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Andy Warhol

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Andy Warhol


Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick and Guy Pearce as Andy Warhol
on the set of Factory Girl

Factory Girl, a fictional film based on the life of Edie Sedgwick, has been shooting in Louisiana recently. Parts of downtown Shreveport have been turned into the streets of New York circa 1965/66, with Texas Street becoming Manhattan's Lexington Avenue.

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(see update below)

On Thursday, January 5, 2006, an official from the Pompidou Centre in Paris reported that Marcel Duchamp's urinal readymade, Fountain, was attacked with a hammer causing its surface to become chipped. The sculpture was being displayed as part of the major DADA exhibition currently at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which travels to the National Gallery of Art in Washington on February 19 - May 14, 2006 and the Museum of Modern Art from June 18 - September 11, 2006 (see catalogue below).

Although the Pompidou Centre's spokesperson did not reveal the identity of the attacker it is thought to be a 76 year old performance artist from the Provence region of France who previously urinated on the sculpture when it was displayed in Nimes in 1993.

The urinal, estimated to be valued at $3.6 million, has been removed from the exhibit which closes on Monday. In 2004, 500 influential art dealers, artists and theorists and curators voted the sculpture "the most influential work of art in the twentieth century" (see December 2004).

DADA and Warhol are discussed briefly in the "Pre-Pop" section of this website on the following pages: and

Marcel Duchamp [from a letter to Hans Richter in 1962]:

"This Neo-Dada which they call New Realism, Pop Art, Assemblage, etc., is an easy way out, and lives on what Dada did. When I discovered readymades I thought to discourage aesthetics. In Neo-Dada they have taken my readymades and found aesthetic beauty in them. I threw the bottle-rack and the urinal into their faces as a challenge and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty."

Update (January 12, 2006):

Although the vandalism was revealed on Thursday by the Pompidou Centre, the incident actually occurred on Wednesday, January 4, 2006. The assailant has now been named as Pierre Pinoncelli, who had not only previously urinated in the urinal, but also had previously attacked it with a hammer in 1993 in the Carré d'Art in Nimes, saying that he wanted to rescue the work from its inflated status and restore it to its original use as a urinal. At that time he was jailed for a month and fined approximately $37,500. After Pinoncelli attacked the sculpture at the Pompidou Centre, he was held overnight by the police and ordered to appear in court on January 24, 2006 to answer to a charge of damaging the property of others.

Pinoncelli, who lives in Nice, has been performing "les happenings de la rue" since the early 1960s. In 1969, he sprayed red paint on André Malraux, who was at the time the French Culture Minister. In 1975 Pinoncelli staged a bank robbery with a fake gun to protest Nice becoming Cape Town's twin city during the days of apartheid. Also that year, he marched outside a Nice court, covered by large yellow stars, as a homage to deported Jews. At a festival of performance art in Cali, Colombia in 2002 he protested the kidnapping by a guerrilla group of Columbian politician Ingrid Betancourt by chopping off half of the smallest finger of his left hand and using his blood to write FARC on a wall. FARC are the initials for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - the group which kidnapped Ms. Betancourt, who is still being held by them.

Monsieur Pinoncelli is not the first person to vandalize Duchamp's work. In 2000, two Chinese artists, Yuan Cai and Jian Jun Xi Ianjun, urinated on Fountain, excusing their action by saying that it was Duchamp himself who said that artists defined art. The year previously they had jumped into Tracey Emin's Bed. (see: Alan Riding, "Conceptual Artist as Vandal: Walk Tall and Carry a Little Hammer (or Ax)," New York Times, January 7, 2006)

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Andy Warhol's series of silkscreens of "Jews of the Twentieth Century" will be exhibited at the Balcony Gallery of the National Portrait Gallery in London from January 24 - July 2, 2006. (

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Dada catalogue

Published to coincide with the major DADA art exhibition currently at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and due to travel to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006, this book is remarkable - the most comprehensive look at the DADA movement that has ever been published. Excellently designed, the book contains more than 500 pages of DADA history and art, including essays by Brigid Doherty, Dorothea Dietrich, Sabine T. Kriebel, Michael R. Taylor, Janine Mileaf, Matthew S. Witkovsky and a chronology spanning Zurich, Berlin Hanover, Cologne, New York and Paris. Amazon is currently offering this publication at 37% discount here.

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The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will be showing Sleep, Kiss, Couch, Blow Job, Harlot, Haircut No. 1 and Eat from January 19 - 26, 2006. Details on their website at:

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Neil Printz, the co-editor of the Andy Warhol art catalogue raisonné, will be giving a gallery talk about the artist at DIA: Beacon on January 28, 2006. (

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Gavin Butt book

Gavin Butt's book, Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World 1948 - 1963, with a Billy Name image of Warhol on the front cover, is now out in paperback. Butt analyses the work of artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Larry Rivers through the gossip that appeared about them, covering the period from the Kinsey Report to Stonewall. Full details on the Amazon page here.

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A major Warhol exhibition is being planned for the 2006 - 07 season at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art in Australia and will include screenings of Warhol's television work from the 1980s - Andy Warhol's TV and the 1986/87 MTV series Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes.

Details at:

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Paul Swan

Janis and Richard Londraville's biography of dancer Paul Swan, as mentioned here in February 2005, will be published in March 2006. The book covers Swan's fascinating life and career and includes an account of the filming of Warhol's movie featuring the dancer. Full details on the Amazon page, here.

From the Kirkus Review (January 15, 2006):

"When Andy Warhol filmed interviews with Swan in 1965, he reignited interest in the man, then 82. The Londravilles perform a similar function, as Swan is today largely forgotten. In what some may consider a quintessential portrait of a gay artist in the first half of the 20th century, the authors meticulously trace Swan's life from his early personal and artistic struggles in a culturally parched Midwest to his success and then pathetic demise in New York City."

From Publishers Weekly magazine:

"In 1965, Andy Warhol made a film in which the 82-year-old dancer and gay camp idol Paul Swan, once called "The Most Beautiful Man in the World," is shown trying to recreate one of his youthful performances, unintentionally making a mockery of his past grace. The authors (Dear Yeats, Dear Pound, Dear Ford) of this insightful and compassionate biography take account of this and other pathetic aspects of Swan's old age, but for the most part they emphasize the positive side of his life... Bisexual, married and the father of two children, he was the quintessential eccentric, especially in his later years when he wore quantities of makeup, bathed in olive oil and stuffed his pants with socks to make himself appear better endowed... Their book succeeds because they [Janis and Richard Londraville] concentrate on Swan's considerable artistic achievements, especially his accomplished portraits."

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Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol