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May - July 2016

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Ten Punching Bags to be shown in Europe for the first time

The Herning Museum of Contemporary Art (designed by Steven Holl)

July 12, 2016: The Warhol/Basquiat collaboration, Ten Punching Bags, will be shown for the first time in Europe at HEART - the Herning Museum of Contemporary Art in Denmark.

The installation will be part of the museum's "Andy Warhol - The Man Behind the Myth" exhibition which runs either from September 3, 2016 to January 15, 2017 (at the top of the exhibition's web page) or from August 8 - January 8 (in the "Facts" section at the bottom of the page.) The page is here.

According to the museum's blurb, the exhibition will also include "a number of Andy Warhol’s private effects, including his prayer book and his private collection of homosexual pornography."

The museum holds the largest public collection of work by Piero Manzoni in addition to a selection of work by experimental/conceptual artists from the 1930s to current (including Joseph Beuys).

Puppets and protests at Pittsburgh's 200th birthday celebrations

Giant Andy Warhol puppet by Cheryl Capezzuti (Photo: Billy Ludt)

July 11, 2016: Pittsburgh celebrated it's 200th birthday over the weekend with a parade on Saturday, July 9, 2016 which featured a number of large puppets of Pittsburgh's finest, including Andy Warhol - pictured above. The parade was followed by a march by Black Lives Matter who were protesting the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Details in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.

Eric Shiner sells his possessions - on Facebook

Some of the items that Mr. Shiner is selling via Facebook

July 10, 2016: Eric Shiner, the Director of the Andy Warhol Museum, who is about to become the Senior Vice President, Division of Fine Art, at Sothebys, is selling his possessions on Facebook. Beginning his Facebook posting with "And now the big news!," he goes on to list a number of personal items for sale including two bar stools for $150 ("for both"), two sofas for $100 each, a picnic table/desk/dining table for $250 and a 2011 Saab for $17,000. Or why not rent his entire apartment? Rent is $2,300 a month, plus gas and electric.

Eric Shiner leaves The Warhol

July 8, 2016: The New York Times has announced that Eric Shiner is leaving the Andy Warhol Museum to work for Sothebys. It's been a sudden announcement - Shiner is very active on Facebook and gave no hint of the change. His postings were generally informal, particularly for the director of such a prestigious institution representing one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. For instance, when he recently gave Beyoncé and Jay Z a private tour of the museum, he excitedly commented on Facebook: "I have achieved nirvana in having just given Beyoncé a tour of the museum. Jay Z was back too! Both are passionate art lovers, change agents and provocateur activists. We speak the same language."

The Warhol is a Carnegie Museum. A Carnegie press release, noting that Shiner's title at Sotheby's will be "Senior Vice President, Division of Fine Art" can be found here. He is due to leave the museum on August 15, 2016. Current managing director Patrick Moore will serve as interim director until a permanent director can be found.

The press release is dated July 8th - the same day as the press release that was issued five years ago announcing that Shiner was replacing Thomas Sokolowski as the director of The Warhol. (The 2011 press release, which gives further details of Shiner's previous career, is here.)

Shiner's change of job from the public to the commercial arena means that he will miss out on being head of the museum in the run-up to the 2018 Warhol retrospective planned at the Whitney.

Eye of the Sixties to be published next week

Front cover of Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art by Judith E. Stein

July 7, 2016: Judith E. Stein's history of Richard Bellamy and the infamous Green Gallery in New York will be published on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, simultaneously in the U.S. and U.K. As pointed out in Popism, although a lot of people thought Sam Green was the owner of the gallery, it was actually Bellamy.

The Green Gallery showed the work of numerous Pop artists before the word was legitimized as a term to describe a movement, including Tom Wesselmann and the debut of James Rosenquist in early 1962. Claes Oldenburg's "The Store" installation was presented in conjunction with the gallery. Andy Warhol participated in an early group show which took place June 12 - July 21, 1962. (The author of the book received a grant from the Warhol Foundation for writing the book.)

A considerable amount of research has gone into the book. Sources include Bellamy's letters and conversations between the author and those who knew Bellamy - including Warhol's assistant Ivan Karp, Red Grooms, Claes Oldenburg, and Jane Wilson.

Richard Hambleton's dealer to be sued over Space Fruits

July 2, 2016: According to Courthouse News, Nira Levine, president of an Oregon-based company, NLR Unlimited, is intending to "pursue a civil action" against Woodward Gallery on Eldridge Street in New York "for... breach of contract, breach of fiduciary, fraud and conversion."

In a petition filed with the New York Supreme Court on June 30, 2016, Levine claims that Woodward Gallery convinced her to invest in 99 Space Fruit (1979) prints by Andy Warhol. Woodward and Levine both bought the prints, each allegedly paying 50%.

In July 2014 Levine received a restorer's condition report on the prints that indicated that the collection actually consisted of 76 prints, 63 of which had been deemed inauthentic by the Warhol Authentication Board - something which Woodward Gallery had apparently not told Levine. The gallery had written to Levine prior to the sale, saying that "many years ago," they "were worthless pieces of paper, because they were not part of [a] known Warhol print edition, but we knew them to be genuine."

The prints cat. rais. notes that "Space Fruit: Still Lifes 1979" is a portfolio of six screenprints printed in an edition of 150. (FJB107)

Levine has jointly bought 140 works of art with Woodward Gallery by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Keith Haring and Richard Hambleton. According to the Woodward Gallery's website they represent Hambleton. Hambleton became famous in 1980s New York for his paintings of "Shadowman" lurking on the outside walls of public buildings.

In addition to their gallery on Eldridge Street, Woodward also arranges exhibitions at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York - including exhibitions of works alleged to be by Robert Indiana, Red Grooms and Jackson Pollock.

The gallery hosted five Warhol exhibitions from 2002 to 2008. It is not known why the exhibitions stopped after 2008.

The home page of the gallery's website features images of numerous Warhols, including a Car Crash and Flowers, without the usual copyright credits.

Salvador Dali & Andy Warhol: Encounters in New York and Beyond

Front cover of Salvador Dali & Andy Warhol by Torsten Otte

June 26, 2016: A book exploring the relationship of Andy Warhol to Salvador Dali by Torsten Otte is due to be published in August 2016. The book compares the biographical details of the two artists in addition to covering the possible artistic influences and the various encounters of the two artists - which were more often than is usually assumed.

The 400+ page book is quite an achievement. Otte has been working on it for a considerable amount of years and it is well-researched. Sources include emails from Billy Name, Gerard Malanga and Benedetta Barzini and conversations with Phillip Halsman's daughter Irene, Warhol's (deceased brother) Paul Warhola, Brigid Berlin, William S. Wilson, James Warhola, Serendipity founder Stephen Bruce, Udo Kier, Vincent Fremont, Cornelia Guest, Benjamin Liu, Vito Giallo, Wynn Chamberlain, Brigid Berlin, Harold Stevenson, and a considerable amount of other people who had contact with either or both artists. In addition to the abundance of information, there is also an excellent selection of more than 50 photographs.

The book is published by Scheidegger & Speiss. More details on the publisher's website here which also includes a table of contents and a "look inside" sample of pages from the book, including a photo of Dali and Amanda Lear in Paris.

Gregory Battcock in London

June 22, 2016: "Joseph Grigely: The Gregory Battcock Archive" - an exhibition of the work of Gregory Battcock (including photographs and pages from his journal) opened yesterday at the Marian Goodman Gallery in London and will run until July 29, 2016. Details about the exhibition, a sample of works and a press release can be found here.

Gregory Battcock in his studio, 1964 - (Photo: Nobu Siraisi) - The Gregory Battcock Archive - Marian Goodman Gallery

Battcock appeared in several Warhol films and was rumoured to have been killed by "rough trade" in Puerto Rico (see "Gregory Battcock").

Gregory Battcock, TS of the Cruising Diaries, 1978-1980 - The Gregory Battcock Archive - (Marian Goodman Gallery)

Grigely began exhibiting the archive in 2010 with shows at the Whitney Biennial in 2014, the Grazer Kunstverein in 2015-16 and most recently at the Kunstverein Hamburg. A comprehensive catalogue of the archive, Oceans of Love: The Uncontainable Gregory Battcock, edited by Grigely and including an introduction by him, is also being published by Koenig Books.

Michael Musto interviews Jeffrey Nickora about Max's Kansas City

June 9, 2016: An interview by Michael Musto of Max's ex-employee Jeffrey Nickora can be found here.

Viva calls Democrats "scum"

June 7, 2016, Warhol star, Viva, who has been a faithful supporter of Bernie Saunders during the primaries, has expressed her wrath about Hillary Clinton being declared the "presumptive nominee" by the media and about the Democrats in general:

Viva (Facebook June 6, 2016 PDT):

now they're claiming that Hllary is the "presumptive nominee" on Rachel Mad&How and even claiming that the Primary is OVER! Even before California votes!!! What dirty tricks! What desperation! They're adding the so called super delegates into the mix. This is just so disgusting I can hardly stand it. I'm going to the poll tomorrow morning anyway. And i hope everybody else is too. I'm totally finished with the so called Democratic Party and I'm sorry I changed my registration from Green to Demon Crat. I should have changed it to Independent. What scum!!!!

Millionaire Warhol star, Brigid Berlin, (who appeared with Viva in Tub Girls), apparently agrees with with her fellow superstar about Hillary. During a panel discussion for her book of Polaroids, Brigid said she "hates" Hillary Clinton. (See here.) (Don't worry Hillary - we love both you and your husband in Europe.)

New Tony Conrad documentary

Mario Montez and Tony Conrad at the Jack Smith Live! festival here

June 6, 2016: An interview with the director of the new documentary on Tony Conrad can be found on the HollywoodChicago website here.

Tony was married to Beverly Grant (one of Warhol's "Thirteen Most Beautiful Women") and lived with John Cale on Ludlow Street in New York. He has sometimes been cited as an inflluence on the Velvet Underground. (He was part of a band that included Cale and Lou Reed in the pre-Velvet days.)

More about Conrad in "People thought we were on drugs - and we were!" here.

Whitney portraits exhibition includes Diane Arbus' photo of Viva

June 5, 2016: A photograph of Warhol star, Viva, taken by Diane Arbus, is currently on display as part of the Whitney's current show, "Human Interest Portraits from the Whitney's Collection" taking place April 27, 2016 - February 12, 2017. The Arbus photo was one of several done for the April 29, 1968 issue of New York magazine.

In addition to the Arbus photographs, which showed Viva naked on a sofa looking stoned, the article also included an iconic photo of the superstar by Lee Kraft:

Viva photographed by Lee Kraft (not included in the exhibition) from New York magazine, May 29, 1968 - the same issue that included the Arbus photo that is in the show

In the article, Viva discusses her childhood, her sexual exploits with much of the cast of Lonesome Cowboys and snorts methedrine from a spoon at Max's Kansas City in the company of Ingrid Superstar and Brigid Berlin:

Barbara Goldsmith ("La Dolce Viva," New York Magazine, April 29, 1968):

At Max's Kansas City, after the photography session, Viva, Warhol and Ingrid Superstar and Brigid Polk, both of whom are featured in Warhol movies, sat at a large round table in the corner. The restaurant accords them celebrity status; Viva sent back her fish, then a steak, meanwhile sniffing methedrine off a spoon. "I take it every three hours," Brigid said. "Don't let anybody tell you speed kills. I've been on it for years.

"I just got out of the hospital," Ingrid Superstar said, "and I'm all set for action." She held up a packet of condoms.

Brigid said, "Excuse me for a minute it's time to wake myself up," and she headed for the ladies' room.

The article begins with a screening of Lonesome Cowboys with Viva later commenting on the off-screen sex that took place even though Warhol had told her to "save it for the camera."


I'm tired out from that Tucson location trip for the movie. I didn't get any sleep. The first two nights I slept with John Chamberlain who is an old lover of mine. I slept with him for security reasons. Well, then, it was a different one every night. One night Allen Midgette and what's his name, Tom Hompertz, both made it with me. Andy looked in the window and said "What are you doing in there? I told you not to. You're supposed to save it for the camera." Then there was Little Joe (Joe Dallesandro) who was sweet and Eric (Eric Emerson) who was just so rough.

It ends with Viva trying unsuccessfully to get into the (second) Factory - an incident which is often recounted in books about Warhol:

Barbara Goldsmith:

Later, Viva returned to The Factory, a loft in a business building. The downstairs door was locked. Viva looked for a telephone to summon someone to open the door. The first five booths had been vandalized and were inoperative. From the sixth she grated "Listen you bastard, this is Viva. Get down here fast and open that goddamned door." Incredulous, she stared at the phone. "He hung up," she said...

During the operation Warhol arrived. "Why don't I have a key to this place?" Viva shouted. "I'm not treated with any respect around here." Warhol regarded her, bland as farina, whereupon she flung her handbag at him catching him across the side of the face. "You're crazy, Viva," he said dispassionately. "What do you think you're doing?"

The full article, including the Arbus photographs, can be found here.

Ai Weiwei to return to China next week

June 4, 2016: Ai Weiwei will return to China next week after his tour of a number of countries ending in his current trip to the U.S. for the co-exhibition of his work with Warhol's paintings at The Warhol museum. While he was in London for his Royal Academy show, Weiwei took the opportunity to visit one of his heroes, Julian Assange, and together they sent a graphic message via twitter to the authorities who were responsible for Assange having to seek asylum in the Ecuador Embassy in London (despite never having been charged with a crime). (See "Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei opens at The Andy Warhol Museum in June 2016.")

In regard to the situation in China, Weiwei is being quoted in today's New York Times as saying "Things there [in China] are dreadful right now," but that "It's not honest for a real Chinese fighter to be outside" where "You're just throwing stones."

The "Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei" exhibition runs at The Warhol from June 4, 2016 to August 28, 2016.

"Andy Warhol's Tropico"

June 3, 2016: A dance company in New York is advertising performances of "Andy Warhol's Tropico" - a dance that Warhol did not originate and had nothing to do with. It is loosely based on Lana de Rey's "short film" (or extended music promo depending on how you see it), Tropico. All three performances are sold out. Details here.

Viva calls for open revolution

June 3, 2016: Warhol superstar Viva, never one to mince her words, has signed a petition calling for "open revolution" if Bernie Sanders is "denied the presidency." Viva wrote on Facebook that she signed the petition because "I'm against children going hungry, students forever in debt, money controlling everything - I'm for healthcare for everyone and economic democracy."

The petition is here.

Sold Out

June 2, 2016: The discussion with Ai Weiwei and Eric Shiner mentioned yesterday (below) is now sold out.

Reminder: Ai Weiwei and Eric Shiner in discussion tomorrow (Thursday) in Pittsburgh

June 1, 2016: Just a reminder that the head of The Andy Warhol Museum, Eric Shiner, will be holding a discussion with Ai Weiwei tomorrow, Thursday, June 2, 2016, at the Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh. Some tickets are still available via the website of The Warhol here.

Yesterday evening, Mr. Shiner took Beyoncé and Jay Z on a private tour of the museum. He was certainly impressed by the two multi-millionaire recording artists. After the tour he announced on his Facebook page, "I have achieved nirvana in having just given Beyoncé a tour of the museum. Jay Z was back too! Both are passionate art lovers, change agents and provocateur activists. We speak the same language. It was an honor to share the museum with them!"

Eric Emerson Update

Childhood pictures of Eric Emerson

May 30, 2016: As per yesterday, I am currently writing an essay on Eric Emerson's death. According to one source, there were "8" people in the apartment when Eric overdosed on heroin - and that these same people later attended his funeral. Allegedly, the mother of one of Eric's children knows what happened but denies being there. I have been told by another source - someone who is linked to the music business - that he was told by "a friend" of a famous singer/songwriter (now deceased) that Eric overdosed at the apartment of the singer/songwriter and they moved Eric's body outside (with his bicycle intact) to avoid the "publicity." If you have any information on the death of Eric Emerson or were at his funeral, please contact me: garycom.now@gmail.com. (Your anonymity will be protected.)

More on Eric Emerson here.

Eric Emerson

May 29, 2016: Eric Emerson died yesterday, May 28, 1975. I am currently working on an account of the death of Eric and am interested in hearing from anybody who was in the room at the time or who went to the funeral. A lot of time has passed, some of the people involved have died and it's a matter of history now. Contact me at: garycom.now@gmail.com.

Guardian Review of Siobhan Davies Dance company's tribute to Fred Herko

Possibilities for a Pleasant Outing by Jamie Atherton
Photograph: Stephen Wright

May 26, 2016: A tribute to Warhol star and Judson dancer, Fred Herko, was danced last weekend by Jamie Atherton at the Siobhan Davies Dance studio in a dance called Possibilities for a Pleasant Outing. The dance was performed on a rollerskate as per Herko's dance on one skate performed in Concert No. 6 of the Judson Dance Theater (lights by Billy Name) and as a tribute to Warhol's Rollerskate film, starring Herko. (Callie Angell notes in the first volume of the film cat. rais., "Herko apppears in a number of Warhol's earliest films from 1963, including Kiss, Dance Movie (or Rollerskate), Jill and Freddy Dancing and two of the three versions of Haircut." p. 93)

The Guardian review of the dance tribute is here.

William S. Wilson evening at the Feigen Gallery

May 25, 2016: The Feigen Gallery will be holding a celebration of the scholarship and legacy of William S. Wilson, Wednesday, May 25, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Richard L. Feigen & Co., 34 East 69th Street, between Park and Madison in New York. (Bill's comments on Andy Warhol's Do It Yourself (Sailboats) are here.) My memorial to him is here.

Stephen Shore's Factory Pix to be published in October 2016

May 25, 2016: Stephen Shore's new book of photographs that he took at the Factory from the age of seventeen when he first started hanging out there, is due to be published by Phaidon in October 2016. Included is text by Lynne Tillman who had previously interviewed many of the people who hung out at the Factory for Shore's 1995 book of Factory photographs, The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory, 1965-67.

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