20 June 2019: Donna De Salvo has resigned from the Whitney Museum. She will be leaving on July 1st. De Salvo was the Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator for the Whitney. She organised the recent Warhol retrospective, "Andy Warhol - From A to B and Back Again."
The exhibition got rave reviews in the press, although it was less popular on social media. I don't recall many pictures appearing on social media of people posing with their favourite paintings from the show, and some of the survivors of the sixties expressed that they felt excluded.
The naming of the exhibition was also unusual. It was named after a book that, according to Pat Hackett and Bob Colacello, was actually written by them - see "The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again."
The Whitney's press release about De Salvo simply states that she has resigned to "pursue other interests," but doesn't indicate whether those interests include participation in the six month exhibition of Warhol's work scheduled for the Tate Modern next year, where De Salvo used to work.
Meanwhile, the retrospective she organised has moved from New York to San Francisco, which might be a good thing. The Whitney's show was tarnished somewhat by circumstances out of De Salvo's control when it was discovered that one of the board members of the museum was the head of a company that provided the tear gas that was used against immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. (See "Demonstrators Fill the Whitney Museum—and Burn Sage—to Protest Its Vice Chairman’s Ties to Tear Gas Manufacturer.")
I also found the catalogue for the retrospective a bit of an anomaly. It seemed to give the impression that Warhol emerged out of nowhere. There was very little about the milieu of the late fifties and early sixties that gave rise to Pop Art or how Warhol fitted in with the other Pop artists in the pre-Pop, "neo-Dada" era.
Pop rose up out of influences like John Cage, who spent a considerable time in Pittsburgh when Warhol was a student (See When did Andy Warhol Meet John Cage?); artists who had already gone "Pop" like Oldenburg; and even the scene at Coenties Slip which started in the late fifties and included artists like Robert Indiana (who was later featured in Warhol's film, Eat.) John Cage is mentioned on one page on the exhibition catalogue (yes, only one) and the same with Oldenburg. If you want to know how the Soup Cans emerged, the catalogue raisonne gives the best account and there is also my essay, "The Origin of Andy Warhol's Soup Cans or The Synthesis of Nothingness."
I realise that the retrospective probably tried to come up with a new approach to Warhol, but there's a difference between a new approach and ignoring history. The art writer, William S. Wilson, once sent me an email (quoted in the yet-to-be published book, The Real World) which summed up the pre-Pop situation as only Bill could. He points out that there were many horses at the starting gate of Pop, and questions how an outsider, Andy Warhol, managed to win the race; an interesting question but one which the exhibition catalogue, unfortunately, doesn't answer. Why did Warhol win the race? (Bill mentions the scene at Coenties Slip in his email which he was very familiar with - it's where he met his wife, the artist Anne Wilson.)
William S. Wilson:
Gary: as you see, I wander away from Andy, not to confuse you, but to convey a sense of the whole huge field of the era, wherein Andy was one figure woven into an immense tapestry of people, many of them at that time aspiring to become successful artists, hence just like Andy at that time, that is, equal to Andy in the sense of having talent and potential to become significant.
Many horses were at the starting-gate, and the race was only about to begin when I became intimate with Coenties Slip, where Agnes Martin blew up a telephone booth to get the money, she was so desperate. Robert Indiana did some sexual work for money. I don't quite know how to delineate Andy's splendid isolation - next to some other Pop Artists, but never with them on the same plane socially. Ray was his friend, I guess, but each seemed to be in a world of his own, at least at a distance from other Pop artists of enduring significance.
I am curating "Ray Johnson: the art of friendship," but wouldn't know how to begin "Andy Warhol: the art of friendship." Of course I, or you, or we, must wonder what did Andy know?, and when did he know it?, and how did the publicities arise that separated him so extremely from all other artists, as far as I could see? Who, among artists, put in a good word for Andy through the 1960s? You look back through the lens of fame and the later achievements in film, but I can go back to my experience, seeing the situation as it was then, albeit from my narrow perspectives: Bill
The chief archivist for the Andy Warhol Museum, Matt Wrbican, died of brain cancer on June 1, 2019. Matt's death is a major loss for Warhol scholarship. I was often in touch with Matt during the early years of the site. I will always remember him from those early years when he, along with Billy Name and Callie Angell were so helpful. The world of Warhol scholarship owes a considerable debt to all three. Warhol biographer, Blake Gopnik, has paid tribute to Matt on his website, warholiana.com.
Matt's obituary can be found in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
An article on the short-lived Broadway production that Andy Warhol and Richard Turley 'presented,' Man on the Moon (produced by Paul Morrissey) has appeared on the New York Theatre website. See Andy Warhol from A To Broadway: That Time Warhol Produced a Broadway Musical. (See also: Andy Warhol presents Man on the Moon.)
Photographer Stephen Shore, author (with Lynn Tillman) of Factory: Andy Warhol (Phaidon, 2016) and Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory, 1965 - 1967 (Pavilion Books, 1997) will be speaking at Somerset House on 16 May 2019 at 1:00 pm in the Lancaster Room. [Note: This event is now sold out]
There will be an exhibition of works by Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern for six months beginning in March 2020. Details on the Tate press release and in The Guardian. Further details will be posted here as they are released.
According to the press release for the "Warhol Women" exhibition at Lévy Gorvy, the show will include screenings of Andy Warhol's Screen Tests. The opening reception for the exhibition is Wednesday night, April 24, 2019 and the show runs from April 25 to June 15, 2019.
According to Callie Angell in the first volume of the film cat. rais., the first Screen Tests were shot for the film series The Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys. In 2015 a selection of Warhol's Screen Tests were projected in Times Square.
There is an interview with Matt Gray, a project cataloguer at the Andy Warhol Museum, in the current issue of the Pittsburgh City Paper.
Bob Colacello, Fred Hughes, Hotel Excelsior, Naples, 1976. © Bob Colacello
An exhibition of photographs by Warhol insider and Interview magazine editor, Bob Colacello, will run from May 3 to June 21, 2019 at Vito Schnabel Projects. Details: 43 CLARKSON STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10014 T. 646 386 2246 F. 212 504 0836 INFO@VITOSCHNABEL.COM.
Colacello is the author of the riveting insider's view of Andy Warhol's world, Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up; he was the managing editor of Interview magazine from the autumn of 1970 to late '71 and became the executive editor after Rosemary Kent was fired in 1975. (See "Andy Warhol's Interview."). He also helped to write, along with Pat Hackett, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again. The exhibition and Colacello's book, Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up, are both Highly Recommended.
For Bob Colacello's comments on Fred Hughes from Holy Terror, see: "Fred Hughes attacks Andy Warhol."
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
There will be a Factory-style party on the fourth floor of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's "Art Bash" fundraiser on May 22, 2019. The evening which will include a performance by the indie pop band Luna, featuring Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips who did "13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests" and "Exposed: Songs for Unseen Warhol Films." The event on the fourth floor is in celebration of the Warhol retrospective, Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again, which will run from May 19–September 2, 2019 at the museum, travelling there from the Whitney in New York.
Other performances include Nick Cave activating the atrium with an LED art floor and Soundsuit Invasions. Throughout the evening, 10 Soundsuits dancers will perform in the atrium.
Art Bash is sponsored by: Dolly and George Chammas, Penny S. and James G. Coulter, Roberta and Steve Denning, The Fisher Family, Kathryn Hall and Tom Knutsen, Jessica and Jason Moment, Diana Nelson and John Atwater, Deborah and Kenneth Novack, Gina and Stuart Peterson, Lisa S. Pritzker, Helen and Charles Schwab, Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg and John and Ali Walecka.
For full details of the Art Bash, see the press release.
An exhibition of Nat Finkelstein's photographs - 'In and Out of Warhol's Orbit: Photographs by Nat Finkelstein" - runs until April 11 to June 1, 2019 at Proud Central in London. The gallery is located at 32 John Adam Street, WC2 6BP, London, Tel: 020 7839 4942.
Superstar site-user Vernon Purnell has brought to my attention a Rolling Stone magazine article announcing an exhibition of paintings by Bob Dylan to take place at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa from May 10, 2019 to September 15, 2019. Andy Warhol's Screen Test of Dylan will also be shown.
Vincent Fremont standing in the hallway of Andy Warhol's final "Factory"
Thomas Kiedrowski, the author of Andy Warhol’s New York City (Penguin Random House) has brought to my attention some stunning online photographs of Andy Warhol's final "Factory" in the Con Edison Building by the photographer, Timothy Hursley, who also shot Warhol's bedroom in his townhouse on East 66th Street.
Fascinating website of photographs by a fascinating photographer.
The edition of the new David Bailey book that includes a signed print of Andy Warhol
Taschen is publishing limited editions of a new David Bailey book that includes a signed print by the photographer.
The first Art Edition came with a print of John Lennon and Paul McCartney and sold out at £11,250. The "Andy Warhol 1965" edition (no. 226-300) will be sold for £9,000 and is "coming soon." Details on the Taschen website. Includes introduction by Damien Hirst.