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January 2010

(to December 2009)

Second legal action brought against the Warhol Foundation over Andy Warhol Self-Portraits

Warhol catalogue raisonne

The 1970 catalogue raisonné which features one of the disputed Self-Portraits on the front cover signed by Andy Warhol

Another legal action against the Warhol Foundation, the Authentication Board and its agents over the disputed series of Andy Warhol Self-Portraits, which are also the subject of the Joe Simon case, has been brought by Susan Shaer (aka Susan Mearns) whose family owns one of the works from the same series. The Simon case was recently covered by the Mail on Sunday in the UK. The article can be found here.

In legal papers filed on Friday, 15 January 2010, Shaer alleges that her antitrust action against the Foundation arises out of their attempts "to control the market in works of art by the late Andy Warhol." In December 2009, three other art entities - the Comité René Magritte, the Francis Bacon Authentication Committee and the Arshile Gorky Foundation also questioned the Authentication Board's practice of stamping unauthenticated works with a "negative verdict" in the form of a "denied" stamp. Their letter can be found here.

Although Joel Wachs, the president of the Andy Warhol Foundation is quoted in the Mail on Sunday article as saying he wanted to refrain from "litigating in public," the Mail also quotes Nick Grevantes (identified in the article as "working with" the Foundation's lawyer David Boise) as saying "Not only will we win but we are coming after Simon. We'll extract millions in a counter-suit for wasting our client's time in fighting a spurious case" despite the fact that in May 2009, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain issued a ruling that allowed Simon "to pursue an antitrust class action against the Andy Warhol Foundation and the board that authenticates the late artist's paintings."

The Mail on Sunday article also notes that "Among the art-world insiders supporting his [Simon's] case were Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate, whose curators in London had concluded that the work was a Warhol."

The Courthouse News Service article on the Shaer case can be found here.

Interview with Charles Lisanby

Charles Lisanby

Charles Lisanby on YouTube

The Archive of American Television has posted a fascinating video interview on You Tube of Charles Lisanby as part of their TV Legends series. Lisanby was an early friend of Andy Warhol (described by Lisanby as his "best friend") in New York, the subject of some of Warhol's drawings, and the person with whom Warhol went to the Far East in 1956. Lisanby begins talking about his friendship with Warhol at about 12.09 on the tape.

Charles Lisanby [from the interview]:

"Every Sunday we [Lisanby and Andy Warhol] would have what we called sketch class and he would come down to my apartment on 15th Street and usually bring flowers and we would sketch... He bought a house on Lexington Avenue and wanted me to move in there... to save rent... but I didn't want to do that. I did move to a different apartment though. In fact, when I did that... he realized that I was never going to come live with him... and it wasn't going to work out that way and we stopped seeing each other quite so much. But I did go to the firehouse that he rented when he was doing the Marilyn Monroe silk screens... and I didn't really like what he was doing with his work... I loved his drawings - he had the most wonderful way of just drawing something sometimes without taking his pen or pencil off of the paper..."

The Gregory Battcock archive

Gregory Battcock and David Bourdon

David Bourdon and Gregory Battcock (1970) by Alice Neel

An exhibition of "The Gregory Battcock Archive" closes on January 30, 2010 at the Rowley Kennerk Gallery in Chicago. Although the Alice Neel painting above, featuring Battcock on the left with Warhol biographer David Bourdon, is not part of the show, a large amount of Battcock's correspondence, unpublished essays, photographs and other remnants of the New York art scene from the '60s and '70s is being exhibited. Andy Warhol filmed Battcock for a Screen Test in 1964 and Battcock also appeared in other films directed by Andy Warhol - Batman Dracula, Soap Opera, Horse and Eating Too Fast (the sound re-make of Blow Job) - in addition to writing extensively on the arts. In 1968 he edited The New American Cinema: A Critical Anthology - an early collection of essays on underground films. During 1969-70 he wrote a regular column for the magazine Gay: The New York Review of Sex and Politics.

From the exhibition press release:

"Born in 1937, Battcock was a painter in the early 1960s who found his way into several of Andy Warhol's films... and later he became a critic with eclectic interests--he wrote about minimalism and performance and video art as well as the aesthetics of ocean liners. His best-known book is entitled Why Art: Casual Notes on the Aesthetics of the Immediate Past (Dutton, 1977). In the 1970s Battcock's influence was quite broad - he was editor of Arts magazine for a while - and among his more adventurous projects was a short-lived magazine called Trylon & Perisphere, which explored the underside of the New York art world. Everything came to a quick and sudden end on Christmas day in 1980, when he was found dead on the balcony of his 10th floor condo in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His body had 102 stab wounds."

Details of the exhibition here.

Press Release here.

Billy Name's negatives are missing

The New York Times is reporting that Billy Name's negatives have gone missing. According to the Times, "sometime in the last two years, Mr. Name’s archive of negatives went missing. Mr. Name left it in the care of a photography agent, Kevin Kushel, a former director of The Associated Press’s photo archive who went on to form his own stock-photography company, and whom Mr. Name said he had not been able to contact for months. The disappearance of the negatives has alarmed not just Mr. Name and his circle of friends and supporters but also scholars, who describe the images as an important historical record of a pivotal time in art history."

Callie Angell (author of Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne, Volume One):

Billy Name's "documentation of that era is really irreplaceable. There were really only four photographers around the Factory for any length of time in the 1960s, and Billy Name was the only one of them who lived there. His pictures were Warhol’s press photos. They were his chosen representation of his work.”

The full article can be read here.

Jayne County's Mad Tea Party, Sex! Art! Music! at the Chelsea Hotel

The work of the "Ante Art" Superstars will be on show at "Jayne County's Mad Tea Party, Sex! Art! Music!" at the Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd Street, from 9-11 April 2010.

From the press release:

"During an historic photo session, filmed by Anton Perich at the Chelsea Hotel, NY, NY, Warhol Superstar Billy Name has revealed his "Ante Art" Superstars. Each person has been recognized for their contributions to the "Ante Art Scene" or the reemergence of the counter-culture underground of art and music and design.

Billy Name, whose seminal photographs reflect the culture and style of the 1960's and Warhol's Silver Factory is rapidly becoming recognized as the godfather and mentor of a generation of visual artists and musicians who are influenced by the early Avant Garde. The works of the Ante Art Supertars will be on display at the show, "Jayne County's Mad Tea Party, Sex! Art! Music!" to be held at the Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd St, NYC, April 9-11 during a three day Happening."

Eulogy for Andy Warhol scriptwriter Ronald Tavel

Last month there was a memorial and a series of film screenings presented at the Anthology Film Archives in New York in honour of playwright/actor Ronald Tavel who wrote the scripts for many of the early films directed by Andy Warhol - including Screen Test No. 1, Screen Test No. 2, Hedy, Vinyl, Harlot, Horse, The Life of Juanita Castro, Kitchen, and sections of The Chelsea Girls. Ron and his brother, Harvey Tavel, also appeared in many of the early films directed by Andy Warhol. As part of the memorial that took place on 13 December 2009, George Abagnalo, who appeared in Women in Revolt and co-wrote Andy Warhol's Bad, delivered a eulogy. I have now added the eulogy to the site at here.

Nat Finkelstein London exhibition in The Times

An article titled "The life and work of Nat Finkelstein - court photographer at Andy Warhol's Factory" appeared in The Times (London) on 6 January 2010 here.

The exhibition to which the article refers opens on 20 January 2010 at the Idea Generation Gallery on Chance Street in London. Details here.

An obituary by Nat Finkelstein's wife can be found here.

Andy Warhol Still Lifes and Feet

An exhibition of still lifes and feet by Andy Warhol, including works which incorporated representations of commercial products such as Hershey's milk prior to his Soup Can paintings, opens at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York on 7 January 2010 and continues until 6 February 2010.

Details and slide show here.

Tony Scherman and David Dalton to appear at The Warhol museum

Tony Scherman and David Dalton will be participating in a discussion and book signing of POP: The Genius of Andy Warhol on 8 January 2010 at 7:00 pm at The Warhol museum. The event will be moderated by The Warhol museum's director, Thomas Sokolowski.

Twisted Pair: Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol at The Warhol museum in May 2010

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp: "There's a sort of unnecessary adoration of art today."

An exhibition titled "Twisted Pair: Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol at The Warhol" will open at The Warhol museum on 22 May 2010 and continue until 6 September 2010. Warhol's enigmatic personality has been likened to that of Duchamp. Warhol's sculpture The Large Kiss was most likely a reference to Duchamp's Large Glass and his Most Wanted Men series most likely a reference to Duchamp's Wanted: $2,000. Just as Duchamp "retired" from painting in the 1920s, Warhol announced his retirement from painting during a trip to Paris in 1965. (Neither actually stopped producing work.)

Although Warhol downplayed the influence of Duchamp in interviews, he at one point planned on making a movie called 24 Hours in Marcel Duchamp's Life which he mentioned to journalist Fiona Russell Powell in a 1985 interview for the Face magazine in London saying, "like our Empire State Building, we were going to shoot him for 24 hours, it would have been really great but then he died."

Callie Angell (Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 1):

"Warhol did in fact make four three-minute rolls of Marcel Duchamp: a short 'newsreel' of the opening of Duchamp's retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum on October 7, 1963... and three other posed portraits shot on February 7, 1966, at the opening of 'Hommage à Caissa,' an exhibition at the Cordier and Ekstrom Gallery in New York to benefit the Marcel Duchamp fund of the American Chess Foundation. Aside from these publicly filmed events, no evidence of the larger Duchamp film has been found in the film collection, although a March 9, 1970, letter to Warhol from Ken Tyler of Gemini G.E.L., the design firm specializing in artists' multiples, makes cryptic mention of a prototype for a 'Duchamp super 8 movie box.' (AD66)

Marcel Duchamp in Warholstars:

Mark Lancaster on meeting Marcel Duchamp

Notes on Marcel Duchamp

July 28, 1887: Marcel Duchamp is born in Blainville-Crevon, France

February 17 - March 15, 1913: Marcel Duchamp exhibits Nude Descending a Staircase at The Armory Show.

April 11 - May 6, 1917: Marcel Duchamp's urinal at the Society of Independent Artists exhibition

April 30, 1920: The first exhibition of the Société Anonyme opens.

April 1921: Marcel Duchamp publishes New York dada

January 24, 1938: Duchamp hangs Jean Cocteau at Guggenheim Jeune

June 25, 1942: Marcel Duchamp arrives in New York

c. Early 1944: Marcel Duchamp hangs Jackson Pollock's mural in Peggy Guggenheim's apartment

November 1945: Marcel Duchamp designs a window display in New York

1946: Marcel Duchamp uses Benday dots

1947: Marcel Duchamp designs an exhibition catalogue featuring a woman's breast

October 2, 1968: Marcel Duchamp dies in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

December 2004: Marcel Duchamp's urinal sculpture is voted the single most influential work of art in the twentieth century

Marcel Duchamp on Pop Art

Warhol film scholar Douglas Crimp to speak at International House

Douglas Crimp will be speaking on Paul Swan (directed by Andy Warhol) at International House in Philadelphia on February 4 at 6:30 pm, with a screening of Warhol's film afterwards. Free Admission.

Andy Warhol's Moderna Museet catalogue to be published in January 2010

Moderna Museet Warhol catalogue

According to Steidlville publishers, the exhibition catalogue for the 1968 exhibition "Andy Warhol" at the Moderna Museet will be re-published in January 2010. Barnes and Noble is listing a March 2010 date for the new edition although Amazon is not listing it at all. The original, first edition of the book is worth a considerable amount of money and the re-publication of it was originally announced over a year ago but was held up for copyright reasons. The book features quotations from Warhol and a plethora of photographs by Billy Name, Stephen Shore, Rudolph Burckhardt, Eric Pollitzer and John D.Schiff.

Details here. And here.

Andy Warhol's Factory People: Welcome to the Silver Factory to be broadcast on Ovation TV on 25 January 2010

Factory People

The documentary on Andy Warhol and the characters who populated the Factory will be broadcast on Ovation TV on 25 January 2010 at 12:00 pm.

Details here.

Andy Warhol Cars at the Albertina

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol paints a real BMW in 1977

Works from the Car series by Andy Warhol will be be exhibited at the Albertina Museum in Austria, along with work by Robert Longo, Silvie Fleury, and Vincent Szarek from 22 January - 16 May 2010. Details here.

Pop Life at the National Gallery in Canada

"Pop Life" - the exhibition that is currently at the Tate Modern will open at the National Gallery of Canada on 11 June 2010. In the U.K. Richard Prince's work, Spiritual America, was removed from the Tate exhibition at the request of the police - despite the fact that it had previously been exhibited at the Guggenheim in the U.S. without any problem in 2007/8 and has been widely reproduced on the internet.

Details here.

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