Image: Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” at MoMA, via Brando/Flickr
“To humanize Warhol and get people to actually look at what he made is not as easy as it might sound.” Donna De Salvo, deputy director and senior curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art had this to say to the New York Times among other newly-released details on what to expect in “Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again,” opening on November 12th. The show will be the first Warhol retrospective offered by a United States museum since 1989. De Salvo is referring to the myth of Warhol, in his lifetime and even more so after it.
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Photo of the Decker Building via Wally Gobetz on Flickr; photo of Andy Warhol via Wikimedia
1968 was a turbulent year marked by riots, massive protests, and assassinations of notable political figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy.
But 50 years ago on June 3, 1968, an attempted assassination in New York City shook the downtown art world more deeply and personally than any of these other headline-grabbing events. Perhaps that was because it involved two quintessentially downtown figures — one a world-famous artist; the other, a struggling, mentally unbalanced aspiring writer/performer/self-proclaimed social propagandist, whose greatest claim to fame ended up being her attempt to kill the former, her one-time employer.
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© Estate of Fred W. McDarrah
Perhaps no single photographer could be said to have captured the energy, the cultural ferment, the reverberating social change emanating from New York City in the second half of the 20th century as vividly as Fred W. McDarrah. McDarrah got his start covering the downtown beat of the Village Voice in the 1950s and ’60s, as that publication was defining a newly-emerged breed of independent journalism. McDarrah penetrated the lofts and coffeehouses of Lower Manhattan to shed light upon a new movement known as “The Beats” and went on to capture on film the New York artists, activists, politicians, and poets who changed the way everyone else thought and lived.
Through the generosity of the Estate of Fred W. McDarrah and the McDarrah family, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation was fortunate enough to add to its digital archive a dozen of the most epochal of Fred McDarrah’s images of downtown icons, including Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Jane Jacobs, and Allen Ginsberg. And just in time for the holidays, you can purchase your own copy (with all proceeds benefitting GVSHP!).
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Andy Warhol’s Campbells Soup cans at MoMA, via Brando/Flickr
Andy Warhol, one of New York’s most iconic artists, is getting the spotlight at an upcoming retrospective in the Whitney Museum. The museum announced it’s planning the city’s first comprehensive Warhol retrospective in nearly 30 years–and they hope, according to ArtNet, that it’ll change your opinion of the most famed Pop artist in the world. Donna De Salvo, the curator organizing the exhibition, told ArtNet that “I’ve always felt there was so much attention given to the persona of Warhol that we had trouble looking at the work—and that’s what this exhibition does.” This showcasing of his work is scheduled to happen in November of 2018.
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In a city where hundreds of interesting events occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Ahead Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer shares her top picks for 6sqft readers!
Spring is upon us and so is a whole new week of great art events. This weekend, see some of the best of the photography world at AIPAD or head to Brooklyn to check out Welancora Gallery’s new partnership with Nu Hotel. The Brooklyn Museum is also deconstructing the artist’s persona and hosting a new Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition. #MidnightMoment also kicks off a new film in Times Square—this April, Naoko Tosa’s “Sound of Ikebana” will take over the screens every night. Finally, come pick up my new book, “The Art of Spray Paint,” and check out its corresponding exhibition at Wallworks Gallery in the Bronx.
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The Chelsea Firehouse at 323 West 21st Street would be an historic icon based on its origins alone, beginning in the late 19th century as an actual firehouse, built to accommodate a shiny new horse-drawn steam pumper engine (h/t Daytonian in Manhattan). The mid-Victorian era structure not only survived the ensuing decades, but in 1999, Architectural Digest featured the duplex shown here, by then one of three luxury apartments, calling it “indisputably one of a kind.” In the years between, the building was home to free-spirited performers and artists, including Andy Warhol and Philip Pearlstein who sought refuge here from seedy lodgings in the East Village. The designer-renovated, uniquely-configured 4,000 square-foot duplex in this storied building is now on the rental market for $33,000.
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A piece of New York City history has become (just slightly) more affordable to own yourself. The mid-century home at 101 East 63rd Street on the Upper East Side, known as the Halston House, is one of only three residences in Manhattan designed by famed architect Paul Rudolph. Not only is the architecture iconic, but after designer Halston moved in in 1974, he spent the next 15 years hosting parties attended by the likes of Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger. The former carriage house turned party destination turned luxury residence first hit the market for $40 million last year when it was said that contemporary art dealer Jeffrey Deitch was “angling” to make a deal. It must not have worked out, because it’s back on the market at a discount, asking $28 million.
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In addition to being one of the world’s most iconic artists, Andy Warhol appears to have had the Midas touch for real estate. In 2013, Warhol’s one-time townhouse on Lexington Avenue sold $5.5 million—he paid just $60,000 for it in 1959; then last October, the artist’s former Montauk compound, which he paid just $225,000 for in 1972, sold for a whopping $50 million; and now, as The Real Deal reports, the ramshackle Upper East Side studio he rented for paltry $150 a month has just traded hands for an incredible $9.9 million.
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In 1959, just before his career was about to take off, Andy Warhol bought a townhouse at 1342 Lexington Avenue near 89th Street and moved in with his mother. “But after three years there, canvases had begun to fill the ground floor apartment, while Brillo boxes and Campbell’s soup cans were stacked to the ceilings,” reports Blouin Art Info. So when a friend tipped him off to a vacant firehouse nearby at 159 East 87th Street, the pop artist saw an opportunity for his first official studio. He wrote a letter to the city and began paying $150/month for the two-story building with no heat or running water (h/t DNAinfo). It’s here that Warhol is said to have created his famous “Death and Disaster” series from 1962-63, and now, more than five decades later, the property is on the market for $9,975,000.
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In the 70s, there was Studio 54 and then there was the Halston House at 101 East 63rd Street. According to the Post, the mid-century modern gem where famous names like Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli and Bianca Jagger danced their decadent disco-glamour nights away has quietly been put on the market for $40 million.
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