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Andy Warhol News Archive July 2008

(to current news | June 2008)

Andy Warhol by Pepe Jeans

Pepe Jeans launched its Warhol collection last month in London - including some great t-shirts and a version of the Soup Can dress. (One of the original "Souper" dresses is due to be auctioned at Christie's in New York on July 31st - see here.) A film of the Pepe Jeans Warhol collection as presented at a recent trade show in Barcelona can be found on You Tube here: here.

Exhibition of work by Billy Name, Bibbe Hansen and Ultra Violet

An exhibition of work by Billy Name, Bibbe Hansen, Ultra Violet and Christopher Lynch is currently at the Kymara Gallery in Biddeford. An article on the show ("Super Novas") can be found here.

Jonas Mekas in London: Saturday July 19, 2008

Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas
April 1946

Jonas Mekas will be making a rare appearance in London at the Curzon Cinema in Soho on Saturday, July 19, 2008 after a screening of his 1997 film Birth of a Nation. It was at Mekas' Filmmakers' Cinematheque that Warhol's films were first shown to the public and Mekas eventually became Warhol's first film distributor. Mekas was also the founder and editor of Film Culture magazine which in 1964 awarded Warhol an Independent Film Award for Sleep, Haircut, Eat, Kiss and Empire.

Mekas arrived in New York the same year as Andy Warhol - 1949 - but whereas Warhol had arrived from the immigrant slums of Pittsburgh Mekas had spent the previous four years in displaced persons camps in Europe after having escaped from Lithuania during the latter part of World War II. Both Warhol and Mekas had Eastern European roots. Mekas was born in a small village in Lithuania and although Warhol was actually born in the states, both of his parents were Slavic immigrants who rarely spoke English at home.

Jonas Mekas:

"When I left my home, when I left my small village (when I was twelve I made a list of all the people in my village and I came up with - if I remember it right - 22 families and 98 heads); when I left on a trip that eventually landed me in New York, I was 22 years old... I had published my first poems and had created a scandal in the literary 'world' of Lithuania... But I had this strange thing in me: I was totally oblivious of my own life, my own past, my roots, ancestors. I had a total disinterest in life, in my immediate surroundings..."

Mekas first became interested in films at the displaced persons camp he was in prior to immigration to the U.S. American movies were played at the camp and after seeing the inaccurate way that immigrants were portrayed in a Fred Zinnemann film (either The Treasure of the Sierra Madre or The Search), he and his brother decided to make films themselves. He later recalled "... we got very angry about how little understanding of the real situation there was in this film, about what it means to be displaced. We got angry and we started writing scripts. That's when we decided to make our own films. That's where it begins."

Mekas and his brother Adolphus rented a Bolex 16mm camera the week after they arrived in the U.S. and started shooting their own footage. In 1953 Jonas began showing experimental films at the Gallery East on Avenue A in the Lower East Side and then started Film Culture the following year. In 1958 he began writing a regular "Move Journal" column for the Village Voice. In September 1960 he was one of the founders of the New American Cinema Group - the precursor to the Filmmakers' Cooperative.

Tessa Hughes-Freeland (from Naked Lens: Beat Cinema by Jack Sargeant):

"As champion of the New American Cinema, in September 1960, Jonas Mekas called the first meeting of the New American Cinema Group. The most significant development to come out of that meeting was the sixth point of the manifesto, which stated the need for their own co-operative distribution centre. Initially Emile de Antonio tried to distribute a number of of 35mm features and shorts. In 1962 Mekas took over the distribution project... This distribution project transformed into the Film-makers' Cooperative... For the previous two years he [Mekas] had been running one-man shows of avant-garde filmmakers as well as open screenings at the Charles Theatre on Avenue B... These Film-makers' Showcases, which later became The Film-makers' Cinematheque, continued at the Charles Theatre until 1963. Mekas then organized midnight screenings on Saturdays at The Bleecker Street Cinema, then moved to the Gramercy Arts Theatre. They were thrown out of there eventually in 1964 for showing unlicensed and obscene films... From 1965 to 1968 Film-makers' Cinematheque continued to move around, a few months here and a few months there. In 1968 Mekas became the film curator at the Jewish Museum. In 1969 he bean to work with P. Adams Sitney and Jerome Hill on the foundation of the Anthology Film Archives at 425 Lafayette Street, of which he became the official director when it opened in December 1970."

The film being shown at the Curzon prior to his appearance - Birth of a Nation - is described by Mekas as “One hundred and sixty portraits or rather appearances, sketches and glimpses of avant-garde, independent filmmakers and film activists between 1955 and 1996."

Details here.

Alan Aldridge exhibition at the Design Museum opens October 2008

Chelsea Girls poster

An exhibition of the work of graphic designer Alan Aldridge will take place at the Design Museum in London from October 10, 2007 to January 25, 2008.

Aldridge designed the often reproduced Chelsea Girls poster pictured above for the UK showing of Andy Warhol's film The Chelsea Girls when it premiered in October 1968 at the Arts Lab on Drury Lane The model on the poster was 16 year old artist Claire Shenstone. After seeing the poster Warhol is said to have rung Aldridge and told him that the poster was better than the film. Aldridge received a Silver award for his work by the Design and Art Directors club, although the poster wasn't as well received by the authorities. A warrant was issued for Aldridge's arrest under U.K. pornography laws. (See here)

More on the poster on The Guardian newspaper's website here.

Further information on Aldridge here.

Details on the exhibition on the Design Museum's website here.

Sam Green denies threesome in the Daily Mail

Sam Green

Sam Green behind Edie Sedgwick helping Edie and Andy escape from the clamouring crowds at the ICA in Pennsylvania (1965)

Comments by art dealer/curator Sam Green have recently appeared in the Daily Mail objecting to a scene in the film Savage Grace in which he is portrayed as participating in a threesome with both socialite Barbara Baekeland and her son, Tony. As the director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, Green was responsible for Andy Warhol's first solo museum exhibition which caused a near riot when Warhol and Edie Sedgwick made a public appearance together at the opening of the show. Green, a friend of Warhol since the early sixties when he managed the Green Gallery in New York, also appeared in Warhol's film Batman Dracula.

From "I wasn't to blame for heiress murder, says art expect depicted on screen in 'incest threesome'" by Sam Green as told to Janet Midwinter (Daily Mail, London, July 12, 2008):

"There's a scene in the controversial new movie Savage Grace that the audience finds especially uncomfortable. The beautiful and exciting socialite Barbara Baekeland, played by Julianne Moore, is in bed with her handsome young lover, the art curator Sam Green, and another good-looking young man: Tony, her own son. The three kiss and caress each other passionately. They make love and, as they writhe ecstatically, the viewers squirm unhappily. It is a shocking depiction of incest. I was more disturbed than most. I am Sam Green."

Green denies that he or Barbara had sex with her son (who later murdered his mother) and also gives details of his own fascinating life as a friend to Greta Garbo and Yoko Ono as well as Andy Warhol.

Sam Green:

"After studying at art school, I moved to New York and sought whatever work I could get in galleries. In 1962, the year after my arrival, I was managing the well respected Green Gallery when an unprepossessing man came in one day and introduced himself.

'Hi, I'm Andy. Andy Warhol. I'm an artist.' I shook his extended hand. 'Sam Green.' 'Really? OK. Hi, Sam. I wonder if I could interest you in seeing my work.'

Later, after we had become firm friends, Andy confided that he had assumed by my surname that I was the gallery owner's son, so he'd made a point of cultivating me.

At that time he had been working as an illustrator and was not yet famous as an artist. He was a few years older than me but we started to hang out together and got on really well. He was very funny, with amazingly original ideas.

When I was 24, I put on an exhibition of established artists, such as Roy Lichtenstein, but included some of Andy's stuff. He and I were ambitious and determined to insinuate ourselves into the elevated social circles that the art world attracts.

We spent one summer persuading wealthy socialites to let us film naked models in their bathrooms. Attractive young women - and men - fell over themselves to show how liberated they were by stripping for us, and the well-to-do were happy to have naked young people cavorting in their homes. This was the Sixties: such behaviour wasn't really considered so bizarre then.

By this time I was regularly appearing in magazines and gossip columns, and I became director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia where, in 1965, I arranged a retrospective of Andy's work. It was that event that launched him to international stardom and I remained part of his inner circle until the day he died."

The full article can be read here.

Mary Woronov, Callie Angell, John Waters and Vincent Fremont at "Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms" at the Wexner Center


View of the Filmscape section of the "Andy Warhol Other Voices Other Rooms" exhibition when it was at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm
(Photo: Albin Dahlström/Scenography: Chezwitz & Roseapple)

The Wexner Centre in Ohio has announced some of the events planned in conjunction with their "Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms" exhibition which opens on September 13, 2008. On October 3rd they will be hosting a "Remembering Andy" panel with film director John Waters and Vincent Fremont. Fremont was head of Warhol's Video Dept. (along with Michael Netter) and produced Warhol's various television series as well as co-producing/directing what is probably the best Warhol-related documentary made in the past ten years or so - Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story.

On November 14th and 15th the Wexner Center will be hosting an international symposium on Warhol's work and his continuing influence which will include Warhol star Mary Woronov, Warhol scholar Callie Angell and exhibition curator Eva Meyer-Hermann in addition to panelists yet to be announced.

Other events include Robert Forster playing music by the Velvet Underground on September 13th, a late night party (in "Andyland") on November 8th and the screening of the Ric Burns documentary, Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film on November 2nd.

Additional events are currently being planned.
The website for the centre is here.

A version of the "Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms" exhibition will also run at the the Hayward Gallery in London from October 8, 2008 to January 11, 2009. Events are currently being planned in conjunction with the London exhibition and will be posted here as soon as they are confirmed.

"Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms" is a traveling exhibition curated by Eva Meyer-Hermann in conjunction with the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

Brigid Berlin exhibition in New York

Brigid Berlin

Self-Portrait: Brigid Berlin (Polaroid, double exposure, c. 1969/71)

An exhibition of work by Warhol star Brigid Berlin will open at the John McWhinnie@Glenn Horowitz Bookseller Gallery on East 64th Street in New York on October 21, 2008 and run until November 21st. Brigid has worked in various media in the past - from Polaroid to needlepoint to urban detritus. Her mixed media "Cock Book," which she began in the 1960s, was sold a few years ago to the artist Richard Prince for $175,000. This will be her second show at this particular gallery. The New York Social Diary's coverage of her previous show can be found here. (Opening night guests attending the previous exhibition included Christophe de Menil, Jane Holzer, Guy Pearce, Bob Colacello, John Waters and Ultra Violet.)

Brigid Berlin (2008):

"One of my most exciting experiences with Andy was when we got our first Xerox machine. We put it in the kitchen and Andy really thought it was magic. I had my tits down on it with the lid halfway down. One of Andy 's favorite expressions was, 'Gee, Brig, isn't this so great? It's so John modern.'"

cock book

Cock Book
(Brigid Berlin, mixed media/Photo: JH/NYSD)

John McWhinnie@Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is located at 50 1/2 East 64th Street in Manhattan and is open Tuesday - Friday 10-6/Sat. 10-5. Telephone no. 212.754.5626. Email: info@johnmcwhinnie.com.

Ronald Tavel in Lizard

Ronald Tavel

Ronald Tavel

Ronald Tavel on the Hudson Pier in the 1980s - Ronald Tavel on tour in the Soviet Union where he performed The Life of Juanita Castro in 2001

A new short story by Warhol star and scriptwriter, Ronald Tavel, is included in the current issue of the Bangkok literary/cultural underground magazine, Lizard. Tavel lives mostly in Bangkok these days when he is not traveling or visiting New York. About a year ago he gave a brilliant talk at La Mama ETC as part of their Coffeehouse Chronicles series.

From "The Table of Terminal Boredom" by Ronald Tavel (Lizard #2):

Mayor Min opened the tap on the brewing machine, filled a fine cup, and asked, 'What's existential?'

At that moment Archie Porn Star squeaked to a halt and parked his scooter by the potted plants that defended the Table of Terminal Boredom from the soi's gaseous fumes. These face-powder plants gave the impression of a hedge-fence when you looked over them onto The Table, so Archie Porn Star called The Table the "Bum Pen." Archie was middle-aged and nothing in the looks department but you figured the camera excluded his puss. He added to the terminal boredom by usually bragging about his major concern: how long his long could go with a woman (thirty minutes) as opposed to a lady-boy (fifteen) "because there isn't that much you can do with them. But I'm working on it, oughta be able to last longer soon..."

Issue no. 2 of Lizard can be ordered from the editor, Steve Foot, here.

Ultra Violet to be honoured at Fairies and Phantasies Benefit

ultra violet & dali

Ultra Violet

Ultra Violet with Salvador Dali 1969 (Detail from photo by Vladimir Sladon) - Ultra Violet 2007 (Photo: David Shankbone)

Ultra Violet, who appeared in The Life of Juanita Castro and I A Man (and who was involved with the artists Salvador Dali and John Graham) will be honoured at the Fairies & Phantasies Benefit at the Producers Club in New York on July 25, 2008. The event is being organized by New York Artists Unlimited headed by Melba La Rose who played the role of Nola Noonan in the original production of the Jackie Curtis's play, Glamour, Glory & Gold. Sidney Meyer will receive the Golden Pineapple Award at the same event which will also honour Marilyn Sokol.

Details here.

Gob Squad's Kitchen

gob squad kitchen

Gob Squad's Kitchen will be performed at the Soho Theatre in London on July 21 - 26, 2008. Other U.K. dates include Manchester, Dartington and Lancaster. The production is inspired by Andy Warhol's film Kitchen. The script for the original Warhol film was written by Ronald Tavel and starred Edie Sedgwick.

Details here.

Holly Woodlawn in When Queens Collide

Holly Woodlawn

Holly Woodlawn in When Queens Collide (June 27, 2008)

Holly Woodlawn, star of Trash and Women in Revolt, performed Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side (a song largely written about her) at the When Queens Collide show in Los Angeles to benefit the Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services on June 27 and 28.

Holly Woodlawn

Dannie Rae, Holly Woodlawn and Robert Coddington backstage at When Queens Collide

A new addition to the numerous Holly clips on You Tube is her performance of "La Salsa Gucci Frita" in 1978 - see here.

Finishing Heaven with Holly Woodlawn, Ruby Lynn Reyner, Ondine, Mary Woronov and Francesco Scavullo picked up by HBO for 2009

Ruby Lynn Reyner

Ruby Lynn Reyner in a clip from Heaven Wants Out featured in Finishing Heaven

The documentary, Finishing Heaven, a film about the making of Heaven Wants Out has been picked up by HBO for showing in 2009 after premiering at the L.A. Film Festival in late June 2008. Filming on Heaven Wants Out began in 1970 (then simply called Heaven) by Robert Feinberg and Ruby Lynn Reyner (with help from Martin Scorcese) - a work in progress cut was also shown at the L.A. Film Festival. Currently Feinberg and Reyner are raising the funds needed to complete post-production on the film.

Holly Woodlawn

Mary Woronov

Holly Woodlawn and Mary Woronov in clips from Heaven Wants Out featured in Finishing Heaven

The trailer for the documentary, Finishing Heaven, can be accessed via the LA Film Festival website . Go here and click on "view trailer."

Black White & Gray & The Cool School & A Walk Into the Sea on DVD

All three films will be released on DVD by Art House on July 28, 2008. Black White & Gray is a documentary about the relationship between Robert Maplethorpe and his wealthy lover/patron, Sam Wagstaff. The Cool School is about the Ferus Gallery in L.A. where Warhol's show of Soup Cans took place in 1962. A Walk into the Sea is Esther Robinson's documentary on her uncle Danny Williams. Although not included in the film, Warhol scriptwriter Ronald Tavel was at the Factory when Williams' mother rang looking for her missing son:

Ronald Tavel:

"My sense of the Factory... is caught in that filtered heat of the late summer, late afternoon sun falling through its streetside windows, and on Danny Williams at his desk, increasingly bizarre in appearance, his hair matted, his glasses broken, encounter by encounter progressively lost to amphetamine... And then one day Danny was gone. On September 5th I took a call at the Factory from his mother, asking anxiously if we had seen her son or knew of his whereabouts. 'Andy,' I relayed, 'she wants to talk to you. She's very worried.'

'Oh, he groaned, 'what a pain. He's a pain, now she is is. Tell her I'm not here.'

'She knows you're here: I just said I'll get you.'

He didn't respond... After I hung up on Mrs. Williams, by way of admonishing me, he concluded dismissively, 'I don't care where he is. He's just an amphetamine addict.'

Three days later, Gerard told me that he'd learned they found his car by the water, he wasn't sure where, a river in Connecticut or the ocean off Cape Cod, with all his clothes piled neatly beside it. Danny had drowned himself."

Andy Warhol's high school closes

Andy Warhol's high school, Schenley High School, closed its doors permanently on June 30, 2008. On June 25th, the school's board voted 5-4 to close the Pittsburgh school, rejecting a proposal to let voters decide in a referendum. In addition to Andy Warhol, jazz musician George Benson also attended the school.

The Eternal Now: Warhol and The Factory: '63 – 68

"The Eternal Now: Warhol and the Factory: '63 - '68" travels to the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in September 2008 for about two months. Previously the exhibition was at the the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork, Ireland (February - June 8, 2008). The exhibition focuses on Warhol's film career and his collaboration with the Velvet Underground.

Andy Warhol: Pop Politics at the Currier Museum of Art

Timed to correspond with the upcoming American elections, the Currier Museum of Art will present an exhibition of Warhol paintings, prints, drawings and photographs of various political figures from September 27, 2008 to January 4, 2009.

Andy Warhol's athletes at the Crocker

"American Pop: Featuring Andy Warhol's Athletes from the Richard Weisman Collection" opens at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California on August 16 and continues until November 2, 2008.

"Warhol Live" in Montreal

The "Warhol Live" exhibition opens at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on September 25, 2008 and continues until January 3, 2009.

Victor & Rolf & Antony & the Johnsons & the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican

The Victor & Rolf show at the Barbican continues until September 21, 2008. When asked in a recent interview which other artists influenced them, they answered "None consciously, but we admire Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali." Details here.

Also at the Barbican will be a performance by Candy Darling fans, Antony and the Johnsons, playing with the London Symphony Orchestra in October - see here.

(to current news | June 2008)

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