JANUARY 2005 (3)
PHILIP JOHNSON DIES
Architect Philip Johnson died Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at the age of 98 in the famous glass house he built for himself in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut. Although the cause of death has not been reported, Johnson underwent heart surgery at the age of 90. Johnson bequeathed his glass house to the National Trust in 1986. He had served on the Trust's board of trustees from 1968 - 1971.
Johnson was the architect who commissioned Warhol's Most Wanted Men series for the New York State pavilion that Johnson designed for the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing Meadow (see art). The work consisted of 25 panels, each measuring 48" by 48", of images from mugshots taken from a 1962 poster of NYPD's "Most Wanted" criminals (AWM234). When Robert Moses objected to the work, Warhol had the panels painted over with silver paint. British artist Mark Lancaster, who helped Warhol stretch the later canvas versions of the Most Wanted Men, remembers going to the World's Fair with Warhol to see the silver panels and that the "ghostlike images" of the mug shots were still "showing through" the silver. (ML090205). The canvas versions were exhibited as Andy Warhol: The Thirteen Most Wanted Men in 1967 at the Gallerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, the Galerie Hans Neuendorf in Hamburg and the Galerie Rudolf Zwirner in Cologne. In 1968 the exhibit traveled to London where it was shown at the Rowan Gallery.
David McCabe photographed Warhol in Johnson's glass house when Warhol visited there in the winter of 1964/5. McCabe also briefly appeared as a photographer in Warhol's film Kitchen. David Dalton, who visited the glass house with McCabe published his recollection of the event in McCabe's photo book, A Year in the Life of Andy Warhol. (Dalton's sister, Sarah, edited Warhol's film, Sleep.)
Andy Warhol in the guest house
at Philip Johnson's Glass House
(Photo: David McCabe)
"And so, on a chilly Sunday afternoon in the winter of 1964-65, we - David McCabe, my sister Sarah, and I - go to Connecticut to see Philip the Brazen in his famous glass slipper... Early in the morning, we get to the Glass House. It is a cold, gray day... Plus we don't see Andy in the Glass House, and you can see everybody inside quite clearly, like figurines under a bell jar... We creep around the estate looking for Andy. 'I bet he'll be in there,' says David, pointing to a low-lying white guest house. The windows are in the shape of portholes. We peek in. There is Andy in bed. In shades! I knew it. He never takes them off these days, even in bed. The room has a shrine-like quality to it... The bedspread is black leather, and above the head of the bed is a filigree wire sculpture by Richard Lippold.. When Andy saw us looking through the window, he motioned for us to go around to the door. Oh, that was a door?... A claw-like hand reaches up from the corner of the porthole. Then an impish, close-cropped head. 'Oh' says Sarah, 'isn't that David Whitney?' It is... As we walk back toward the Glass House, Andy says, 'People always ask me, 'How does he go to the bathroom in that place?'" (DM16-7)Philip Johnson is survived by his partner of over forty years, David Whitney, and a sister.
Kenneth Goldsmith, the author of I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, will be moderating a panel discussion on Warhol on March 1, 2005 at the Kitchen in New York. Participating on the panel will be Factory photographer Billy Name, along with authors Reva Wolf, Victor Bockris and Gretchen Berg.
Billy Name is well known for his photographs of the Warhol era, in addition to his other artistic endeavors, including sculpture and concrete poetry. Reva Wolf is the author of Andy Warhol, Poetry and Gossip in the 1960s, Victor Bockris wrote the gossip-filled biography, The Life and Death of Andy Warhol, and Gretchen Berg was responsible for the often quoted interview with Warhol that originally appeared in the East Village Other on November 1, 1966. Berg's interview, based partly on tape recorded conversations with Warhol and partly from memory, appears in full in Goldsmith's book.Andy Warhol [from the Getchen Berg interview, 1966]: "I think we're a vacuum here at the Factory: it's great. I like being a vacuum; it leaves me alone to work. We are bothered, though, we have cops coming up here all the time, they think we're doing awful things and we aren't. People try to trap us sometimes: a girl called up here and offered me a film script called Up Your Ass and I thought the title was so wonderful and I'm so friendly that I invited her to come up with it, but it was so dirty that I think she must have been a lady cop. I don't know if she was genuine or not but we haven't seen her since and I'm not surprised. I guess she thought that was the perfect thing for Andy Warhol." [Note:The author of Up Your Ass was Valerie Solanas who shot Andy Warhol on June 3, 1968. gc.]
NY ARTISTS HOST OPEN PERFORMERS' NIGHT
New York Artists Unlimited will be hosting a regular "open mic" night on friday evenings at the Downeast Arts Center in New York beginning February 4, 2005. The open nights will actually be acoustic (no microphone) and performers should bring a tape or CD if they require accompaniment.
NY Artists Unlimited is a non-profit performing arts organization headed by Melba La Rose, who played the part of Nola Noonan in the original La Mama production of Jackie Curtis' Glamour Glory and Gold. (An interview with Melba appears in the articles section.)
The Downeast Arts Center is located at on Avenue A between 12th and 13th Street (not far from the location of the original Dom where Warhol first presented the E.P.I.). Admission to the open nights will be "pay as you can," with no cover charge or minimum. Sign-up for performers will begin at 6:30 pm, with performances beginning at 7:00 pm.
The website for NY Artists Unlimited is at: www.nyartists.org.
EDIE SEDGWICK EXHIBITION
An exhibition of photographs of Warhol star Edie Sedgwick, including a selection of rare, previously unseen photos, will take place at Gallagher's Art and Fashion Gallery in New York from February 3 to March 6, 2005. Included in the exhibit will be the work of Billy Name, Nat Finkelstein, Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, Burt Glinn (Magnum), David Weisman and Gianni Penati.
In December of last year, Gallagher's was awarded "Best Magazine-Fetishist Store" by New York magazine on the magazine's online website at www.newyorkmetro.com.
The Gallery is located at 111 4th Avenue at 12th Street in Manhattan. Telephone No: 212 - 473 - 0840.
The website for the shop and gallery is at: www.gallaghersfashion.com.
NAT FINKELSTEIN ONLINE
(photo: Nat Finkelstein)
Added to the links section this month is Nat Finkelstein's website www.natfinkelstein.com. Finkelstein documented his experiences with Andy Warhol's Factory in his book, Andy Warhol: The Factory Years, 1964-1967, which includes previously lost colour photographs of Edie Sedgwick. He is one of the contributors to the upcoming Edie show at Gallagher's (see below). His work has previously been shown in over 75 group and solo exhibitions internationally.
Nat Finkelstein [in Andy Warhol: The Factory Years, 1964-1967]: "For me the Factory was a place of sex and drugs and rock 'n roll. For some of the others it was: from ferment comes art... Andy was a very hard-working artist, a working man. He hid this very carefully, creating the myth that his products just kinda appeared. I'm probably one of the very few photographers who actually has pictures of Andy with his hands on a paintbrush and the paintbrush touching the painting. He didn't want to get paint on his hands. So like any great artist, he had an atelier."