ANDY WARHOL NEWS
A new book about Truman Capote's Black and White Ball was published recently. The fully illustrated 300+ page book, Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black-and White Ball by Deborah Davis, details the history of the event which took place on November 28, 1966. The guest of honor was Katherine Graham who had become president of the Washington Post in 1963 after the previous president, her husband Philip, committed suicide. Graham's father had purchased the Post in 1933.
Although Katherine Graham was the official excuse for the party, the real center of attraction was Truman, himself. His book, In Cold Blood, had caused considerable controversy when it was first serialized in the September/October 1965 issues of New Yorker magazine prior to being published in January 1966.
Guests at the party, which took place at the Plaza Hotel, had to wear masks and dress in either black or white. Warhol arrived wearing sunglasses with a large cow's head resting on his shoulders, accompanied by Henry Geldzahler. He later recalled the event (via Pat Hackett) in Popism:
Andy Warhol (via Pat Hackett):
"When we got to the Plaza, I was totally intimidated, I'd never seen such a herd of celebrities before in my life... Everyone had been asked to wear either black or white, and the first black or white people we noticed were Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Katherine Graham (she was the guest of honor), Margaret Truman's husband Clifton Daniel, John Kenneth Galbraith, Philip Roth, David Merrick, Billy Baldwin, Babe Paley, Phyllis and Bennett Cerf, Marella Agnelli, Oscar de la Renta, David O. Selznick, Norman Mailer, Marianne Moore, Henry Ford, Tallulah Bankhead, Rose Kennedy, Lee Radziwill, George Plimpton, Adele Astaire Douglass, Gloria Vanderbilt Cooper, and, as Suzy Knickerbocker would say, 'like that.' Then Lynda Byrd Johnson brushed past me - she'd just gotten a job at McCall's and the gossip columns were putting her together with George Hamilton. Out on the dance floor, Lauren Bacall was dancing with Jerome Robbins and Mia Farrow Sinatra was dancing with Roddy McDowell while her husband, Frank, talked to Pat Kennedy Lawford. As far as I could tell, this was the densest concentration of celebs in the history of the world. As Henry and I stood there gaping, I told him, 'We're the only nobodies here.'" (POP196)
Christie's is to sell more than 500 photographs from the collection of the bankrupted commodities trading company, Refco, Inc. The photographs will be sold in 340 lots spread across three auctions. Richard Avedon's photograph of Andy Warhol's chest and abdomen, showing the scars caused by the gunshot wounds inflicted by Valerie Solanas in 1968, is expected to go for between $100,000 - $150,000.
"Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World" - an exhibition of works by Josef Albers and László Moholy-Nagy opens at the Tate Modern in London on March 9, 2006. Albers and Moholy-Nagy both taught at Bauhaus in the 1920s.
In 1933 Albers and his wife, Anni, moved to the U.S. to teach at Black Mountain College. He remained on the faculty until March1949 when he resigned. Many of the faculty members and students from Black Mountain would later influence the New York art scene through venues like the Judson Church during the Pre-Pop period. John Cage and Merce Cunningham both taught at Black Mountain and Ray Johnson and Robert Rauschenberg were students there. When Benjamin H.D. Buchloh interviewed Andy Warhol in 1985 and asked the artist about the "serial structures" of his work, Warhol commented "I should have done the Campbell's Soups and kept on doing them... I did like some people, like, you know, the guy who just does the squares, what's his name? The German - he died a couple of years ago; he does the squares - Albers. I liked him; I like his work at lot." (KG324)
Moholo-Nagy also moved to the U.S. in the 1930s, becoming the director of the New Bauhaus – American School of Design in Chicago in 1937. His early use of film as an artistic medium and his theories about the integration of art, technology and science were documented in his book Vision in Motion - published posthumously in 1947 while Warhol was a student at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. According to Jack Wilson, who was one year ahead of Warhol at Carnegie Tech, Moholo-Nagy was one of the artists they were exposed to as students. In Patrick S. Smith's book, Warhol: Conversations about the Artist, Wilson recalled that Andy Warhol borrowed his copy of Vision in Motion, and spoke about it "with enthusiasm." (WC21)
"Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World" continues until June 4, 2006 at the Tate Modern.
Harold Stevenson in front of Tears
at his studio in Idabel, Oklahoma
(Photo: Tawsha Hubbard)
(Courtesy of the McCurtain Gazette)
An interview with Harold Stevenson by Tawsha Hubbard appeared in the February 27, 2006 issue of the McCurtain Daily Gazette.
Stevenson's painting, The New Adam (1962) - a forty foot long nude portrait of Sal Mineo - was recently acquired by the Guggenheim in New York. Stevenson appeared in footage shot by Factoryite Danny Williams during the Warhol sixties (see June 2004) which also featured Edie Sedgwick. Stevenson commented upon his friendship with Edie in the interview: "I was a great, great friend of Edie Sedgwick. Someone said they are doing a film about her. I don't know why no one has contacted me about it. I can't imagine them doing it without me. I don't see how it could be possible."
Stevenson also appeared in Andy Warhol's Heat, billed in the film's credits as Harold Childe. The use of the name probably refers to Byron's poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.
"Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is written in the Spenserian stanza, a nine line stanza made up of 8 lines of iambic pentameter ending with an Alexandrine (iambic hexameter). Its rhyme scheme is ababbcbcc. This stanza was common to travel literature at the time, and the poem is unified by the travel motif. It is an encyclopedia of Romantic concerns and posturings, ranging from silliness to sensitivity. The first two cantos are generally only dealt with in passing, for they are often overly sentimental. In them, we find descriptions of physical locations, but Byron is more interested in cultural patterns and the attitudes of the people. In Canto 3, Byron drops the pose of writing as Childe Harold and speaks in his own voice. He offers a defense of himself based on the hope that time will be the great vindicator. Throughout this Canto and Canto 4, we see Byron's outline of the tragic nature of the universe: man's greatest tragedy is that he can conceive of a perfection which he cannot attain."
The "travel motif" of Byron's poem is particularly appropriate for Stevenson who lived in just about every European city worth living in ("I spent a lot of time in Italy; I loved Venice."), although he always returned to his home in Idabel, Oklahoma where he currently resides ("Someone came up to me at the post office recently and this lady said to me, 'Out of curiosity, Mr. Stevenson, just when did you leave Idabel?' I said, 'Darling, you must be new in town because I never left Idabel.'")
Stevenson's recent work, Tears (pictured above) will be part of an upcoming show at the Price Tower building in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 2007. He is represented by the Mitchell Algus Gallery in New York. The full interview with Stevenson appears at www.warholstars.org/articles/haroldstevenson.html.
Andy Warhol's early film, Couch, will be shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in April 2006 as part of a series of films that includes Outer and Inner Space starring Edie Sedgwick and the rarely shown Restaurant (not to be confused with Nude Restaurant) featuring Edie, Bibbe Hansen and Ondine. Other films to be screened include Eat, starring Robert Indiana, and selections from Warhol's Kiss and Screen Test series.
Details on the Museum of Contemporary Art website at http://www.mcachicago.org/MCA/Performance/pe-upcoming-txt2.html.