred to as "disco Rothko" for Studio 54. L.A. Times journalist Ellen Olivier writes "Like Mark Rothko’s paintings, which were created for Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant but never installed, Vergne said Warhol’s disco décor didn’t wind up at the artist’s favorite disco palace either; it was acquired instead by the Dia Art Foundation." (http://www.latimes.com/fashion/alltherage/la-ar-andy-warhol-shadows-exhibition-celebrated-at-moca-20140919-story.html)
Andy Warhol's Screen Tests in Times Square
23 April 2015: Ten of Andy Warhol's Screen Tests are going to be shown in Times Square every night during the month of May 2015. The films will be shown on Times Square's electronic billboards from 11:57-midnight and will include Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Lou Reed, Harry Smith and Edie Sedgwick.
22 April 2015: More changes at the Andy Warhol Museum (aka The Warhol) - Kenny Marshall has been appointed the Director of Exhibitions. Marshall previously worked at installing and helping to curate a number of shows at venues such as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He has at least two piercings. (Any more anywhere else?)
The Warhol is also putting on a Philip Pearlstein exhibition beginning 30 May which will include at least one of the paintings (Merry-go-round) that were reproduced in the 16 June 1941 issue of Life magazine in an article about the Carnegie Institute's 14th annual show of high school art sponsored by Scholastic Magazine. (See: http://www.warholstars.org/nowhere/andy_warhol_p8.html.)
Details of the exhibition at: http://www.warhol.org/responsive/event.aspx?id=25083.
And The Warhol is also putting on Madeline Peyroux tomorrow at the The Carnegie Lecture Hall. See: http://www.warhol.org/responsive/event.aspx?id=24744. (Very Highly Recommended)
Happy Birthday Edie Sedgwick
21 April 2015: To commemorate Edie Sedgwick on her birthday yesterday, Vogue magazine published a memorial on its website at: http://www.vogue.com/13255482/remembering-edie-sedgwick-actress-model/. Edie would be 72 years old if she were still alive today.
Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans at MoMA
20 April 2015: While the disastrous Bjork exhibition continues to take up much of the main space of the Museum of Modern Art, a Warhol exhibition - "Andy Warhol: Campbell's Soup Cans and Other Works, 1953–1967" - opens on the second floor, in the Paul J. Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries, this Thursday (25 April 2015). For the first time, the 32 Campbell Soup Cans first exhibited at the Ferus Gallery in 1962 will be displayed in a single line similar to the way they were displayed at the Ferus in Los Angeles. The exhibition that put Warhol on the art map took place in L.A., not New York. I wonder what would have happened if L.A. hadn't discovered Warhol. (For more about the Soup Cans, see "The Origin of Andy Warhol's Soup Cans or The Synthesis of Nothingness.")
19 April 2015: The new documentary about Danny Fields, Danny Says, (directed by Brendan Toller) was shown Thursday at Cimmfest - a four day festival of film and music in Chicago that ends today.
Danny Says director, Brendan Toller (@btollhaus)
poses with the Sticky Fingers album cover
Post-production on the film was paid for through a successful Kickstarter campaign - the film was first shown at SXSW on 18 March. Press from the SXSW screening can be found at: http://dannysaysfilm.com/Danny_Says/Danny_Says_Press.html.
The trailer for Danny Says can be found on the Cimmfest website at: http://cimmfest.org/danny-says/. A recent interview with Danny Fields about the film is at: http://www.cmj.com/feature/danny-fields/.
3-D Warhol: The Sculptural Work of Andy Warhol
18 April 2015: Books about Andy Warhol often promise new information about the artist but fail to come up with the goods or end up making mountains out of mole hills. But there is a book coming out in November on Warhol's sculpture (yes, sculpture) which really does deliver new information about the artist and his working techniques - 3-D Warhol: The Sculptural Work of Andy Warhol by Thomas Morgan-Evans. The book represents more than three years of research on Warhol's sculptures by the author who holds a PhD in Philosophy (History of Art) from the University of London and in 2013 gave a talk on Warhol's Silver Clouds at the Henry Moore Institute. Amazon is accepting pre-orders now for his Warhol book. Highly recommended.
Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol
17 April 2015: The Andy Warhol/William Morris exhibition, "Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol," is at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from 25 April 2015 to 6 September 2015. It had previously been at Modern Art Oxford from 6 December 2014 to 8 March 2015. (Photos of the Oxford exhibition at: http://www.jeremydeller.org/LoveIsEnough/Love.php.)
Why an exhibition of Andy Warhol and William Morris? What does the one have to do with the other? The answer has to do with the artist Jeremy Deller who curated the exhibition. Morris and Warhol are his "two greatest artistic influences." Deller visited Warhol's offices in New York in 1986 after being groped by him at the Ritz:
From "Jeremy Deller: my summer in Andy Warhol’s Factory," The Guardian, 3 December 2014:
One day when Jeremy Deller was 20, he heard that Andy Warhol was going to be at the opening of a show in London. “I thought, ‘I’m going to go and get my picture taken with him.’” It was 1986 and Deller was an art history graduate. Once he got to the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, he watched Warhol “sitting at a big table signing stuff”. Then he was approached by one of Warhol’s entourage who invited him to the artist’s hotel room. “They said, ‘Come to the Ritz tomorrow night, room 321.’”
So the following night, he found himself with his mate Chris – “I thought I needed back up, I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for” – outside room 321. Fighting back giggles, they knocked on the door and were let into a room in which Warhol and four or five other men were watching The Benny Hill Show with the sound turned down, while listening to Roxy Music’s greatest hits.
It was a pivotal moment in Deller’s life. “We just spent a couple of hours there, with him taking pictures of us. We had these hats and stuff in our bag and we started trying them on. It was innocent fun until he groped me.” What? In the Ritz? “I took it as a compliment. I was quite flattered. I know it’s not politically correct to say so.”
The meeting led to an invitation for Deller to visit Warhol that summer at the Factory in New York. “I went into it with my eyes open.” Did he grope you again? “No. There was never any repeat of what happened.”
Details of the Birmingham show at: http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag/whats-on/love-is-enough-william-morris-and-andy-warhol.
BBC clip of Deller talking about Warhol at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01nnw44.
Lou Reed's sister defends the family
16 April 2015: In an astonishingly frank article, Lou Reed's sister, Merrill Reed Weiner, has attempted to set "the record straight" regarding Lou's family life including his "nervous breakdown" which resulted in shock therapy. Describing their family as "an average middle class Jewish family," she defends her parents as "blazing liberals" who consented to Lou's shock therapy because he "was depressed, weird, anxious, and avoidant" and not because he had "confessed to homosexual urges." She asks whether their parents made a "mistake in not challenging the doctor's recommendation for ECT" and answers "Absolutely. I have no doubt they regretted it until the day they died. But the family secret continued. We absolutely never spoke about the treatments, then or ever."
The article, A Family in Peril: Lou Reed’s Sister Sets the Record Straight About His Childhood, can be found at: https://medium.com/cuepoint/a-family-in-peril-lou-reed-s-sister-sets-the-record-straight-about-his-childhood-20e8399f84a3.
Dubliner joins staff of the Andy Warhol Museum
15 April 2015: A Dubliner, Bartholomew Ryan, is joining the staff of the Andy Warhol Museum as the Milton Fine Curator of Art on 18 May 2015. He will be replacing Nicholas Chambers who left the job in November to return to his native Australia. Ryan previously worked for the Walker Art Center and co-curated their current "International Pop" exhibition (see below). Ryan is a graduate of Trinity College in Dublin and also studied in the states at Bard. In 2013 he curated the "9 Artists" group exhibition (Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Renzo Martens, Bjarne Melgaard, Nastio Mosquito, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Hito Steyerl, and Danh Vo) and co-curated "Painter Painter" which included work by Matt Connors, Sarah Crowner, Fergus Feehily, Jay Heikes, Rosy Keyser, Charles Mayton, Dianna Molzan, Joseph Montgomery, Katy Moran, Alex Olson, Scott Olson, Zak Prekop, Dominik Sittig, Lesley Vance, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.
A short interview with Bartholomew Ryan can be found in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - see "Dublin native named Warhol Museum's new Milton Fine curator."
14 April 2015: Liz Worth is rewriting Warhol. She has turned a: a novel into a series of poems to be published this autumn. About her book, Rewriting Andy Warhol, Liz says that she "created 451 poems out of Andy Warhol’s a: A Novel. Each page was created into a poem, and each poem uses only words and phrases from its specified page. That project started as a blog and is being published in book form by BookThug this fall." A sample of her work can be found at: http://www.lizworth.com/rewriting-andy-warhol/. See also an interview with her in Zouch about her next project based on Twin Peaks: http://zouchmagazine.com/interview-liz-worth-twin-peaks-poetry-project/#ixzz3XFjsinfl)
International Pop vs. The World Goes Pop
13 April 2015: The Walker Art Center has artistically "gazumped" the Tate Modern with their International Pop exhibition which opened at the Walker on Saturday, 11 April 2015. The Tate Modern is planning a similar exhibition to open on 17 September 2015 called "The World Goes Pop," about Pop from an international perspective. From the description of the Tate show, however, the definition of what constitutes Pop seems stretched to the limits - or even beyond the limits - whereas the Walker show concentrates on the known antecedents of Pop and art that was categorized by pre-Pop labels such as New Realism or Neo-Dada. "Pop" was formally accepted as the name of the new art movement at a symposium held at MoMA on 13 December 1962.
The international movements related to Pop - examples of which are featured in the Walker exhibition - include Nouveau Réalisme in France, Concretism and Neo-Concretism (Brazil), the Art of Things (Argentina), Anti-Art (Japan) and Capitalist Realism (Germany).
"International Pop" has taken five years of planning and features more than 175 artworks by 100 artists from 20 countries. In addition to Warhol, the artists in the Walker show include Peter Blake, Rosalyn Drexler, Erró, León Ferrari, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Tanaami Keiichi, Yves Klein,Marisol, Marta Minujín, Claes Oldenburg, Wanda Pimentel, Michaelangelo Pistoletto, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Niki de Saint Phalle, Okamoto Shinjiro Wayne Thiebaud, Jean Tinguely and others. Curated by Bartholomew Ryan and Darsie Alexander.
Screenings to be held in conjunction with the Walker show include films by Derek Boshier, Andy Warhol, Jean Luc-Godard, Tadanori Yokoo, George Kuchar, Guy Debord, William Klein, Ken Russell, Bruce Conner, Peter Whitehead and Niki de Saint Phalle.
Definitely not to be missed.
12 April 2015: Smash Cut, Brad Gooch's memoir of New York in the '80s and his relationship with his lover, Howard Brookner, is to be published on Monday. Brookner directed the film, Burroughs: the Movie and is mentioned in the latest Burroughs biography by Barry Miller: "Brookner decided that for his senior thesis he would like to make a full-length documentary about Burroughs. Bill agreed, a contract was signed, and Howard started work. Bill liked to have him around: he was gay and a heroin addict, so he fitted right in." (BMB546)
Brookner died of AIDS in 1989, just a few years before the introduction of combination therapy which would probably have saved his life. Gooch is currently married to Paul Raushenbush, a religious editor at the Huffington Post. They recently had a son.
In addition to Brookner and Burroughs, the book also includes mentions of Andy Warhol, Madonna and other high-profile New Yorkers of the '80s. Gooch notes in the prologue: "...I'd been writing by myself, for several months, trying to recall the past, as if it were a dream that I was recording, like a novel, with these characters Brad and Howard, and some other more famous characters like Andy or Bill or Madonna, names that felt italicized as I typed them out."
Gooch previously wrote the Frank O'Hara biography, City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara. (Warhol had, at one point, planned a film called Messy Lives featuring pieces by O'Hara and other poets, but no footage was ever shot.)
I'll do a short review of Gooch's new book once I've read it and will post it here.
A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol
11 April 2015: BBC Scotland is doing a documentary on a day in the life of Andy Warhol. Shooting in New York in late May/June. (I wonder what day they are doing - I hear that 6 October 1966 was a good day.)
Warhol by the Book
10 April 2015: "Warhol by the Book" at the Williams College Museum of Art closes in August 2015. Review by Blake Gopnik who is currently working on a biography of the artist: https://news.artnet.com/art-world/at-williams-college-andy-warhol-casts-his-queer-eye-on-books-276393.
09 April 2015: In preparation for their upcoming Prints & Multiples sale, "and its leading lot, Keith Haring’s Andy Mouse," Christie's has posted an interesting page on Keith Haring and the Andy Mouse, with quotes from Warhol and Haring and some great images of the screenprints. They will be auctioning off the complete set of four screenprints from 1986, each signed and dated by Haring and Warhol. See: http://www.christies.com/features/Haring-and-Warhol-5831-1.aspx.
A fact a day
08 April 2015: Does this new format work in your browser? If not, email me: email@example.com. I'll be adding at least one Warhol-related news "fact" a day - taking as my inspiration what Warhol allegedly said to Henry Geldzahler: "Oh, you know so much. Teach me a fact a day and then I'll be as smart as you." (LD139)
Andy Warhol's Great-Niece does Pysanky (in Manchester, England)
07 April 2015: Julia Warhola's (alleged) great-niece does pysanky in Manchester, England. See: "Manchester woman continues old world egg decorating tradition of ‘pysanky.'"
Warhol N.Y. branch is cancelled
06 April 2015: The Warhol museum has recently announced that it will not be carrying forward the plans to establish a New York branch as part of a new development in Seward Park on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. The branch was planned to be 10,000 square feet.
Eric Shiner, the director of The Warhol, has issued a statement saying that "The Andy Warhol Museum, which had been exploring its participation in the Essex Crossing development in lower Manhattan, has determined that it will not proceed with the project. Despite the efforts of both the museum and the developers, an internal study of business and other operational considerations led the museum to this decision."