September - December 2016
December 31, 2016: Happy birthday, Joe.
December 8, 2016: A book about the high school that Andy Warhol attended, Schenley High School, will be published by Penn State University Press in April. The Schenley Experiment: A Social History of Pittsburgh’s First Public High School features more than 200 pages about the history of the school.
Andy Warhol's Certificate of Secondary School Credits
Andy Warhol's grades at Schenley High School show an average I.Q. of 104 and high grades in English, 1st year Latin, World History and Art. He ranked in the second tenth of the student body in terms of grades. Although some writers have characterized Warhol as dyslexic, it is doubtful given his high grades and rank.
Other Schenley graduates included the actor Bill Nunn and jazz musician Earl Hines. Teaching staff included the writer, Willa Cather.
More information about Schenley in "From Nowhere to Up There," p. 6.
December 7, 2016: Andy Warhol's Shadows are going to be shown at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in South Korea from February to June 2017. Details here.
December 6, 2016: Today is the anniversary of Holly Woodlawn's death. My best wishes to her family and friends. (Holly's page is here.) R.I.P.
November 30, 2016: Warhol star Joe Dallesandro had come up with a novel idea for Christmas. He is helping small shops, craftsmen and artists by inviting them to leave a comment about their goods on his Facebook page (below).
Actress and Performance Artist, Ann Magnuson, is one of Joe's Facebook friends and she has carried on the idea by doing a similar post on her page.
November 26, 2016: Cork's main arts centre, Triskel Christchurch is showing Flesh, Trash and Heat in a "Little Joe" festival taking place November 28-30. All films were directed by Paul Morrissey although advertised as Warhol films when they were first released (they were produced (i.e. paid for) by Warhol).
Details for the first screening, Flesh, can be found here.
November 24, 2016: An exhibition devoted to the fiftieth anniversary of a two-evening appearance at the Gershman Y (then the YM&WHA) in Philadelphia by Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and Nico on December 10 and 11, 1966 will take place at the Y from December 1, 2016 to January 4, 2017. Events include live performances by Yo La Tengo and Dean & Britta. Details here.
The original event was announced in the Philadelphia Inquirer on December 4, 1966:
Philadelphia Inquirer, December 4, 1966 - reproduced in Alfredo Garcia, the inevitable world of The Velvet Underground (2011) here.
Although the initial announcement included Edie Sedgwick, she was not mentioned in reviews of the show. A review of the Philadelphia show that appeared in the Courier-Post, New Jersey on Monday, December 12, 1966, mentions that Warhol "brought with him a number of his underground film stars - Gerhard [sic] Malanga, who has been described as 'a cross between Ricky Nelson and Ringo Starr,' and who also writes poetry; Mary Worovna [sic], the dark-haired, lithe-limbed, demonic beauty; International Velvet; and Nico..." ("Andy Warhol: Pop Goes Fizzle: Underground Happens in Philadelphia With Little Fallout," Courier-Post, N.J., December 12, 1966 repr. in Alfredo Garcia, the inevitable world of The Velvet Underground (2011)).
The New York City Police Department pamphlet that was the source for Andy Warhol's Thirteen Most Wanted Men
November 21, 2016: I have added to the site a short essay on Warhol's Thirteen Most Wanted Men mural, here.
Andy Warhol's First Studio
November 19, 2016: The disused firehouse at 159 East 87th Street that Warhol rented as his first studio has been purchased for $9.98 million. It was sold by "159 East 87th Owner LLC" (reportedly billionaire art dealer Guy Wildenstein) to "Warhol Hook and Ladder 13 LLC" (managed by Steven Bogden). The firehouse has been on the market since April in a listing shared by Thomas Gammino Jr., Brett Weisblum and Louis Marchetta of Cushman & Wakefield.
Many of Warhol's most iconic works - such as the Campbell's Soup Cans, S & H Green Stamps, Dollar Bills and Marilyn paintings - were done at home before he ever had a separate studio.
Works created during the period he rented the firehouse included Liz paintings, Ethel Skull, Bobby Short, Self-Portraits, Judith Green, Deaths and Ambulance Disaster paintings. It was while Warhol was renting the firehouse that Gerard Malanga began working for him.
Warhol used the firehouse as a studio for about a year.
See "Andy Warhol works from his first studio outside his home," here.
Details in the Observer here.
The vinyl containing the Valerie Solanas recording at Warhol Film Ads here (scroll down in 1968)
November 16, 2016: Alfredo Garcia, the man behind the Warhol Film Ads website, has found a rare recording of Valerie Solanas being interviewed by a WNEW reporter after she shot Andy Warhol. The interview can be found on the Warhol Film Ads website, here (scroll down in 1968).
At the end of the short interview, it is explained that “Miss Solanas is put in a mental hospital.” After her arrest, Valerie was first sent for psychiatric tests, then sent to the Women's House of Detention. From there she went to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens for more psychiatric tests. She was bailed in December 1968 but ended up back in the Women’s House of Detention in January for making further threats against Warhol and the publisher Maurice Girodias. She was in and out of prison or mental hospitals until 1971 when she had served her time. Although she was initially indicted for "attempted murder, assault and illegal possession of a gun," the charge was later reduced to "reckless assault with intent to harm” for which she received a three year sentence, including time served. Warhol refused to testify against her.
A biography of Valerie Solanas is here.
"Personality of the Artist" poster with photograph and text by Gene Swenson
November 12, 2016: I have added to the site an essay which takes as its starting point the above poster and ends up examining Gene Swenson's life, including his "I want to be a machine" interview with Warhol, as well as his friendships with Jill Johnston, the artist Ann Wilson and Ann Wilson's husband, the art writer, William S. Wilson. The essay, "Gene Swenson, Andy Warhol and the Personality of the Artist" is here.
November 10, 2016: Warhol star Viva, who appeared in numerous films by Andy Warhol (see "Andy Warhol Actors" here), has attempted to defend Trump's victory in terms of it being good for the environment. Viva had previously proclaimed that she voted Green on her Facebook page only to face negative comments from her "friends" on Facebook for helping to put Trump in the White House. Her response was to call them "brainwashed."
In regard to Trump's victory, Viva wrote on her page, "With the Global stock market freaking out and 'growth' stalling, Trump may actually be helping the Environment as continuing economic growth as it is right now, dependent on oil and gas and coal and destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest, our main source of oxygen, is what is killing this Planet."
Viva seems to forget that Trump has actually pledged to reinvigorate industries like the coal industry. The Business headline of the Wall Street Journal here, is proclaiming "Oil, Coal Seen as Winners with Donald Trump Victory." He also does not believe in man-made climate change.
In addition to being a Warhol superstar, Viva is also the mother of actress Gaby Hoffmann from the TV series, Transparent, although it's not known whether her daughter shares her views about Trump's victory. Viva's Facebook page is here.
Meanwhile Mo Tucker [aka Maureen Tucker], previously of the Velvet Underground, has been proudly espousing her Conservative viewpoints on her Facebook. Posts include "Share if you believe the U.S. needs a strong military," and a picture of Hillary Clinton with the words, "Hillary is finding out how it feels to be aborted just before delivery." Mo Tucker's Facebook page is here.
Meanwhile, Brigid Berlin, who recently brought out a book of her Polaroids, and who was filmed shooting up methedrine in The Chelsea Girls and rhapsodizing about the joys of meth in Ciao! Manhattan while injecting herself on a toilet seat, said that she hated Hillary Clinton at a book signing at the Strand last year - see here.
And meanwhile, the folks at Unilad online magazine and app have posted a video comparing Trump's racism to the racism of the '60s here.
And the Washington Post video of the President-to-be bragging about trying to have sex with a married woman and grabbing women's genitals can still be seen here.
Sad to see how the opinions of these people, who were considered radical in the 60s, have changed over time.
November 4, 2016: Tonight (Friday, November 4, 2016), Mark Webber will be introducing screenings of films of the London Film-Makers' Co-operative at the Harvard Film Archive. The London Film-Makers' Co-operative was the London version of Jonas Mekas' Jonas Mekas' Film-Makers' Coop in New York during the 60s and 70s. The group is mentioned in Mekas' Village Voice column and in Webber's book, Shoot Shoot Shoot: The First Decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative 1966-76 (LUX, October 2016).
Details of the Harvard screenings here.
November 4, 2016: Artsy is running an interesting article on the art that was sent to the moon in 1969 which included works by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and John Chamberlain. Article is here. (Not to be confused with Warhol's failed attempt at a Broadway show - Man on the Moon.)
October 31, 2016: A previously unpublished interview with Lou Reed has been posted on the "teamrock" website here.
Lou Reed (Ian Fortnam, "Interview: Lou Reed on the Velvets, Bowie... and his lover of Heavy Metal"):
I loved him [Andy Warhol] on sight, he was obviously one of us. He was right. I didn’t know who he was, I wasn’t aware of any of that, amazingly enough. But he was obviously a kindred spirit if ever there was one, and so smart with charisma to spare. But really so smart. And for a quote "passive" guy, he took over everything. He was the leader, which would be very surprising for a lot of people to work out. He was in charge of us, everyone. You look towards Andy, the least likely person, but in fact the most likely. He was so smart, so talented and 24 hours a day going at it.
Plus he had a vision. He was driven and he had a vision to fulfil. And I fit in like a hand in a glove. Bingo. Interest? The same. Vision? Equivalent. Different world, and he just incorporated us. It was amazing. I mean, if you think in retrospect, how does something like that happen? It’s unbelievable. I went from being with Delmore Schwartz, who taught me so much about writing, and then I’m there with Andy where you get all the rest of it.
Left: Gregory Battcock in his studio, 1964 (Photo: Nobu Siraisi) (The Gregory Battcock Archive), Right: Photograph of Gregory Battcock taken twelve years later by Jack Mitchell for Battcock's personal ad in the Advocate, June 1976. (Jack Mitchell Archives)
October 30, 2016: Although copies of Oceans of Love: The Uncontainable Gregory Battcock have sold out on Amazon, copies are still available through Printed Matter in New York and Cornerhouse Publications in the U.K. here.
The Andy Warhol films that Battcock appeared in include Batman Dracula, Horse and Eating Too Fast. (Andy Warhol filmography here.)
The book was published in conjunction with the The Gregory Battcock Archive exhibition at the Marian Goodman Gallery earlier this year, first mentioned in the June news.
Joseph Grigely (Preface to Oceans of Love):
Gregory Battcock came into my life in the fall of 1992 when, quite literally, I stumbled onto him.
I had just spent a beautiful week hiking in the White Mountains, and returned to my studio in Jersey City. The studio was inside a former cigarette factory near the Hudson riverfront... For many years, one entire floor, roughly 20,000 square feet, had been occupied by a moving and storage company called "Shalom"... While I was on that hike in the White Mountains, Shalom was evicted from the building. When they moved out, they left behind chaos of unimaginable proportion...
Walking through the debris was an unsettling experience. The entire fourth floor of 111 1st Street had become a particular kind of archaeological moment: a ruin. As a friend and I explored the space, we moved aside emptied boxes, lifted garments, and in the process, found an area with a lot of books and papers kicked across the floor. Many of the books were signed on the flyleaf with a big loopy signature, 'Ron Whyte,' a name that didn't ring a bell for me. But mixed in with Ron Whyte's books were some others that had on them a name that stood out: Gregory Battcock. Battock had edited a well-known anthology on minimalism - he also edited Arts magazine for a while... As we sifted through the papers we found more and more stuff, including snapshots, correspondence, travel notebooks, and hundreds of copies of the underground newspapers in which Battcock had published his essays.
The result of that find was the Gregory Battcock archive and Oceans of Love - truly a labour of love and a nostalgic, moving, document of the pre-Aids world of the 60s and 70s. HIGHLY recommended.
Further information on Battcock and his violent demise here.
Ivy Nicholson (date unknown)
(Photo: Conrad Ventur)
October 29, 2016: Conrad Ventur will be exhibiting photographs he took of Warhol star Ivy Nicholson and her children, Gunther and Penelope, at an exhibition opening on November 2, 2016 at the Baxter Street Camera Club of New York. Details here.
The original "peel slowly and see" album cover for The Velvet Underground and Nico - produced by Andy Warhol
October 25, 2016: John Cale and special guests will be performing the first Velvet Underground album, produced by Andy Warhol and featuring his signature peelable banana on the front cover, on May 26, 2017, at Clarence Dock in Liverpool to celebrate the album's 50th anniversary. A New York performance is also being planned.
Gay Gotham exhibition, including Andy Warhol's Screen Test of 60's super-model Donyale Luna who died of a heroin overdose in 1979
(Photo: Victor P. Corona)
October 24, 2016: The exhibition, Gay Gotham, currently at the Museum of the City of New York, includes a fair amount of Warhol content. The book accompanying the exhibition came out earlier this month and is described in the following way: "Starting with the bohemian era of the 1910s and 1920s, when the pansy craze drew voyeurs of all types to Greenwich Village and Harlem, the book winds through midcentury Broadway as well as Fire Island as it emerged as a hotbed, turns to the post-Stonewall, decade-long wild party that revolved around clubs like the Mineshaft and Studio 54, and continues all the way through the activist mobilization spurred by the AIDS crisis and the move toward acceptance at the century’s close. Throughout, readers encounter famous figures, from James Baldwin and Mae West to Leonard Bernstein, and discover lesser-known ones, such as Harmony Hammond, Greer Lankton, and Richard Bruce Nugent. Surprising relationships emerge: Andy Warhol and Mercedes de Acosta, Robert Mapplethorpe and Cecil Beaton, George Platt Lynes and Gertrude Stein."
Events include "Making the Queer Scene" with Michael Musto on December 6, 2016; a free-of-charge Teen Summit on February 20, 2017 (for ages 12 - 17); and a talk on "Documenting Gay Life" on March 7, 2017 (after the exhibition closes) featuring gay artist, Conrad Ventur, Rodney Evans (winner of the Sundance Special Jury Prize for his 2004 film Brother to Brother) and Michelle Memran (director of a film on lesbian playwright Maria Irene Fornes currently in pre-pre-production).
The exhibition runs October 7, 2016 to February 26, 2017. Details here.
October 23, 2016: Elaine Rusinko, the foremost expert on Andy Warhol's Rusyn roots, has written an excellent article on Andy Warhol's mother for Slovo magazine - a publication of the National Czech & Slovak Museum Library.
As with Rusinko's other writings on Warhol's roots, this fascinating article adds to what is already known about Warhol's family background and the influence it may have had on his own life and career.
A copy of the article, "The Woman Behind the Artist: Andy Warhol's Mother," can be found here. (Note - there are two typos - Julia was born in 1891 and it's St. Vincent Ferrer, not Ferrar.)
October 22, 2016: Jack Smith's banned film, Flaming Creatures, will be screened before a Q & A with John Giorno, the star of Andy Warhol's film, Sleep, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh on November 19, 2016. There is no charge for the event which is being held in conjunction with the The Warhol museum's exhibition, "Andy Warhol: My Perfect Body." Details here.
For more information about Flaming Creatures and its problems with the censors, see "Jonas Mekas and the Film-Makers' Cinemathque, p. 3," and "Flaming Creatures."
October 21, 2016 (updated October 22): Andy Warhol's Rain Machine (Daisy Waterfall) sculpture is at the Young Projects Gallery in Los Angeles from October 6, 2016 - February 17, 2017. The work has been augmented with a "digital rain" installation by Refik Anadol. The gallery's website notes, "... in keeping with both Warhol and the spirit of the Art + Technology program, it will also feature an ‘augmentation’ by the artist Refik Anadol. No actual rainwater will be used, but rather, Anadol will employ a state-of-the-art technological approach to create a fully-immersive, digital, rain simulation that will take place throughout the gallery space. The result is a one-of-a-kind collaboration, between a legend of the 20th century with one of today’s most brilliant wunderkinds of the technological age, to create an artwork of extraordinary presence, vision and timeliness."
October 19, 2016: The Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia will be hosting an exhibition of work from Warhol's commercial illustration days. "Adman: Warhol before Pop" will run from February 25 to May 28, 2017. Details here.
Spike Lee, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol at the premiere of She's Gotta Have It in 1986
October 16, 2016: A major exhibition of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat will take place next year at the Barbican in London. Referred to as "the first large-scale UK exhibition of iconic painter and New York downtown scene prodigy Jean-Michel Basquiat," by the Barbican, the exhibition will include more than 100 works by the artist. It will also include a reconstruction of Basquiat’s first show in New York - part of a group show at PS1 in New York and a film series "The grime and the glamour: nyc 1976-90" which includes the film, Tally Brown, New York. (Tally Brown appeared in a number of Warhol films, including Batman Dracula - see filmography.)
The exhibition, "Basquiat: Boom for Real," will run at the Barbican from 21 September 2017 – 28 January 2018. The exhibition will then travel to the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt from 16 February to 27 May 2018. Details on the London film series here.
October 13, 2016: The British Museum, which normally hosts exhibitions of art and cultural artifacts from the ancient world - their current exhibition is "Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds," is going to host an exhibition of modern American art for the first time in its history. It is the first time in the museum's history that it's Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery will be completely devoted to modern American art. The exhibition, "American Dream: pop to the present," will include screenprints and lithographs by Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Chuck Close, Louise Bourgeois, Kara Walker, and others. The show is due to open on March 9, 1917.
Details on The Telegraph's website here.
October 12, 2016: A new book about Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol: Born Under a Dark Star, will include essays by artists Richard Prince and Barbara Kruger and art writer Stuart Morgan (whose previous subjects include Louis Bourgeois and Franko B), and others. Due summer 2017. Edited by Douglas Fogle who also edited Andy Warhol - Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters 1962-1964. To be published by Prestel.
October 1, 2016: An exhibition of photographs by the late, great Billy Name opened at the A & D Gallery in London on September 27th and will run until October 22, 2016. Details on the gallery's website here.
September 21, 2016: The Victor Bockris biography of Warhol is to be the "inspiration" for the new Warhol biopic starring Jared Leto as Warhol, currently in pre-production. Leto has purchased the rights to the book. The project is bound to be costly and could be fraught with legal difficulties - particularly if they want to use Warhol's work in the film.
Bockris' book is probably one of the most salacious versions of Warhol's life, but is not particularly known for its accuracy. The book was originally published in 1989 and not as much was known then about Warhol as we know about him now. David Bourdon's biography of Warhol, published around the same time, was more accurate although not quite as gossipy.
One thing that is bound to come up is the claim that Warhol took advantage of people like Edie Sedgwick or that he didn't pay his actors. But what underground director in the 1960s did pay their actors? Although Warhol is often blamed for Sedgwick's downfall, she was already falling by the time she met Warhol. She was already taking drugs and had already had a lobotomy by the time she met the artist.
September 20, 2016: Brendan Toller's documentary about Danny Fields, Danny Says, will be available on iTunes and Amazon in the United States (but, unfortunately, not in the UK) on September 30, 2016. Interviewees include the late, great Billy Name, Mary Woronov, Eric Andersen, Leee Black Childers, Lenny Kaye, Pat Loud, Paul Morrissey, Iggy Pop, Tommy Ramone, Yvonne Ruskin and quite a few others.
September 19, 2016: I have added an article on Jerome Hill and Charles Rydell. Rydell was the subject of three Warhol Screen Tests and the video series, Fight with his friend Brigid Berlin. Jerome was a philanthropist, painter and filmmaker - he won the Academy Award in 1957. He and Charles were, for a short time, part-owners of Interview magazine.
The article is here.
Jerome Hill (1931)
Photographer: Edward Weston
Collection Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona
© 1981 Arizona Board of Regents (MAC)