FACTORY PEOPLE: NOW IN PRODUCTION
A new documentary series on Andy Warhol's superstars is currently in production in New York and Paris and is scheduled to be shown on French national television in Autumn 2005 in three one hour episodes. The producer of the film, Patrick Nagle, promises a "a revealing and fun take on many of those around Warhol who garnered their illusive 'fifteen minutes of fame,' including Billy Name, Warhol's official Factory photographer, who acted as gate-keeper and collaborator throughout the 'silver' years."
The project is based on over fifty hours of original interviews shot in high definition and will include previously unseen film clips and photographs of the era. The contributions of the Beat movement to the bourgeoning American cultural avant-garde during the early 1960s will also be covered. In addition to Billy Name, the film will include a rare appearance by Baby Jane Holzer as well as Ultra Violet, David Croland, Taylor Mead and others yet to be announced.
Factory People is a co-production of PGE/Zarafa Films, Paris and France Television Channel 4. New York film production company, All Day Buffet, will facilitate film production in the U.S. Directed by Yves Billon. Screenplay by Emmy Award winner Catherine Sullivan.
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL - RE-LOADED
The Secret Cinema at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia will be presenting an extended version of their Velvet Underground Film Festival with two nights of films, including reels that were projected onstage during the original Exploding Plastic Inevitable performances. One of the reels, Salvador Dali, contains Dali's screen test, plus Nico, Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed, followed by two rolls of Gerard Malanga and Mary Woronov performing their "whip" dance. Also included is Moe Gets Tied Up which features Lou Reed, John Cale and Sterling Morrison tying drummer Maureen Tucker to a chair with ropes and then tormenting her with food and whips. The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound - Warhol's film of the band performing at the Factory until interrupted by the New York City Police - will also be shown.
The event will run over two nights - Thursday, April 21, 2005 and Friday, April 22, 2005 with both nights beginning at 8:00 pm. Full details on the Secret Cinema website at www.thesecretcinema.com.
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Sculptor 1988
Scottish-born artist, Eduardo Paolozzi, died Friday morning, April 22, 2005, just four days after visiting a retrospective of his work at the Flowers East Gallery in Shoreditch, London.
Although later principally known as a sculptor, Paolozzi was considered one of the seminal influences in the development of British Pop Art through his involvement with the Independent Group and because of a series of collages he produced in 1948 - 1950 using "found" images from comic books, postcards, advertisements and magazines. The collages were originally projected onto a screen with an epidiascope at a presentation called Bunk which he gave at the ICA in London in the Spring of 1952 to the Young Group which later evolved into the Independent Group. (They first used the name "Independent Group" on November 12, 1952 at a meeting of the ICA Managing Committee). The collages were first exhibited as framed works during the Paolozzi retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London from September 22 - October 31, 1971.
As a member of the Independent Group, Paolozzi also helped to organize and design the Group's exhibition, Parallel of Life and Art at the ICA from September 11 - October 18, 1953 and participated in the group show, This is Tomorrow, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956. One of the posters for the This is Tomorrow exhibit featured Richard Hamilton's work, Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? which included a muscleman holding a giant Tootsie Pop, with the word "Pop" prominently displayed on the product's packaging, and a copy of a Young Romance comic book framed on the wall of "today's home." Paolozzi's 1949 collage I Was a Rich Man's Plaything had also featured the word "Pop" as a visual sound effect within a cartoon puff of smoke coming out of a pistol.
During the 1960s, Paolozzi also collaborated on a series of collages with Jim Dine. In 1966, collages by Dine and Paolozzi were consfiscated by the British police after they raided Robert Fraser's gallery where the works were being shown. The New York Times reported on October 17, 1966 that "The Police visited the gallery this morning and seized the greater part of the show of drawings and watercolours by Jim Dine, and collage collaborations by Jim Dine and Eduardo Paolozzi." Fraser was served with a summons under the Vagrancy Act of 1838, which, according to the Times included any one "exposing in any public place any obscene print or picture or any obscene exhibition." (The Times noted that the act also covered "fortune telling, and persons exposing wounds to gather alms.")
Paolozzi was born Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi in the port of Leith near Edinburgh, Scotland, on 7 March, 1924, to Italian immigrant parents who ran a confectionary shop. During World War II, the British government deported his father, grandfather and uncle to Canada but they died en route after their transport ship, the SS Arandora Star, was sunk by the Germans. The British government also forced Eduardo's mother to move 30 miles inland "in case she watched battleships through her telescope" and Eduardo was also interned for three months under the Emergency Powers Act.
In 1943 Paolozzi started taking evening classes at the Edinburgh College of Art, but his education was cut short when, during the same year, he had to serve in the Pioneer Corps. By feigning insanity he was able to remove himself from the Corps and enrolled in the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford in 1944, transferring to the Slade School of Art in London the same year. Paolozzi was unimpressed with the Slade's conservatism and moved to Paris in 1947, without graduating. According to Paolozzi, "90 per cent of the Slade had Wilson Steer and Augustus John as their heroes. Apart from being filthy foreigners, Matisse and Picasso were thought not to be able to draw properly. I even remember an exhibition of theirs to which Slade school students went along in protest." (Daily Telegraph, 23/4/2005) In Paris, he was befriended by Dubuffet, Giacometti and the Dadaist writer, Tristan Tzara. According to filmmaker, Murray Grigor, who made a documentary on the artist, Paolozzi "always dismissed the fact that he was the daddy of Pop Art" and "always wanted to call himself a surrealist." (The Scotsman, 23/4/05)
Paolozzi returned to England in 1950 and from 1955-58 taught sculpture at St. Martin's School of Art in London. In 1960 he received the David E. Bright Foundation award for best sculptor under 45 for his work shown at the British Pavilion during the 30th annual Venice Biennale. He continued to work and teach throughout his long career but may be best known among Brits for his mosaics that adorn the Tottenham Court Road tube station and his impressive 10 foot bronze statue of Sir Isaac Newton in the forecourt of the new British Library. Paolozzi was awarded a CBE in 1968 and a knighthood in 1989. He is survived by his ex-wife, Frieda and their three daughters.
NEW WARHOL EXHIBIT AT DIA: BEACON
The Dia: Beacon will be hosting a major exhibition of Warhol's paintings from May 15, 2005 - April 10, 2006 which will include the Skulls and Disaster series, Brillo Boxes, wallpapers, and Time Capsules in the Riggio Galleries in addition to the Shadows series which is part of the permanent collection. Lectures planned to coincide with the exhibit will include Donald Crimp on the films of Andy Warhol on July 1, 2005. Crimp will be curating the screening of Warhol's early films. Details on the films and a screening schedule will be published on the Dia website once confirmed. The Dia: Beacon website is at: www.diabeacon.org.
EXCAVATING TAYLOR MEAD
The world premiere of Excavating Taylor Mead, a film by William Kirkley, will take place at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday April 22nd, with additional showings on April 24th and 29th. The film follows Taylor Mead as he attempts to clean up his apartment in order to evade eviction from the New York City authorities. The film is narrated by Steve Buscemi, with commentary from Penny Arcade, Gerard Malanga, Jonas Mekas, Paul Morrissey, Jim Jarmusch and appearances by Mary Boone, Patrick McMullan, Wu Tang Clan's Rza and The White Stripes. Details on the Tribeca film festival website at: www.tribecafilmfestival.org.
NAT FINKELSTEIN AT SOHO GRAND
An exhibition of photographs by Nat Finkelstein opens June 2, 2005 at The Gallery at the Soho Grand Hotel in Manhattan.
The show, Flashpoint: Nat Finkelstein, will feature Finkelstein's photographs of Andy Warhol, Nico, The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, the Fugs and the "New York City scene 1964 - 1968." Finkelstein is the author of Andy Warhol: The Factory Years, 1964-1967.
The exhibit will continue until August 17, 2005. The hotel is located at 310 West Broadway in downtown Manhattan and can be contacted via their website at: www.sohogrand.com.
THE FACTORY: AUGUST 1964
(Photo: Mark Lancaster)
(all rights reserved by M. Lancaster)
British-born artist, Mark Lancaster, who appeared in Batman Dracula, Kiss and Couch, is currently in the process of archiving the photographs he took while at the Factory and has consented to the reproduction of several of the photos on this site. The photographs, taken in August 1964, show the Robert Moses portraits on the floor of the Factory which Warhol did after he was asked to remove his Most Wanted Men series from the 1964 World's Fair New York State Pavillion designed by Philip Johnson. The Moses silkscreens were never actually used for the Pavillion. Instead, Warhol covered up the Most Wanted Men panels with silver paint. Three other new photographs taken by Mark Lancaster have been added to his interview which is accessible through the articles section or by clicking here. (When you reach the interview, scroll down until you come to the question: "Did you ever take any photographs when you worked for Warhol?")
"This is a view of the west wall of the Factory at 231 East 47th Street in mid-August 1964.To the left of the tall ladder is the actual silkscreen for American Male or "Mr. Nobody" as Andy called it, which was the very first thing I ever saw him painting. On the right you can see a couple of the subsequently Shot Marilyns, (presumably that's where they were when they were shot a few months later), and behind that, a bit of a "Wanted" man. According to the catalogue raisonné, these photographs are a unique record of the Robert Moses portrait. The only other photograph is of one panel, taken at the Castelli gallery and also included in the catalogue raisonné, which adds that the portrait is presumed to have been lost or destroyed.
Behind the ladders are stacked plastic-wrapped sculptures - two rows of Kelloggs Corn Flakes with Brillo Soap pads on top of them, and a stack of Mott's Apple Juice on the left. The so-called Brillo Boxes are the best known sculptures, but there were several other 'brands' as can be seen, as well as Heinz Tomato Ketchup boxes. The baroque silver thing at top right is a piece of an old building I think, and it was used as a prop in Batman Dracula. To the right of that is a gold circle, on which an image of Jackie Kennedy was later added, to make a tondo Jackie. Although the catalogue raisonné says that Warhol's Flowers were started before July 1964, they were actually started at the end of August - a few weeks after my photographs were taken."
Although Mark Lancaster currently lives in Rhode Island, he was originally from Yorkshire and studied art under Richard Hamilton at Newcastle University. Several of Lancaster's paintings are in the collection of the Tate Britain Museum in London. He was often a visitor to the Factory during the summer of 1964 and helped Warhol stretch the canvases for the Most Wanted Men and the Flowers paintings. In Popism, Warhol recalled Mark taking photographs of the Factory:
"I guess Mark met everyone in the New York art scene that summer, not necessarily at the Factory but probably because of it. 'You'd stand there painting,' Mark remembers, 'and you'd say 'Do you think Picasso's ever heard of us? And then you'd send me off to see people.' I sent him to dinner at Henry Geldzahler's, and through Henry he met Jasper Johns and Stella and Lichtenstein and Ellsworth Kelly, and then once I sent him as a get-well present to Ray Johnson who was in Bellevue Hospital with hepatitis... The really funny thing about all this was that the whole time Mark was making notes and taking photographs because when he went back to England he was planning to go around giving lectures and showing slides. He said that people over there were just as fascinated by what they had heard was going on here as Americans were by London." (Popism, p. 72)
MATCH GIRL AT MOMA
As part of its Hans Christian Andersen for Grown-Ups series, MOMA will be showing the 1966 film, Match Girl, directed by Andrew Meyer, which features Andy Warhol and Gerard Malanga in the cast. The film will be shown on Saturday, April 9 at 5:30 pm and Saturday, April 16 at 2.00 pm. Full details on the MOMA website at: www.moma.org/exhibitions/film_media/2005/HCA.html. An article about the film by J. Hoberman appears in the Village Voice at: www.villagevoice.com/film/0514,hoberman3,62731,20.html.
WARHOL'S FAMILY HOME SOLD
The Oakland Planning and Development Corporation has purchased the two story home that Warhol grew up in at 3252 Dawson Street, Pittsburgh for $4, 804.00. The Corporation intends on working with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to turn the home into a residence for students studying at the Carnegie Mellon University.