by Gary Comenas
A free symposium on Translating Warhol will take place at the University of Pennsylvania Thursday - Friday, June 23 - 24, 2022. Speakers include Elaine Rusinko, (author of “We Are All Warhol’s Children”: Andy and the Rusyns (highly recommended); Nina Schleif (Author of Reading Warhol (recommended) and Andy Warhol: Drag and Draw); Jean Wainwright (Co-author of the Bufferin essay in Gary Needham's book, Warhol in Ten Takes); and Reva Wolf, author of the excellent Andy Warhol, Poetry and Gossip in the 1960s.) The full list of participants can be found in the Speakers section of the Symposium website.
Schedule as follows:
THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2022
4:00pm: Symposium check-in opens
4:30-5:15pm: Optional in-person curatorial tour of Andy Warhol @ Penn Again exhibitions
5:30-5:45 pm: Welcome, Sean Quimby, Associate University Librarian and Director of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania; introduction of keynote speaker, Reva Wolf, Professor of Art History, State University of New York at New Paltz
5:45-7:00 pm: Keynote address, Warhol in French, Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, Honorary Professor, University of Paris I—Pantheon-Sorbonne (read by Pierre Von-Ow, PhD student, Yale University) (recommended)
7:00-8:00 pm: Reception
FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2022
8:30-9:30 am: Coffee and continental breakfast
9:30-9:40 am: Welcome, David McKnight, Director, The Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and Curator of Manuscripts, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
9:40-10:00 am: Introduction, Translating Warhol: Turbamento, Transmutation, Transference, Reva Wolf, Professor of Art History, State University of New York at New Paltz (Highly recommended)
10:00-11:00 am: PANEL 1—WARHOL IN NORTHERN EUROPE AND ENGLAND, moderated by Jonathan D. Katz, Associate Professor of Practice, History of Art and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Warhol in Translation, Stockholm 1968: “Many Works and Few Motifs,” Annika Öhrner, Associate Professor of Art History, Södertörn University, Stockholm
Translating Warhol for Television: Andy Warhol’s America, Jean Wainwright (recommended), Professor of Contemporary Art and Photography, University for the Creative Arts, Surrey, UK (a private limited company)
11:00-11:30 am: Coffee break
11:30 am-12:30 pm: PANEL 2—WARHOL IN GERMANY AND ITALY, moderated by Leo Gearin, Curatorial Assistant, Kislak Center, and BA 2022, Art History, History, and French & Francophone Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Schnecken, Schlitzmonger, and Poltergeist: Andy Warhol in German—Translations and Cultural Context, Nina Schleif, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München
La Filosofia di Andy Warhol and the Turmoil of Art in Italy, 1983, Francesco Guzzetti, Senior Lecturer of Art History, Università degli Studi di Firenze
12:30-2:00 pm: Lunch break
2:00-3:00 pm: PANEL 3—TRANSMUTATION, TRANSFORMATION, AND THEORIES OF TRANSLATION, moderated by Kathryn Hellerstein, Ruth Meltzer Director of the Jewish Studies Program and Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania
Andy and Julia in Rusyn: Warhol’s Translation of his Mother in Film and Video, Elaine Rusinko, Associate Professor Emerita of Russian, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Highly recommended.)
Translating Texts, Translating Readers: Could Andy Warhol’s Writings Be Translated into Indian Languages? Deven M. Patel, Associate Professor, Department of South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania
3:00-3:30 pm: Coffee break
3:30-4:30 pm: Round table with all the speakers
4:30-5:30 pm: Reception
You may contact the symposium team with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe goes for $170 million at Christie's
Legend has it that the painting of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol that sold for $170 million at Christie's auction on May 9, 2022 was one of four Marilyn paintings that were shot with a gun by a 60s character, Dorothy Podber. Podber did not hang out at the Factory generally, but she did know Billy Name who was the only person who actually lived there.
The reason the auctioned painting was considered to be one of the "shot" Marilyns was because Rainer Crone had designated it as such in the very first catalogue raisonne. The current cat. rais., however, notes that only the Shot Orange Marilyn and Shot Light Blue Marilyn "show any evidence of haing been damaged and repoaired." (p. 278 of Volume 02A) The Sage Blue Marilyn sold at Christie's was not damaged or repaired.
Who was at the Factory with Dorothy when she shot the Marilyns is open to question. When I queried the art collector and friend Bill Wilson about the visit, he said that the mail artist Ray Johnson told him that he was there. (Johnson knew Warhol, of course, but, like Dorothy was not a regular at the Factory. Johnson possibly assisted Warhol on Jill Johnston Dancing, but did not appear in any films by Warhol, according to Warhol scholar Callie Angell. (Email from Bill Wilson to Gary Comenas, 26 November 2003)
Here is the email from Bill telling me what Ray told him:
From: William S. Wilson
Subject: Valerie and Dorothy when not in Kansas anymore...
Date: 27 November 2003 at 00:50:20 GMT
To: Gary Comenas
I am in touch with both Callie Angell, and Billy Goat/ a/k/a Billy Krank a/k/a Billy Name.
Gary: Billy Name, in the film by John Walter, points blurrily toward a demonic vaudeville act, Dorothy Podber and Ray Johnson. Billy doesn’t mention that Ray was with Dorothy when she shot the Marilyn Monroe paintings, and Ray didn’t mention to me that Billy was present. His presence was probably taken for granted when Billy was in his mode of sorcerer’s apprentice, selflessly giving but not taking. Three times Ray acted out the scene in which he was astonished by Dorothy, thus at least suggesting that he did not know her plans. As he described the event, Dorothy is sitting in a chair, facing forward with a purse in her lap. She opens her purse, and in Ray’s reenactment, glances and then gazes to her left, until, without turning her whole body, she aims a shot at the painting on top of a group leaning against the wall. Dorothy then returns the pistol to her purse (remember that the name Dorothy suggests a gift from a god, like Isidore/Isadore, gift of Isis. Dorothy is a ready-made name with themes comparable to the self-namings of Ondine, Viva and others). Shooting the paintings was not Ray’s idea, because he didn’t plan events that way, yet he might plan to use whichever random “props” happened to be available whenever he happened to set in motion. He was in a sense using Dorothy as a prop or an accessory in one of his events when he took her to meet Andy. Ray lived for enlivening spontaneities, improvisations and unrehearsed specific moments, and Dorothy was to him as Gracie Allen was to George Burns. According to Ray, after Dorothy stepped out into the hall, Andy said to Ray, “Please don’t bring that woman here again.”
Ray had made collages with images of “muff-pistols,” that is, pistols small enough for a woman to carry in a fur muff. Always attentive to intersections of women and pistols, he mentioned “Annie Get Your Gun” in a collage, undoubtedly sensitive to the name “Merman,” as in Ethel. I figured that when he felt the fright of a woman shooting an image of Marilyn Monroe, Ray’s rapport with Dorothy dwindled into his relation with Dorothy...
Other researchers dispute the account. Whether anyone was with Dorothy will never be known without documentary evidence to back it up. Everything so far has been based on guesswork, supposition and hearsay. Billy Name did not mention anyone accompanying Dorothy in his account, as referenced by Bill Wilson.
Given that the Sage Blue Marilyn does not show any evidence of being damaged or repaired, it may be that it was either not in the stack of paintings that were shot or that Crone's cat. rais. is wrong - that only two paintings were shot. Crone does not indicate where he got his information from, although he does thank Andy Warhol (and others) for their help in the beginning of his book which contains his cat. rais.: "My thanks go also to Andy Warhol and David Whtney for the valuable background information they gave me, and to Lil Picard, who introduced me into the New York York art world." (RC7)
Front cover of As It Turns Out by Edie Sedgwick's sister, Alice Wohl
1950 Census showing Andy Warhol living in the basement apartment of 74 - 76 W. 103rd Street in Manhattan
Thomas Kiedrowski, author of Andy Warhol's New York City Four Walks, Uptown to Downtown, has been perusing the 1950 Census that has just been released to the public and found the entry to Andy Warhol's residence which shows him living in a basement apartment at 74 - 76 W. 103rd Street with the head of household Victor Reilly and roommates Harold Christianson (?), Thomas Quinland and Nathaniel Beaber. This corresponds to the group photograph of the household by Leila Davies Singeles on the first page of the chronology.
He also discovered a listing for Truman Capote:
Truman Capote and mother (and second husband) in the 1950 Census
Andy Warhol photographing Princess Caroline of Hanover (sometimes referred to as Caroline of Monaco) (Photo: Christopher Makos)
February 17, 2022: Instantaneous Beauty: Andy Warhol and the Photographic Process runs February 23, 2022 to April 6, 2022 at the O'Kane Gallery, University of Houston - Downtown. Includes work by Andy Warhol, Harry Benson, Brigid Berlin, Christopher Makos, William John Kennedy, and Jamie Wyeth.
Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls (double screen - left: Marie Menken, right: Mario Montez, Patrick Fleming and Ed Hood
February 9, 2022: The Andy Warhol Museum is now streaming some of his films online, internationally. At the moment they are only showing Blow Job, Outer and Inner Space, The Chelsea Girls, Vinyl and The Velvet Underground and Nico, but they will, hopefully, add to the selection in the future. The Chelsea Girls is certainly a must - even if you saw the version that Rarovideo in Italy offered (illegally) on DVD a few years back (it differs considerably in regard to which side of the screen has sound - and the length of the clips) and the Paul Morrissey edited version that was broadcast in the UK more than a decade ago. There is an interview with Gus Van Sant prior to the film, but it is possible to fast forward through the interview to reach the film. Highly recommended.
To stream the films go to: stream.warhol.org.
February 2, 2022: The three part documentary on Andy Warhol that was broadcast this month by the BBC, titled Andy Warhol's America, did not fare well, ratings-wise. According to Broadcast magazine, it was the "last-placed PSB show in the slot." It got 520,000 viewers for its first episode but had fallen to an average of 350,00 across the three parts - 1.3% of viewers... (to continue go to Andy Warhol's America bombs on BBC).
January 15, 2022: Paul Bettany will be starring as Andy Warhol opposite Jeremy Pope as Jean-Michel Basquiat when The Collaboration opens in February at the Young Vic in London. Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, the play recounts the friendship and artistic collaboration between Warhol and Basquiat. Bettany recently played the Duke of Argyll in the BBC mini-series A Very British Scandal.
The play runs from February 16, 2002 - April 2, 2022 at the Young Vic. It will be interesting to see how Bettany's portrayal of Andy Warhol compares to David Bowie's portrayal of the artist in the film Basquiat which covers a similar period.
January 1, 2022: Gus Van Sant's stage musical Trouble, based on Andy Warhol's life, or at least a segment of his life, has ended its European run early. It originally made its debut as "Andy" at the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II in Lisbon on Thursday, 23 September, 2021 A dismal review appeared in the New York Times of that production - ‘Andy,’ Gus Van Sant’s Warhol Musical, Is a Surprise but Not a Miracle by Laura Capelle - which noted that after Portugal, the musical would tour Europe, stopping off first in Rome and Amsterdam. After its Portugal run, the play was renamed Trouble.
Although the page announcing the Rome performance has disappeared from the net, it originally indicated that the play would be performed 19 - 21 November 2021 at Boca - Teatro Nacional D. Maria II with the following credits:
text and direction Gus Van Sant
music and lyrics Gus Van Sant
with Carolina Amaral, Diogo Fernandes, Francisco Monteiro, Helena Caldeira, João Gouveia, Lucas Dutra, Martim Martins, Miguel Amorim, Valdemar Brito
artistic co-operation and dramaturgy John Romão
musical direction Paulo Furtado / The Legendary Tigerman
vocal direction João Henriques
stage design José Capela
lighting design Rui Monteiro
sound design João Neves
technical direction Gi Carvalho
executive production Francisca Aires
production BoCA (Lisbon)
co-production National Theatre D. Maria II, deSingel, Festival Romaeuropa, Onassis Foundation, Kampnagel, La Comédie de Reims, Teatro Calderón
What appears to be a review of the Rome performance by somebody who was there appeared on Arshake.
It was also announced that Trouble would play in Athens in March 2022 (as reported on this site), but that page has disappeared from the net.
Gus Van Sant is due to speak at a film screening on January 22, 2022 in Los Angeles - if you attend that event you might ask him about Trouble.