Andy Warhol’s Career As A Book Artist Is The Subject Of A New Exhibition At The Morgan Library & Museum

Warhol by the Book, February 5 through May 15, 2016

Andy Warhol’s fascination with publishing and the art of the book was lifelong—rooted in his artistic training as a college student and early career in advertising, fashion, and commercial illustration. For close to forty years, books were a touchstone for Warhol—a medium to which he returned again and again as a platform for his unparalleled creativity. He contributed to more than eighty projects for books and left traces behind of dozens of others that were never realized.

Beginning on February 5, 2016, The Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016-3405 212.685.0008 www.themorgan.org. Just a short walk from Grand Central and Penn Station) will feature for the first time in New York an exhibition devoted solely to Warhol’s career as a book artist. This retrospective, which originated at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, features more than 130 objects dating from the artist’s student days, his early years in New York as a commercial artist and selfpublisher, and the innovative work of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s that solidified Warhol’s standing in the history of modern art. Items on display include the only surviving book project from the 1940s; drawings, screen prints, photographs, self-published books, children’s books, photography books, text-based books, unique books, archival material; and his much-sought-after dust jacket designs. Warhol by the Book will remain on view through May 15.

The Morgan is noted for its dual interests in art and literature and Warhol by the Book offers the opportunity to see the artist’s singular and creative engagement in the book arts,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan. “His approach to the book was first and foremost a visual one and he incorporated his interests in illustration, painting, drawing, photography, and film in his designs. The Morgan is delighted to collaborate with the Andy Warhol Museum in bringing this landmark exhibition to New York.

Andy Warhol (1928–1987), In the Bottom of My Garden, New York, ca. 1956. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Contribution the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Andy Warhol (1928–1987), In the Bottom of My Garden, New York, ca. 1956. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Contribution the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The Exhibition

A reporter once suggested to Warhol that the meaning of his art was on the surface of his works. He readily agreed. Warhol by the Book explores the artist’s engagement with a medium that has no single surface. Books were always an extension of Warhol’s multi-media practice. His persistent inventiveness in this arena affords another perspective on the full breadth of a career traditionally bifurcated into commercial art and fine art. Works on view in the exhibition—many of which have rarely, if ever, been seen—are drawn primarily from the extraordinary collection of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Additional items are drawn from the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, the Morgan’s collection, and private and institutional lenders.

College and Commercial Art

Andy Warhol was born in 1928, the son of Slovakian immigrants. Perhaps inspired by his mother, Warhol showed an interest in drawing at an early age and majored in pictorial design at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. College textbooks and other artifacts of Warhol’s youth will be shown in the exhibition in tandem with some of the surviving drawings from the 1940s, including an unfinished children’s book about a Mexican jumping bean, created in collaboration with the painter Philip Pearlstein.

After graduating in 1949, Warhol moved to New York and achieved success as a graphic artist in advertising, fashion illustration, and commercial publishing. Origins of the radical ideas Warhol would explore with greater virtuosity as a fine artist are present in this early work, including his appropriation of existing imagery and the use of seriality. Warhol’s signature style as a commercial artist employed a blotted-line drawing technique, a delightful repertoire of chubby angels and fairies, and hand-lettering that reproduced his mother’s eccentric handwriting. He used photography and print as sources for his illustrations, just as he would continue to do for the rest of his career. A number of his early commissioned book covers will be displayed in the exhibition alongside drawings of rejected designs.

Books of Friendship

From 1953 to 1960, at the same time he was creating dust jacket designs for major publishers, Warhol embarked on selfpublishing ventures to create and distribute illustrated books. They were issued in small editions of one hundred or so copies. Most of them were collaborations with minor writers who were close friends and with whom Warhol was infatuated. In early works such as A Is an Alphabet and the rarely-seen Love Is a Pink Cake, both to be displayed, the correlation between words and images is often obscure, as if the books were expressions of a secret language between two friends. Warhol favored calligraphy in place of typography to make his friends’ writing an extension of his graphic style. He gave these books away to friends and used them to promote his graphic talents to business associates in the commercial art world—a duality that makes his self-published books difficult to assign to any traditional genre. He exhibited them with preliminary drawings at small galleries and a favorite hangout, the café Serendipity 3, on New York’s Upper East Side. Warhol’s early efforts to infiltrate the mainstream art world, however, proved sporadic and unsuccessful.

Warhol’s hand-colored books of the 1950s, such as 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy, the satiric cookbook Wild Raspberries, and In the Bottom of My Garden, are infused with a sense of frivolity. He derived his witty, sometimes erotic, figures from imagery in famous illustrated books. Two sources Warhol used were Les fleurs animées (1847) by J.J. Grandville and the saccharine flower fairies of early 20th-century artist Cicely Mary Barker. Another source for Warhol was Jacques Stella’s figures in Les jeux et plaisirs de l’enfance (1657)—a popular engraved book of its time, which was itself modeled on a predecessor. In all these publications, Warhol favored variations in composition. No two books are alike. He enlisted his friends to apply the finishing touches, reflecting an increasing interest in collective bookmaking that would be a hallmark of Warhol’s work in the Pop era.

Warhol left many book projects unfinished. Examples of these highlighted in the exhibition are children’s projects such as The House That Went to Town, There Was Snow in the Street and Rain in the Sky, and So, as well works aimed at older audiences such as Horoscopes for the Cocktail Hour and The Boy Book. The show features a number of unique and one-of-a-kind books, many of which relate to the subjects of Warhol’s simultaneous explorations in painting and photography. Notable is a sketchbook of lips fragmented from his commissioned portraits of women. One of the centerpieces of the exhibition is the recently-discovered maquette for a 30foot-long accordion-fold book created by cutting up Warhol’s iconic series of Marilyn Monroe screen prints.

Warhol’s reputation in the early 1960s changed from that of a successful commercial artist to a so-called fine artist associated with the Pop art movement. As he became evermore influential,his book designs would move away from the personal qualities and commercial art techniques that made his early work so notable. The majority of his publications after 1964 reflect his concurrent interests in painting, printmaking, photography, and film. He also published a book of philosophy, a memoir, and left behind a bestselling diary. Warhol no longer had to rely on self-publishing to make and distribute his books. A celebrity in his own right, he was under contract to major publishers for the rest of his life.

Andy Warhol’s Index (Book)—his most famous publication of the Pop era—is the first, and arguably only, mass-market artist’s publication. Archival correspondence from Random House and preliminary mock-ups afford a glimpse into Warhol’s world of the late 1960s. The multisensory book was intended to be a “total experience.” High-contrast photographs of Warhol’s superstars and members of the Velvet Underground were paired with unconventional elements, including a flexi-disc recording, disappearing ink, and a three-dimensional object tied to the book with a string—resulting in a game-changing artist’s book cited by one editor as being as important to the future of publishing as Gutenberg’s invention of movable type. Continue reading

Advertisements

Only Surviving “Jaws” Shark Acquired By The Academy Museum

The Academy Museum announced that it has accepted into its collection a major gift of the sole surviving full-scale model of the 1975 Jaws shark, donated by Nathan Adlen. The monumental Fiberglas model is the fourth and final version made from the original mold. Created for display at the Universal Studios Hollywood at the time of the film’s release, the prop remained a popular backdrop for photos until 1990, when it was moved to the yard of Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking, a firm in Sun Valley, California, that regularly bought or hauled used vehicles from Universal Studios. With the business slated to close in January 2016, owner Nathan Adlen has made a generous gift of the historic prop to the Academy Museum.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the world’s most prominent collector of moving image history, having acquired and preserved movie-related materials since the 1930s. In developing its highly immersive exhibitions, the Academy Museum will draw on materials that include approximately 62,000 pieces of production art—such as a Planet of the Apes mask, a model horse head made for The Godfather and the lion’s mane and ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz—as well as some 12 million photographs, 55,000 posters, 80,000 screenplays, prints of 80,000 films and tens of thousands of books, periodicals, items of correspondence, scrapbooks and clippings files.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the Academy Museum will restore and revitalize the historic Wilshire May Company building at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue and will feature six floors of exhibition spaces, a movie theater, education areas, special event spaces, conservation areas, and a café and store. A new spherical addition will connect to the May Company building with glass bridges and will feature a state-of-the-art 1,000-seat theater and a rooftop terrace.

The Academy Museum will feature a core historical exhibition and rotating temporary exhibitions, complemented by special projects, publications, digital initiatives and a slate of public programs that will include screenings, premieres, panel discussions, gallery talks and K–12 education initiatives. The Museum’s exhibitions and programs will convey the magic of cinema and offer a glimpse inside the dream factory, illuminating the creative, collaborative process of filmmaking.

The shark model will join the Museum’s unmatched holdings—including an underwater apparatus and fin used in Jaws and Jaws II—as the largest object to enter the Academy’s collection to date.

Kerry Brougher, Director of the Academy Museum, said, “Jaws was the original summer blockbuster—a movie that marked a turning point in culture and society—and Bruce is the only surviving version of its unforgettable central prop. This extraordinary addition to our collection, made possible through the generosity of Nathan Adlen, is a major contribution to the resources we will use to illuminate film history and enhance the public’s understanding of the arts and sciences of motion pictures.

Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the 1974 Peter Benchley novel, Jaws was an immediate critical and commercial success, and was selected by the Library of Congress in 2001 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as a work of utmost cultural, historical and aesthetic significance. The creation of the film’s mechanical shark—which Spielberg named Bruce after his lawyer, Bruce Ramer—was undertaken by art director Joe Alves, who designed a prop with a 25-foot long body, 400-pound head and jaws nearly five feet wide. The mold yielded three latex and rubber casts that were used in production. Following the film’s release, the three rubber casts deteriorated and were discarded. But the fourth cast, made of Fiberglas for promotional use, has survived. In 2010, it was authenticated by Roy Arbogast, a member of the film’s special effects crew.

I am delighted to be part of the new Academy Museum through the gift of this beloved American icon,” said Nathan Adlen. “Bruce caught the eye of my father, Sam Adlen, at first glance back in 1990, and for many years he’s been like a member of the family. And the May Company building, where the Museum is being created, feels like part of the family too, since I grew up in the Miracle Mile district and shopped with my parents at the May Company, where my wife even had a part-time job. This is going to be the perfect place to share this extraordinary treasure with the world.

The Academy is currently raising $388 million to support the building, exhibitions, and programs of the Academy Museum. The campaign was launched in 2012, under the chairmanship of Bob Iger and co-chairmanship of Annette Bening and Tom Hanks. The Academy has already secured more than $250 million in pledges from more than 1,300 individual donors globally.

Sony Classical Reissues Star Wars Episodes I-VI In Newly Restored Audio Collections

Star Wars™ – The Ultimate Editions Of The Original Film Soundtracks

The most acclaimed and enduring film music in Hollywood history, the original soundtracks of Star Wars Episodes I-VI will be reissued by Sony Classical in three new, definitive editions – Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection (11 LPs), Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection (10 CDs plus DVD) and Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection (hi-resolution download).

Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection (11 LPs) - available now (PRNewsFoto/Sony Classical)

Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection (11 LPs) – available now (PRNewsFoto/Sony Classical)

All composed by the legendary five-time Oscar®-winning composer (who may collect yet another Oscar nomination—and win–for best movie score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in February at the 87th annual Academy Awards ceremony), John Williams, these unique collector’s sets are being reissued after the latest chapter in the saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, continues to break record after record at the international box office ($1.7 billion in less than 25 days and counting…). All three of Sony Classical‘s new soundtrack editions was released worldwide this past Friday, January 8th.

STAR WARS: THE ULTIMATE VINYL COLLECTION includes each of the six film soundtracks – from Star Wars: Episode I –The Phantom Menace to Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – in deluxe gatefold sleeves faithfully replicating the original artwork. Audio was transferred from the original LP masters using the highest resolution (up to 192kHz/24bit) and pressed with heavy 180 gram vinyl. The six double-LP sets are presented in a black, soft-touch laminated slipcase with an embossed, hot silver foil Star Wars logo, which includes a digital download card for one complete box set (all six soundtracks).

Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection (10 CDs plus DVD) - available now (PRNewsFoto/Sony Classical)

Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection (10 CDs plus DVD) – available now (PRNewsFoto/Sony Classical)

STAR WARS: THE ULTIMATE SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION includes the original six soundtracks in mini album jackets on 9 CDs, plus a bonus CD featuring a new audio interview with Harrison Ford (Han Solo) alongside an interview with John Williams. Also included is the DVD Star Wars: A Musical Journey, a one hour special hosted by actor Ian McDiarmid (Chancellor Palpatine) highlighting select musical themes alongside key sequences from the films. Rounding out the set are a fold-out poster and three collectible stickers.

STAR WARS: THE ULTIMATE DIGITAL COLLECTION features a bundle of the six original soundtracks available for the first time as high definition downloads (192kHz/24bit).

Since Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was released in 1977, composer John Williams‘ scores have defined the soaring adventure for all six episodes in the saga. Williams won the Academy Award® for Best Original Score for the series’ first film and received Oscar® nominations for Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983). His Star Wars music has also won four Grammy Awards®, two BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe®. Williams continues his association with the Star Wars saga, composing the score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released worldwide in December 2015.

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. And/or its affiliates © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

Sony Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait, Masterworks Broadway and Flying Buddha imprints.