July 30, 2020: Brigid Berlin obituary in The Guardian.
July 17, 2020: Warhol superstar and confidante, Brigid Berlin has died. Details forthcoming.
July 15, 2020: Susan Pile, who worked for Andy Warhol during the 60s, is going to be part of a Zoom event on Friday, July 17 (5:30 - 7:30 pm) for the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, whose Andy Warhol exhibition, Revelation, continues until November 29, 2020.
Susan Pile and Noel Redding (bass player for the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Susan will be talking about her days at the Factory and presenting some of her memorabilia from the time. If you'd like to be part of the free (but ticketed) Zoom session, you can join at the Speed Museum. Highly recommended.
Susan Pile and her friend Edward Walsh
Andy Warhol (Diaries, March 25, 1977 - Los Angeles):
Diana Vreeland had a limo and we were going out to George Cukor's with her. George wouldn't let me take photos. I was disappointed. He said he loved Bad, raved about it. He'd seen it the day before with Paul Morrissey at Susan Pile's big screening at the Picwood Theater - Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty and Julie Christie went, 750 people.
William S. Wilson at the British Museum (September 2005) (Photo: Gary Comenas)
July 15, 2020: An exhibition of Bill Wilson's collection of work by Ray Johnson is to be shown in a major exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ray Johnson c/o is scheduled to run from January 23, 2021 to May 23, 2021.
July 15, 2020: Gilbert and George have resigned from the Royal Academy in London. According to Vanessa Thorpe in The Observer, "The artists stood down as academicians after the gallery said it would not be hosting the show they had planned." Details here.
July 13, 2020: The well-respected Warhol scholar and senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Gary Garrels, has resigned after a racism row.
Before working for SFMOMA, Garrels worked for a number of museums, including an appointment as the director of programs at the Dia Art Foundation where Andy Warhol's Shadows are exhibited. He edited the excellent collection of articles about Andy Warhol's work, The Work of Andy Warhol, which featured essays by Charles F. Stuckey, Nan Rosenthal and "queer" art scholar, Trevor Fairbrother. Garrels was also on the non-defunct Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board.
Garrels was praised by Donna De Salvo for his Warhol scholarship by the curator of the Andy Warhol retrospective, Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, in the catalogue for the show which ran at the Whitney (November 12, 2018 - March 31, 2019), SFMOMA (May 18 - September 2, 2019) and the Art Institute of Chicago (October 20, 2019 - January 26, 2020). De Salvo acknowledged Garrels as one of the scholars who she had "sustained years-long conversations about the artist and Pop art and whose own work has been particularly influential to my thinking." (Donna De Salvo et al., Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again (Whitney Museum of Art, 2018), p. 13
Garrels also worked for the Museum of Modern Art in New York and helped to organise the exhibition, MoMA at El Museo: Latin American and Caribbean Art from the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art (March 4, 2004 to July 25, 2004).
He worked for SFMOMA during two periods. During an earlier stint there (1993 - 2000), he was one of the organisers of Inside Out: New Chinese Art. (February 26, 1999 - March 7, 2000).
July 10, 2020: The Tate Modern in London has extended their Andy Warhol exhibition until November 15, 2020.
They have also announced that they will be hosting a major Philip Guston exhibition in Spring 2021.
Joe Dallesandro in Madness
July 2, 2020: One of the last films that Warhol star, Joe Dallesandro, made in Italy, Madness, or Vacanze per un massacro, is now available on Amazon Prime Start as a freebie for joining. The film (in Italian, including an actor dubbing for Joe), is subtitled in English. Directed by Fernando di Leo, it was one of the last European films that Joe appeared it before returning to the States.
Joe was discovered by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey; his first Warhol film was Loves of Ondine, although he is mostly known for Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys and the films that Paul Morrissey directed for Warhol, particularly Trash with Holly Woodlawn.
According to Joe, he was offered a percentage of the Morrissey films, but never got it:
No, I don't [get] royalties from Euro films, none from Morrissey-Warhol films. I get small $10 or $20 checks occasionally. I still am trying to get Paul to honor the 5% he promised on all 5 films when they talked me into doing Frankenstein and Dracula. They had a deal with the money people that I had to star in the films or they'd take the money off the table. I'm still waiting for my percentage 40 years later. Which is why in Andy 's diary he always talks about "Joe called asking for money" like i was some beggar, when in fact I was trying to get my percentage. [According to Joe, the five Morrissey films were Trash, Heat, Flesh, Dracula and Frankenstein.] (See: Gary Comenas, The Real World (Silverton, Oregon: Fast Books Press), p.20.
June 30, 2020: The Tate Modern is now due to open on July 27, 2020. It had previously been announced, through The Art Newspaper (see below), that it would open in August. The Andy Warhol exhibition runs until September 6, 2020. Highly recommended.
Sin at the National Gallery
June 26, 2020 (Updated 30 June 2020): The National Gallery is expected to take the lead in regard to museum openings in the UK by opening on July 8, 2020.
They are extending the opening dates for Titian: Love, Desire, Death and Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age and have rescheduled Sin and Conversations with God: Copernicus by Jan Matejko which will now take place in 2021. The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael, will take place in 2022. Sin includes work by Andy Warhol.
The Tate Modern in London, currently hosting the European Andy Warhol retrospective, is making plans to re-open in early August, 2020. See The Art Newspaper. (Now opening on July 27, 2020 - see update above.)
The UK government is currently paying the employees of institutions that have shut down because of Covid-19 through the furlough scheme. Beginning August 1, employers, themselves, will have to pay the National Insurance and pension contributions for furloughed employees.
June 22, 2020: Sally Banes, the author of Democracy's Body: Judson Dance Theater, 1962-1964, Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance and Greenwich Village 1963 died on June 14, 2020 in Philadelphia at the age of 69 of heart failure and complications of ovarian cancer.
The scene at the Judson, chronicled by Banes, influenced Warhol in a number of ways. Warhol star, Freddy Herko, danced in their dances which often emphasized natural movements, like eating and sleeping and walking. About a month before Warhol started shooting Sleep he attended a performance of Yvonne Rainer's dance, Sleep.
Banes was the main writer suggested to me by Billy Name when I was looking for information about the Judson. (I reproduce the correspondence below, in case it is of interest):
On 29 Dec 2005, at 03:06, BILLY NAME wrote:
gary. there's a book by sally banes(sp?) called the 'the effervescent body' about the judson dance co. she also wrote a book, 'greenwich
village 1964' which includes judson activity and transitions to the warhol factory. bn.
Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2005 9:45 AM
To: BILLY NAME
Subject: Re: judson
Billy - thanks for that. I have the Banes Greenwich Village book and her other book is on my list of things to get at the British Library. There's also a great catalogue for a show that was at the Whitney in 1984 - Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism and Performance 1958 - 1964 (by Barbara Haskell). It has a good history of the Judson in it.
Gavin Butt contacted me re: his book. Mark Lancaster had already told me about it - it looks really interesting. I'm going to include a news
item on it when I update the news section in the next couple of days.
Hope you have a really good new year.
all the best,
p.s. Did I mention that the catalogue for the big Dada exhibition in Paris, which is coming to New York next year, is absolutely brilliant.
From: "BILLY NAME"
Subject: Re: judson
Date: 29 December 2005 at 17:51:03 GMT
hi gary - dada is a favorite art form for me (i was raised on it by ray johnson, dorothy podber, nick cernovich, and norman solomon. i look forward to the catalog. i recal the blam! show at the whitney, but didn't see it. gavin butt told me he used one of my photos on the book cover that he got from the getty. can't wait to see it, the getty is not granted permission to use my images!!! gavin butt interviewed me a few years ago, he might even have been to my house, but i've done so many interviews i can't remember which one was his or what the book is about ha ha. he said he'll send me a copy of the book, but i look forward to your appraisal. next time you talk to mark lancaster give him my regards. louvre, billy.
June 10, 2020: The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh will re-open to the public on June 29, 2020, with the exhibition Femme Touch which runs from June 26, 2020 - January 3, 2021. (The museum will be open to members on June 26, three days earlier than the public.) The exhibition focuses on the women in Warhol's work, including his mother, Julia, and the woman who shot him in 1968, Valerie Solanas.
Organised by José Carlos Diaz, chief curator, with Nicole Dezelon, associate director of learning; Ben Harrison, curator of performing arts and special projects; Geralyn Huxley, curator of film and video; Danielle Linzer, director of learning and public engagement; and Greg Pierce, associate curator of film and video.
The Tate Modern in London may not be far behind, with its Warhol retrospective. Regulations regarding the hospitality industry in the UK are loosening on July 4, 2020, although it's unknown whether that will include museums. Non-essential shops in the UK are opening this Monday, June 15, 2020.
According to the gallery's website the exhibition will include "rare documents exhibited here for the first time," in addition to works of art on loan from other museums and private collections.
A "Factory," inspired by Warhol's Factory will be set up on the banks of the Meusel.
June 5, 2020: Interview magazine sends out free bulletins to people on their mailing list. Usually filled with celebrity interviews and fashion shoots, the current bulletin is a list of organisations that are fighting racism, which I reprint below:
WHERE TO DONATE
BLACK VISIONS COLLECTIVE
NATIONAL BAIL OUT FUND
THE BAIL PROJECT
COMMUNITY BAIL FUNDS
(HERE IS A DOCUMENT WITH A DIRECTORY BY STATE, CREATED BY NOLA BOASBERG)
GEORGE FLOYD MEMORIAL FUND
HOMELESS BLACK TRANS WOMEN FUND
SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER
FAMILIES AGAINST MANDATORY MINIMUMS
COLOR OF CHANGE
RECLAIM THE BLOCK
(A COMPILED LIST OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS TO DONATE TO)
WHERE TO SIGN
JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD
JUSTICE FOR BIG FLOYD
JUSTICE FOR BREONNA TAYLOR
JUSTICE FOR TONY McDADE
MARIO WOODS, NO JUSTICE
TAMIR RICE, NO JUSTICE
MANDATORY LIFE SENTENCE FOR POLICE BRUTALITY
DEFUND THE NYPD
WHAT TO READ
ANTIRACIST ALLYSHIP STARTER PACK
(TATUM DORRELL, MATT HERNDON, JOURDAN DORRELL)
(SARAH SOPHIE FLICKER, ALYSSA KLEIN)
SCAFFOLDED ANTI-RACIST RESOURCES
(ANNA STAMBORSKI, NIKKI ZIMMERMANN, BAILIE GREGORY)
RESOURCES FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACTIONS FOR BLACK LIVES
JUSTICE IN JUNE
(A DAILY GUIDE TO ACTIVE ALLYSHIP)
(UNDERSTANDING THE PRISON SYSTEM AND INJUSTICE; THE COMPANION PIECE TO AVA DuVERNAY'S NETFLIX DOCUSERIES WHEN THEY SEE US)
BLACK REVOLUTIONARY TEXTS
75 THINGS WHITE PEOPLE CAN DO FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
NATIONAL RESOURCE LIST
Oliver Masucci (r.) plays Fassbinder in Enfant Terrible. Alexander Scheer plays Andy Warhol. © BavariaFilmproduktion
June 4, 2020: Alexander Scheer plays Andy Warhol in Enfant Terrible, the new biopic about the filmmaker Werner Fassbinder. Warhol did the poster for Fassbinder's film, Querelle, starring Brad Davis, which was based on Jean Genet's novel.
We went over to where Fassbinder was filming this movie called Querelle by Genet. Brad Davis is the star of it. I got my picture taken with Brad and I got his autograph on an ashtray for Jon [Gould]. Met Fassbinder and he was wearing outrageous clothes, the leopard-skin jodhpurs, and one of the guys standing there said he thought Fassbinder had dressed up like that just for me because he usually wears just plain black leather. He looked like a circus trainer. And Brad Davis looks so strange, so delicate-looking. Much better than the did on the cover of Interview. (The Andy Warhol Diaries, Tuesday March 2, 1982 - Berlin)
A preview of Enfant Terrible has just been released, and can be seen on YouTube.
Tina Chow (Kodak instamatic photo by Antonio Lopez)
June 3, 2020: Fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez's exhibition at the Fondazione Sozzani is on view until September 20, 2020. The gallery was temporarily closed because of the COVID crisis but re-opened on May 23, 2020.
Lopez was well known in New York during the 1980s and part of Andy Warhol's circle of friends. He was particularly close to Michael Chow's wife, the beautiful Tina Chow, who remained friends with him as he battled AIDS until his death from the illness in 1987. Tina (one of the kindest people I have ever met) lost her own battle against the illness in 1992 (see The Real World, 2020).
June 2, 2020: Google search stats issued: Users accessed 334,000 page impressions (aka "hits) of warholstars.org during May 2020.
June 1, 2020: The artist, Christo - known mostly for large public environmental installations like The Gates in New York's Central Park (1979 - 2005) and The London Mastaba at the Serpentine (2016 - 2018), died on May 31, 2020 of "natural causes." He was born June 13, 1935 in Bulgaria. After living in Prague, Vienna, Geneva, he ended up in Paris in 1958. His full name was Christo Vladimirov Javacheff. He first arrived in New York with the encouragement of Leo Castelli, the dealer who would later represent Andy Warhol.
Annie Cohen-Solas (Leo & His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011, p. 316):
Having admired the Wall of Oil Barrels, Iron Curtain that Christo installed on Rue Visconti on June 27, 1962, Castelli encouraged the artist. "Leo is one of the few individuals in the art world who saw Iron Curtain," Christo and Jeanne-Claude recalled. "We were twenty-seven at the time, and he told us 'if you come to New York, we'll do something together.' And then he suggested we go see Sonnabend which was about to open. We spent every Saturday of 1963 at Ileana's gallery, talking and looking at the shows. Then Ileana arranged our first trip to New York, recommending we stay at the Chelsea Hotel and charging the reservation to Leo... And in May 1964, in the group show, 4 at Castelli, with Artschwagger, Hay and Watts, Christo added, "I showed Green Storefront, a metaphor for my escape from Bulagria in 1958."
Warhol star, Ultra Violet, appears briefly in Heartbeat
May 23, 2020: The Xavier Hufkens Gallery continues its free-to-view online screenings of films about artists with Heartbeat, a film about Andy Warhol's artistic colleague John Chamberlain. In an interview with Patrick Smith in 1978, MoMA curator Henry Geldzahler recalled that Warhol had a "John Chamberlain crushed car sculpture" in his home in 1960. Warhol paid tribute to Chamberlain with his painting John Chamberlain (also known as 315 Johns), cat. rais. no. 1939.
John Chamberlain was also at the filming of Andy Warhol's film, Lonesome Cowboys, as recounted by David Bourdon in his biography about Andy Warhol, simply titled Warhol. Bourdon was a friend of Warhol and was at the filming of Lonesome Cowboys.
Chamberlain was also one of the artists asked to show at the New York State Pavillion at the 1964 World's Fair (the same pavillion that briefly featured Warhol's Most Wanted Men series).
The gallery is also currently screening Antony Gormley, Being Human (2015) (Available until 29 May, 2020, 4pm CET) as part of a series of documentaries about artists which they are showing online at no charge while the gallery is closed during the COVID pandemic. Highly recommended.
Upcoming is Thierry De Cordier, C'est moy que je peins (1996) Available 29 May—12 June, 2020.
May 7, 2020: The ex-director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh has died. Sokolowski was appointed head of the museum in 1996. after serving as director of New York University’s Grey Art Gallery & Study Center. He was succeeded by Eric Shiner in 2011. (Shiner left the Warhol in 201 and is currently the Artistic Director for the White Cube gallery in New York.)
In 2017 Sokolowski was appointed the director of the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. An interview with Sokolowski detailing his involvement in World AIDS Day appeared in the Rutgers' student magazine, The Daily Targum, last year, on December 4, 2019.
Added: May 8, 2020: The Pittsburgh Gazette reports "Mr. Sokolowski, 70, suffered a seizure that cased major brain damage and died Wednesday at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J... A memorial service is planned at a later date at Rutgers University. Memorial contributions may be made to the Tom Sokolowski Intern Fund, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 100 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003."
May 6, 2020: Although many accounts of Warhol's life indicate that Warhol's mother lived in his basement in New York and tended to drink a lot, Warhol's nephew recalled otherwise. In 2003, when the New York Times published an article which said that Warhol's mother lived "in the basement of the house, where she had a cross on the wall, a few sticks of furniture and countless Siamese cats. Apparently she spent most of the day drinking Scotch...," Warhol's nephew pointed out that rather than living in a basement she actually had a "a lovely garden apartment."
The following letter from Warhol's nephew appeared in The New York Times on June 8, 2003:
June 8, 2003
To the Editor:
At first I was so very pleased to see a review of my new children's book, Uncle Andy's (May 18). Laura Shapiro, the reviewer, perceives the book as the fond memory that it is of our childhood visits to New York City to see our uncle Andy Warhol and his mother. Though she is very complimentary, she accuses me of shading the facts about someone I knew for almost 20 years. My grandmother did not live in a basement with a few sticks of furniture and drink Scotch all day long. I guarantee you that she had a lovely garden apartment with beautiful furniture, and she did not drink! Those comments were grossly inappropriate and out of place. Shapiro seems to have relied on an unreliable biography.
Poem about Warhol star Denis Deegan by Gerard Malanga on Instagram
May 4, 2020: Warhol star Gerard Malanga is posting photographs and poetry about some of the people who appeared in Andy Warhol's films, on his official Instagram account, gerard_malanga.official. Above is Denis Deegan, one of Warhol's "most beautiful boys":
Callie Angell (Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne: v. 1)
The Screen Tests were, in fact, originally inspired by a collection of photographs, the mug shots of thirteen criminals that Warhol found in a New York City Police Department brochure titled The Thirteen Most Wanted. From the brochure, Warhol derived the idea for the first Screen Test films, a series of portrait films to be called The Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys. The earliest mention of these films is found in the diary of Kelly Edey, who noted on January 17, 1964: "This afternoon Andy Warhol made a movie here, a series of portraits of a number of beautiful boys, including Harold Talbot and Denis Deegan and also me."
Deegan is also mentioned in Michael Smith's autobiography, Me & Others. Smith (a playwright and theatre reviewer of the Village Voice) went to Yale at the same time as Denis. During the early '60s they shared an apartment on the Lower East Side in New York. In his autobiography, Smith also recalls a visit from Deegan during the 1980s:
Michael Townsend Smith (Me & Others (Fast Books Press, 2018, p. 281-2)):
Denis Deegan called, out of the blue, and we met for lunch near City Hall. I had not seen Denis for fifteen years, since the time he showed up at Johnny's and sought to reclaim a few prized items I had been keeping for him. This made Johnny so mad that he threw most of them out the fifth floor window into the street.
Denis, whose directing career in New York had come to nought, had been living in Paris, married for a time to a Swedish model, with whom he had a son... He had worked as a model himself, at one time "the most beautiful boy in Paris," later as a garden designer. I was glad to see him, despite his tiresome braggadocio. If he had so many rich friends in France who adored him, what was he doing in New York trying to impress me with the Latin names of plants?
It took several lunches for me to realise that Denis was broke and needed a job...
The "Johnny" mentioned in the above quote was Johnny Dodd, the lighting designer of the Caffe Cino who later died of AIDS. Smith and Dodd were lovers from the early '60s to Spring 1971.
Exhibition catalogue for Andy Warhol: a factory by Germano Celant
30 April 2020: Art writer and curator, Germano Celant, died of complications from COVID 19 on April 29, 2020. He was mostly known as the "father" of the Arte Povera movement, based on a manifesto he wrote, "Notes for a guerrilla," which was published in Flash Art magazine in 1967.
In 1974 Celant edited the catalogue raisonné of Piero Manzoni and in 1988 he was made the senior curator of contemporary art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
In 1999 he curated the "Andy Warhol: a factory" exhibition which travelled to the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (October 3, 1998 to January 10, 1999); the Kunsthalle at Karplatz Vienna (February 5 to 2 May 2, 1999; and the paleis voor schone kunsten Brussel (June 1, 1999 to September 19, 1999).
He worked as the artistic director of the Fondazione Prada from 1995 to 2014.
Added May 5, 2020: An article by Massimiliano Gioni on "What He Learned from Germano Celant, the Troublemaking Curator with a Maniacally Precise Mind" can be found on Artnet.
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