(to August 2008 )
John Cale will be returning to the Southbank Centre to perform a tribute to Nico ("Life along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico") on October 11, 2008 at the Royal Festival Hall. In addition to being one of the original members of the Velvet Underground, Cale also played with La Monte Young during the 60s and was one of the pianists who performed at John Cage's production of Erik Satie's Vexations in 1963 at the Pocket Theater in New York. Special guests, yet to be announced, will also be appearing with Cale at the Nico tribute.
An exhibition of photographs by Christopher M. Lynch - “The Factory and Friends as seen by Christopher M. Lynch” - opens at the Kymara Gallery in Maine on September 13, 2008 with a reception open to the public taking place from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm.
More than 100 near life-sized photographs taken by Lynch during the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol's death at the Gershwin Hotel in New York will be exhibited. Also included will be a ten foot high motorized wall of portraits constructed by Lynch. The exhibition will run until October 19, 2008. Also on exhibit at the gallery are works by Billy Name, Ultra Violet and Bibbe Hansen.
Geri Miller, the real-life stripper who gave a brilliant performance in Trash (with Holly Woodlawn and Joe Dallesandro), is still alive and still in New York. A journalist from the New York Observer sat next to her on a crosstown bus recently.
From The New York Observer, September 15, 2008]:
"On the crosstown bus I sat down next to a little fat woman who immediately asked for change. I said if you want change, vote for Obama. I thought that was clever, but she was voting for McCain... But I gave her a dollar anyway and it was like putting money in a talking machine. She just wouldn't stop chattering; she told me she was possibly related to Charlie Chaplin and the Queen of England (based on her father's gait and her mother's accent), and then she said she had been in two Andy Warhol films, but they wouldn't pay her even though you can buy the films (Flesh and Trash) at Kim's Video... She said she had called Paul Morrissey a hundred times but couldn't get any money out of him, reciting his phone number and address until I felt I had it memorized. I asked her name and she said Gerri... 'Oh, are you Gerri Miller, the famous go-go dancer who could make your breasts spin in opposite directions when you danced?' And she squawked really loud, 'Yes! That's me. The only professional in both those films!'... She got off the bus at Ninth Avenue, heading for 15th Street and what she assured me was 'the best butcher shop in town.' I watched her waddle off, an utterly authentic New York treasure. To paraphrase a cliche, we shall not see her like again."
The full article can be read here.
Ganymede Arts in Washington, D.C. will be hosting an evening of "Dinner, Drinks and Conversation" with Warhol star Holly Woodlawn at Floriana's on September 25, 2008. Holly will be performing and answering questions afterwards. Tickets are $100.00 and can be reserved through the Ganymede Arts website here.
Warhol star Taylor Mead will be appearing at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on September 18 and 19, 2008. Films being shown featuring Taylor include Ron Rice's The Flower Thief, Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys and William A. Kirkley's documentary Excavating Taylor Mead.
Before Pop there was Abstract Expressionism. From September 26, 2008 to February 1, 2009 the Tate Modern in London will be presenting a major exhibition of the late work of Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko including, for the first time, 14 of his Seagram murals.
Achim Borchardt-Hume (curator of the Tate Modern's Rothko exhibition):
This is the first exhibition to examine Rothko's late work from 1958 to 1970 in greater depth... One of the highlights of this exhibition will be a large gallery dedicated to the Seagram murals bringing together for the first time 14 murals including Tate's nine murals - the first time ever since they left Rothko's studio really. This exhibition could only happen at the Tate in this current shape as Tate has nine of the Seagram murals which were specially selected by the artist and because of their condition are generally not lent... It's just because of the unique nature of this exhibition that we agreed to bring these works together so it will really happen once and that will be it."
Mark Rothko's Seagram murals were originally commissioned for the Four Seasons restaurant in the Seagram building in New York. But after Rothko visited the restaurant he backed out of the project, angrily commenting "Anybody who will eat that kind of food for those kind of prices will never look at a painting of mine."
The murals were eventually distributed to various museums. The Tate ended up with nine of them. They arrived at the Tate Gallery on February 25, 1970 - the same day that Rothko's body was found on the kitchen floor after he committed suicide.
Pop art, relying on figurative imagery, was the antithesis of Abstract Expressionism. Whereas Warhol often utilized "found" imagery in his paintings, Rothko used abstract forms and colour - although he denied being an "abstractionist" as recalled by Selden Rodman in his book Conversations with Artists.
Mark Rothko: "You might as well get one thing straight... I'm not an abstractionist."
Selden Rodman: "You're an abstractionist to me... You're a master of color harmonies and relationships on a monumental scale. Do you deny that?"
Mark Rothko: "I do. I'm not interested in relationships of color or form or anything else."
Selden Rodman: "Then what is it you're expressing?"
Mark Rothko: "I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions - tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on - and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions... The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point!"
(Selden Rodman, Conversations with Artists (NY: Capricorn Books, 1961) pp. 93-4)
Despite his denial of being an "abstractionist" Rothko and other Abstract Expressionists had fought hard over several decades for public acceptance of abstract art - through exhibitions, protests and writings. When Pop reared its figurative head in the early 60s, Rothko saw it as a step backward rather than forward. When Sidney Janis presented many of the Pop artists (including Andy Warhol) in his 1962 exhibition, "The New Realists," Rothko, along with Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston and Robert Motherwell, resigned from the gallery. Guston's daughter Musa Mayer recalled that "Overnight, it seemed, the art world changed. My father was in despair over the selling of art, over the slick, depersonalized gloss - not only of Pop Art, but of Minimalism as well - that was taking center stage in New York. Art was no longer struggle; art had become marketing."
Ruth Kligman recalled that when she attempted to introduce Rothko to Warhol when she and Warhol ran into him on the street, Rothko walked away without saying a word. Warhol (via Pat Hackett) also recalled attending a party given by Yvonne Thomas, where Rothko was one of the guests during the early sixties. Marisol, who was with the same gallery as Warhol, brought both Warhol and Robert Indiana to the party. When they arrived Warhol overheard Rothko say to Thomas, "How could you let them in?" Thomas replied, "But what can I do? They came with Marisol."
Despite their aesthetic differences, Warhol and Rothko do have one thing in common. They are the only American artists with paintings on the list of the "10 most expensive paintings sold at auction."
The Rothko exhibition at the Tate Modern and the Warhol exhibition at the Hayward this autumn are both rare chances to see the work of two modern masters of their respective art movements - Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Both exhibitions are not to be missed. (Specific details of the Hayward's Warhol exhibition will be posted here when confirmed.)
Silver Apples, the band that provided the music for Cockstrong, starring Jackie Curtis (and almost Holly Woodlawn) are currently on tour.
An account of the band's involvement with Cockstrong can be read here.
The band was originally a duo - featuring drummer Danny Taylor and lead singer Simeon Coxe III. During the sixties they released two albums - Silver Apples in 1968 and Contact in 1969 which were re-released in 1997. Although Taylor died of a heart attack in 2005, Coxe is still performing, having recuperated from a broken neck which he suffered in a road accident in 1999.
Tour dates as follows:
2 Sep 2008 The Croft Bristol
3 Sep 2008 Queen Charlotte Norwich
4 Sep 2008 The Roadhouse Manchester
5 Sep 2008 Corsica Studios London
6 Sep 2008 Stereo Glasgow, Scotland
2 Oct 2008 Pop Montreal Montreal
21 Nov 2008 Brainwave Festival Boston, Massachusetts
Ex-Studio 54 busboy Miestorm, now a photographer, has joined forces with Ian Couch to form a film production company, Trippin on the Moon Productions Inc. in New York. In addition to his film and photographic work, Miestorm also appeared in Warhol star Ivy Nicholson's film, The Dead Life and is currently working on a biography which will include his time as a club kid called "Lenny 54."
U.K. site users might remember him from the 1998 television documentary The Rise and Fall of Studio 54 directed by Bruce Goodison.
Miestorm: "I was not part of the Factory or the Silver Factory, but I did know Andy Warhol at Studio 54 and whenever we met, he would speak to me as though we were children on a playground. I never thought of him as an adult."
The Max's Kansas City site has had a re-fit, including a section devoted to Andy Warhol. The Warhol section is here.
Warhol Live by Matt Wrbican, Stephane Aquin and Emma Lavigne, is due to be published by Prestel on September 30, 2008.
The book is the exhibition catalogue for the "Warhol Live" show which is taking place at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from September 25, 2008 - January 18, 2009 before traveling to the de Young Museum in San Francisco and The Warhol museum in Pittsburgh.