ANDY WARHOL NEWS
Allan Kaprow died Wednesday, April 5, 2006, of natural causes at his home in Encinitas, California. Kaprow, who studied with John Cage, was a key figure in the transitional period between Abstract Expressionism and Pop. His 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, which took place at the opening of the Reuben Gallery in the Autumn of 1959, was the first "happening" in a New York art gallery. In his memoir, A Sweeper-Up After Artists, art critic Irving Sandler recalled Kaprow making his views known as a member of the audience during a panel discussion at the Abstract Expressionists' downtown meeting place, The Club, in 1958:
"In 1957, the question of whether gesture painting had become academic began to be hotly debated in artists' studios and the Cedar Street Tavern... In 1958, I decided to bring the artists' private conversations on the new academy out into the open at The Club... I asked Alfred Barr, Thomas Hess, and Harold Rosenberg to address the question at a panel titled 'Has the Situation Changed?' Their discussion reverberated throughout art venues as no other Club session had before or would again. Rosenberg began by asking 'Has a certain way of painting become acceptable as a style? Is this mood of acceptance antithetical to the mood in which the new painting began? Has what set out as desperate jabs in the dark become an established style?' ...Then Barr threw down the gauntlet: 'I look forward to a rebellion, but I don't see it. Am I blind or does it exist? Are painters continuing a style when they should be bucking it? ...Sitting quietly in the back of the room, Allan Kaprow, who had begun to make environments and would soon become famous for happenings, took the floor and challenged the audience: 'I am convinced that painting is a bore. So is music, literature, etc., etc. What doesn't bore me is the total destruction of ideas that have any discipline. Instead of painting, move your arms; instead of music, make noise. I'm giving up painting and all of the arts by doing everything and anything.' Someone in the audience shouted: 'You sound like Billy Graham,' and there was a general hubbub. From within the bastion of Abstract Expressionism, Kaprow had broadcast John Cage's call for a new art that would break down barriers between art and life. Leaving The Club that night, I thought that what was clear from the panel discussion was that 'the situation' had changed. And that change had become widely accepted in the art world." (IS231)
Kaprow is survived by his wife, Coryl, and four children - three from a previous marriage to Vaughn Rachel - and three grandchildren.
A 4 DVD box set of Paul Morrissey films is due to be released in the U.S. on April 25, 2006. It will include the films Heat, Trash and Flesh and a bonus DVD - Factory Days: Paul Morrissey Remembers the Sixties. The distributor is Image Entertainment and Amazon is currently offering a 30% discount on pre-orders here.
(Photo: Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie)
Sesu Coleman, the drummer for the Magic Tramps - the band that Eric Emerson sang with - has trademarked a record label called Moonlight Dust Music. Among the projects he is working on is a CD that includes Eric Emerson performing at the Mercer Arts Centre with the band, singing a song called "Lonesome Cowboys" (not used in Andy Warhol's film Lonesome Cowboys) and introducing Warhol stars Jane Forth and Ingrid Superstar. Sesu also has a recording of Geri Miller singing "Mama, Look At Me Now" (the song that she sang in Trash) which he may be releasing as a CD single. Other rarities include Eric doing a duet with a woman (probably Jane Forth) - singing an after hours song called "I Adore You." Among the options that Sesu is pursuing with the recordings is possibly looking for a record label to distribute the Tramps music and/or compiling a CD of songs by various Warhol stars (Eric, Geri, Holly Woodlawn, Jackie Curtis etc...).
Sesu can be contacted via his Magic Tramps website at www.magictramps.com.
During April 2006 the Anthology Film Archives in New York will be showing a selection of films directed by Anton Perich and Ron Rice featuring Warhol star Taylor Mead. Rice's underground classic The Flower Thief will be shown on April 20th and 23rd and The Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man on the 22nd and 23rd. On April 22nd rarely screened Perich footage will be shown - Candy and Dandy (with Mead and Candy Darling), Star Candidate (with Danny Fields, Tinkerbelle, Susan Blond and Wayne County) and Dr. Tinkerbelle (with Susan Blond and Tinkerbelle).
On April 9, 2006 the Anthology will also be holding a "Save Our Films Benefit Concert" with "rare punk music" and a "unique selection of films," with proceeds going to support the film preservation program.
Details for all events at www.anthologyfilmarchives.org.
Twin Palms Publishers are publishing Andy Warhol Andy Warhol Eros and Mortality: The Late Male Nudes at the end of May 2006. The case bound book will consist of seventy pages, including sixty plates, and will retail for $60.00 - although Amazon is currently offering a discount of more than 30% on pre-orders. Further details about the book are on the Twin Palms website at www.twinpalms.com.
Pollock Fine Art in London is having an exhibition of drawings by Andy Warhol, Robert Hawkins and Jonathan Meese with an introductory text - What About Robert Hawkins - written by Glenn O'Brien. The show runs until May 2, 2006 and features two drawings by Warhol of Queen Elizabeth. Details at www.pollockfineart.com.
Coco was a poco loco (1968)
by Al Hansen
An exhibition of works by Al Hansen will take place at the Andrea Rosen Gallery from April 1 - April 29, 2006. On April 24 there will be an evening of Al Hansen performance pieces organized by his daughter, Warhol star Bibbe Hansen.
"I had been picking up objects from the street and from trash cans; the urban detritus and scraps of decay that Kurt Schwitters used in his collages... Schwitters was very important to me. Above all he was a master composer in the way he placed objects in relation to each other. I had several boxes and packages of this stuff and I decided to do a series of collages exploring the possibilities that would come up. So much of it was Schwitters-like material that I decided to un-compose it, that is, instead of composing and melding them into unified wholes, I would put them together in a way that jarred, that made apparent that they did not go together." (BBM22)
In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine, Al Hansen's grandson (and Bibbe's son) - the recording artist Beck - recalled his own memories of his grandfather's collection of detritus:Beck:
"I remember he [Al Hansen] came to stay with us when I was about five, and he brought with him bags full of junk and magazines, cigarette butts, all sorts of refuse and materials that he would use for his art pieces. I had some old toys that had broken and didn't work stored in the back room somewhere. He found an old rocking horse, the kind you buy at K-Mart, made out of plastic with springs on it. And he offered me five bucks for it, which, for me, was an unheard-of quantity of money. I immediately said yeah, he could have it. But I couldn't understand what he would do with it, what use he could have for it. So I came back from school one day and saw this thing sitting at the side of the house, vaguely familiar but somehow completely unrecognizable. He had taken the thing and glued cigarette butts all over it, severed the head off and spray painted the whole thing silver... At the time, it was more of a curiosity to me. But in retrospect, I think things of that nature gave me the idea, maybe subconsciously, that there were possibilities within the limitations of everyday life, with the things that we look at that are disposable. Our lives can seem so limited and uneventful but these things can be transformed... So I always carried that with me." (BBR8)
(Cover Photo by Robert Levin)
The German edition of Kenneth Goldsmith's collection of Andy Warhol interviews was recently published by Verlag Kurt Liebig as Interviews mit Andy Warhol. Whereas the American edition of the book (I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews 1962 - 1987) includes an introduction by Reva Wolf, the German edition features text by the cultural theorist, Klaus Theweleit, author of the two volume Male Fantasies and the Book of Kings. The German edition also includes more photographs than the American version.