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October 2009
(to September 2009)

Andy Warhol and the Social Construction of the Late Modern Artist

I have added to the articles section of the site an essay by David Deitcher - "Andy Warhol and the Social Construction of the Late Modern Artist." The paper, which Deitcher presented to the College Art Association in 1989, examines the effect of the WPA/Federal Art Project on art education in the 1940s and Robert Lepper's 2 year course in pictorial design which was taken by Warhol at Carnegie Tech. The paper was referenced by Nan Rosenthal in her essay "Let us Now Praise Famous Men: Warhol as Art Director" in the Dia Art Foundation's publication The Work of Andy Warhol: Discussions in Contemporary Culture (1989) edited by Gary Garrels.

Deitcher's writings have appeared in Artforum, Art in America and the Village Voice as well as other periodicals and artists' monographs and he is also the author of Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918. His website can be found at:

The essay is at:

Billy Name

Billy Name

Billy Name
(Photo: David Shankbone)

Billy Name, who in addition to having been the official Factory photographer of the '60s has also recently started a new modern art movement - Anté Art - is now exclusively represented by Kymara Artistic Management.

[Update 23 October 2010: Billy Name is no longer represented by Kymara Artistic Management.]

Richard Weisman waives insurance claim for stolen Warhol paintings

Andy Warhol poster

Poster issued by the L.A.P.D.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that art collector Richard Weisman will not be making an insurance claim for eleven paintings by Andy Warhol that were stolen from his home between September 2 - 3, 2009. Although a $1 million reward has been offered for the works, there have been no leads in the case. There were no witnesses to the theft, no sign of forced entry, and other works of art in the home were left untouched. Weisman's collection of art was the subject of the book, Picasso to Pop: The Richard Weisman Collection. In 2003, paintings sold from the Weisman collection by a company set up by Larry Gagosian and Peter M. Brant were also the subject of a legal complaint brought by the U.S. government in regard to taxes they claimed were owed to them.

The L.A. Times article is at:,0,3541182.story.

Arshile Gorky retrospective is coming to the Tate Modern
in London after Philadelphia

Arshile Gorky

Photograph of Arshile Gorky on the front cover of Matthew Spender's biography of the artist.
Spender has also recently authored Arshile Gorky: A Life Through Letters and Documents.

The Arshile Gorky retrospective which opens on October 21, 2009 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be coming to the Tate Modern in London after its run in Philadelphia. The show closes in Philadelphia on January 10, 2010 and will open a month later in London on February 10th.

Gorky's work can be seen as a link between the Surrealists and Abstract Expressionists although he doesn't quite fit into either category. He was an "artists' artist." Despite the fact that he grew up in a primitive environment where there was no art museums or schools, he seemed to know how to draw instinctively, without any formal training. When he did study at art schools after immigrating to the U.S. as a young adult he was elevated from a student to teacher in a relatively short period of time. One of his early students was Mark Rothko.

His first studio in New York was at 36 Union Square - not far from the premises that would become Warhol's second "factory." Balcombe Green (who would later teach Warhol at Carnegie Tech) was one of his neighbours and recalled Gorky moving into the building, referring to him as a "gigantic Modern."

Balcombe Green:

"His moving was symbolic. The previous painter to occupy this immense studio facing on 16th Street was an academic craftsman who had pulled his battered belongs into a hall room, letting this gigantic Modern sweep into his quarters. Gorky swept in with his bolts of canvas, his mountain for an easel, his many packages of brushes, his cases of pigments, his stentorian commands to the movers, his indifference to me crowding past in the hallway. I could not yet know him."

Key works by Gorky include the figurative The Artist and His Mother, the surreal The Liver is the Cock's Comb and the fully abstract Waterfall. His friends and colleagues in New York included the Surrealists Matta and André Breton as well as artists who would later be labeled as Abstract Expressionists. Willem de Kooning was particularly close to Gorky. In a letter to Art News after Gorky's death, de Kooning wrote:


In a piece on Arshile Gorky's memorial show - and it was a very little piece indeed - it was mentioned that I was one of his influences. Now that is plain silly. When, about fifteen years ago, I walked into Arshile's studio for the first time, the atmosphere was so beautiful that I got a little dizzy and when I came to, I was bright enough to take the hint immediately. If the bookkeepers think it necessary continuously to make sure of where things and people come from, well then, I come from 36 Union Square [Gorky's studio]. It is incredible to me that other people live there now. I am glad that it is about impossible to get away from his powerful influence. As long as I keep it with myself I'll be doing all right. Sweet Arshile, bless your dear heart.

Willem de Kooning

Gorky did not live long enough to witness or take part in the success of the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950s. He committed suicide in July 1948, after a series of tragic incidents, including a diagnosis of cancer, the death of his father and a car accident - in a car driven by his drunken art dealer, Julien Levy - which left Gorky in traction. He spent much of the weekend prior to his death wandering the streets of his old haunt, Greenwich Village, before returning to Connecticut where he was living at the time. His body was found on July 21,1948 hanging in a shed on the grounds of the Connecticut property.

Arshile Gorky links
from The AbEx Chronology

Arshile Gorky survives the Armenian genocide | Arshile Gorky arrives in the U.S.
Arshile Gorky begins painting The Artist and His Mother | Arshile Gorky's Newark Airport murals
Arshile Gorky meets Matta | Arshile Gorky solo exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art
Waterfall | The Liver is the Cock's Comb | Arshile Gorky's first solo show at the Julien Levy gallery
Arshile Gorky's paintings are destroyed in a fire | Cancer and an abdominoperinal resection
Connecticut | Arshile Gorky's father dies | Arshile Gorky's final solo exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery
Car crash | Arshile Gorky roams the streets of New York | Suicide | Obituary

Nat Finkelstein has died

nat finkelstein

Nat Finkelstein

Nat Finkelstein, the photographer who spent about three years documenting Warhol and his Factory, died on October 2, 2009. Several books of his photographs have been published including Andy Warhol: The Factory Years, 1964-1967 and more recently in 2006, Edie: Factory Girl (co-authored with David Dalton). His photos have been widely exhibited and reproduced in books about the Warhol era including on the front cover of the exhibition catalogue for the recent Warhol Live show at The Warhol museum. His comments about his time at the Factory were included in the Guardian newspaper in 2002 in conjunction with the Tate Modern's Warhol retrospective which also featured his work. The article can be found at:

Nat Finkelstein:

"Andy was a very hard-working artist, a working man. He hid this very carefully, creating the myth that his products just kinda appeared... Andy didn't need the story of Jesus and Mary to make a Pietà, just Campbell's soup cans and an idea. He took the artifacts of ordinary life and used them to create a mirror of society.... Andy was the Sony of modern art." (NF6)

Nat Finkelstein's wife, Elizabeth Murray Finkelstein, has contributed the following obituary:

We mourn the death of internationally renowned photographer – NAT FINKELSTEIN, who passed peacefully at his home in Upstate New York on Friday October 2, 2009. He was 76.

Born in Coney Island, Brooklyn in 1933, Nat Finkelstein was a graduate of Stuyvesant High School and attended Brooklyn College. He studied photography and design under Alexey Brodovitch, the legendary art director of Harper's Bazaar. Throughout the 1960s, Finkelstein worked as a photojournalist for the PIX and Black Star photo agencies, reporting primarily on emergent subcultures and the civil rights movement. In 1964, Finkelstein entered Andy Warhol's Factory as a journalist and remained for three years. His photographs from this period are now regarded as some of the most iconic of the time.

Finkelstein abruptly retired from photography in 1969, when a federal warrant was issued for his arrest, due to the incendiary nature of his civil rights activity. He left the United States, and lived as a fugitive for fifteen years, following the Silk Road through the Middle East. During this time, all charges against Finkelstein were dismissed, and he returned to New York City in 1982.

Nat Finkelstein resumed his photographic career, and has since exhibited his work worldwide. While best known for his images of Warhol's Factory, Finkelstein documented stories as wide ranging as civil rights protests for Life Magazine in the 1960s to the “club kid” scene of the 1990s. His monographs include The Andy Warhol Index (with Warhol, 1968), Girlfriends (1991), Merry Monsters (1993), Andy Warhol: The Factory Years (2000) and Edie Factory Girl (2006).

Finkelstein's photographs are in the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Smithsonian Institute, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, among many other public and private collections. His work can be seen in upcoming exhibitions, including “Who Shot Rock” at the Brooklyn Museum this Fall, and a retrospective at Idea Generation, London in December 2009.

Nat Finkelstein is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and brother, Howard.

Nat Finkelstein's website is at:

His obituary in the New York Times can be found at:

His obituary in The Times (London) can be found at:

An interview with Nat can be found at:

The Tate Modern and Anthony d'Offay have become
involved in the Warhol Self-Portrait controversy

joe simon-whalen

Joe Simon-Whelan who is suing the Warhol Foundation and the
Authentication Board over his "Denied" Warhol Self-Portrait

The New York Review of Books is reporting that one of the paintings that Anthony d'Offay recently gave to the Tate Modern was from the same series as the Warhol Self Portrait owned by Joe Simon-Whelan which he is suing the Warhol Foundation over.

In 1989 Simon-Whelan purchased a Warhol Self-Portrait which was allegedly one of a series of ten produced during the sixties. Simon-Whelan's Self-Portrait had originally been authenticated by Fred Hughes who was head of the Warhol Foundation after Warhol's death but when Simon-Whelan re-submitted the same painting to the Authentication Board several years ago the board decided it wasn't a Warhol and returned it to him with a "Denied" stamp.

It now appears that another Self-Portrait from the same series was both signed and dated by Warhol and was part of the collection of paintings recently given to the Tate Modern by Anthony d'Offay. The painting also appeared on the cover of the first Warhol catalogue raisonné by Rainer Crone published in 1970, but was not included (without explanation) in the current catalogue raisonné. The Authentication Board stated in a letter quoted in the article that "It is the opinion of the authentication board that said work is NOT the work of Andy Warhol, but that said work was signed, dedicated, and dated by him."

Richard Dorment, the author of the article in The New York Review of Books, notes that "Since the Renaissance, a signature is the way artists such as Mantegna and Titian acknowledge the authenticity of their work...This may be the first time in history that a signed, dated, and dedicated painting personally approved by an artist for the cover of his first major monograph, which included a catalogue raisonné of his works, has been removed from his oeuvre by those he did not personally appoint."

Dorment concludes, "One person who will be following the case with close attention is Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota. In 2008 Anthony d'Offay sold his collection of contemporary art to the English nation (accepting £28 million for a collection then conservatively estimated to be worth £125 million), an act Prime Minister Gordon Brown called "the greatest gift this country has ever received from a private individual." Among the many works d'Offay included in the donation was the self-portrait signed by Warhol... Until its status is resolved, d'Offay has been forced to withdraw the painting."

The full article from New York Review of Books article can be found at:

Joe Simon-Whelan's website can be found at:

Save the Children - Nico style

nico - save the children

The charity Save the Children is currently running a video campaign set to the music of “These Days” by Warhol star Nico. The footage can be watched on You Tube by clicking on the image above or going to

The Save the Children website is at: or in the U.K. at:

Andy Warhol eats a hamburger -
and so does Shell and Bebong and and Jayson and Yayen and...

andy warholhamburgerhamburger

The latest craze to hit You Tube appears to be people imitating Andy Warhol eating a hamburger. The original footage of Warhol eating the burger comes from Jørgen Leth's 1982 film, 66 Scenes from America. Imitators include the above as well as "a blind guy eating a hamburger" and somebody "not eating a burrito." Click on an image above or just type "Andy Warhol eating a hamburger" in the You Tube search box.

Alison Jackson's new film on Andy Warhol
to be shown on ITV on October 4, 2009

Alison Jackson's new film on Andy Warhol and the concept of "celebrity" will be broadcast on ITV in the U.K. on October 4, 2009 at 10:15 p.m. as part of the South Bank Show series hosted by Melvyn Bragg.

Recent interviews with Alison can be found in the Times (London) at:

and the Telegraph at:

Andy Warhol Party Pix

Robert HeidespaceHoopspaceBilly Name

Left to right: Caffe Cino playwright Robert Heide, Hoop of Hoopmobile fame and Billy Name

Above photographs of the Supernovas party at the Chelsea Hotel on Friday, September 18, 2009 were taken by Gerard Forde who is currently working on a biography of Warhol star Freddy Herko.

Additional party pix by other photographers can be found at:

Bad Reputation by Warhol star Penny Arcade to be released in October

bad reputation cover

A new book by Warhol star Penny Arcade is due out at the end of October. Bad Reputation: Performances, Essays, Interviewscover will include the scripts of her performance pieces Bitch!Dyke!Faghag!Whore!, Bad Reputation and La Miseria in addition to an extensive interview with her by Chris Kraus and contributions by Sarah Schulman, Steve Zehentner and Stephen Bottoms.

Details on the Amazon page here.

Pop Life at the Tate Modern to feature work by Andy Warhol

Pop Life

Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin in front of The Shop, 1993
from the Guardian's slideshow of Pop Life images

"Pop Life: Art in a Material World" opens at the Tate Modern on October 1, 2009 and will feature art by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons Richard Prince, Martin Kippenberger, an assortment of YBAs and a new commission by Takashi Murakami. Two of the exhibition rooms will be for adults only (over 18).

Details at:

Mario Montez to appear at the LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Festival in Berlin

mario montezspacemario montez

Mario Montez
(Photos: Laura Rubin (left)/Billy Name (right))

Mario Montez will be making a rare public appearance at the "LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Five Flaming Days in a Rented World" festival taking place in Berlin from October 28 - November 1, 2009. It will be the first public appearance by Montez in three decades.

Andy Warhol:

"Mario Montez... was in a lot of off-off-Broadway plays and doing a lot of underground acting for Jack Smith and Ron Rice and Jose Rodriguez-Soltero and Bill Vehr.... Jack Smith always said that Mario was his favorite underground actor because he could instantly capture the sympathy of the audience... Mario had that classic comedy combination of seeming dumb but being able to say the right things with perfect timing; just when you thought you were laughing at him, he'd turn it all around." (POP91/181)

Montez appeared in Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures and Normal Love. Warhol filmed Jack Smith filming Normal Love in 1963 at Eleanor Ward's property in Connecticut. Ward was the owner of the Stable Gallery where Warhol's first solo NY pop art exhibition in a gallery took place in November 1962. (See

Andy Warhol:

"I went out to Old Lyme, Connecticut, a lot of weekends that summer. Wynn Chamberlain was renting the guest house on Eleanor Ward's property and he had gangs of his friends out there the whole time... Jack Smith was filming a lot out there, and I picked something up from him for my own movies - the way he used anyone who happened to be around that day, and also how he just kept shooting until the actors got bored... One weekend he had everyone making a birthday cake the size of a room as a prop for his movie Normal Love. The second thing I ever shot with a 16-mm camera was a little newsreel of the people out there filming for Jack." (POP32)

In addition to appearing in Jack Smith's films, Montez also gave a brilliant performance in Andy Warhol's Screen Test No 2, written by Ronald Tavel, as well as other Warhol films such as Harlot, Hedy (with the equally brilliant Mary Woronov), The Chelsea Girls and Mario Banana and other underground classics such as Ron Rice's Chumlum. The play version of one of Tavel's scripts for Warhol, The Life of Juanita Castro, will also be performed at the festival in homage to Tavel who also collaborated with Jack Smith but sadly died earlier this year. The play will feature German writer Rainald Goetz in the role of the on-stage director (played by Tavel in Warhol's film), artist Katharina Sieverding as Fidel Castro, filmmaker Bruce La Bruce as Juanita and actress Susanne Sachsse (who appeared in La Bruce's film Otto or Up with Dead People) as Raul. The part of Che Guevara is still to be announced.

The incredible line-up at the festival will also include lectures by Callie Angell (the most knowledgeable authority on Warhol's films today), Douglas Crimp (author of On the Museum's Ruinscover) and Jennifer Doyle as well as performances by Warhol star Penny Arcade, Vaginal Davis, Nao Bustamente and others. Work by Tony Conrad, Gwenn Thomas (photos of Smith), Jerry Tartaglia, Wilhelm Hein and others with also be exhibited and new films by Ulrike Ottinger, Guy Maddin, Marie Losier and others will also be screened as part of the festival.

Other festival participants include: Bini Adamczak, Tim Blue, Pauline Boudry, Christophe Chemin, €ric D. Clark, Beatrice Cordua, Diedrich Diederichsen, Rainald Goetz, Karola Gramann, Birgit Hein, Wilhelm Hein, John Edward Heys, Werner Hirsch, Oliver Husain, Ken Jacobs (live Skype), Dominic Johnson, Kinky Justice, Andrew Kerton, Sean Michael Kirk, Jakob Lena Knebl, Petra Korink, Michael Krebber, Deirdre Logue, Renate Lorenz, Thomas Meinecke, Klaus Mettig, José Muñoz, Uzi Parnes, Kristian Petersen, Phantom/Ghost, Ursula Pürrer, Evelyn Rüsseler, Hans Scheirl, Heide Schlüpmann, Katharina Sieverding, Isabell Spengler, Tim Stüttgen, Juan Suárez, Chris Tedjasukmana, José Teunissen, Theater of 8 (Chloe Griffin/ Gwenäel Rattke), Gwenn Thomas, Ela Troyano, Gordon W. and Klaus Walter.

Curated by Susanne Sachsse, Marc Siegel, and Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, the festival will take place from October 28 - November 1, 2009 and is being presented by the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art and Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin.

Details at:

The website for the HAU theatre is at:

Douglas Crimp's essay "Getting the Warhol We Deserve: Cultural Studies and Queer Culture" can be read at: His lecture/essay on Tavel's scenarios for Warhol, "Coming Together to Stay Apart," can be found at:

The Amazon page for Callie Angell's book, Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne, vol. 1, is here.

Penny Arcade's soon to be published book, Bad Reputation: Performances, Essays, Interviews, is at Amazon here.

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