The first comprehensive exploration of Andy Warhol’s work as seen through the lens of music
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Over the course of his meteoric career, Andy Warhol used the medium of music to transform himself from fan, to record album designer, to producer, to celebrity night-clubber, to “rock star.” Warhol Live, at the de Young ending Sunday, May 17, 2009, presents the first comprehensive exploration of Andy Warhol’s work as seen through the lens of music. This exhibition brings together a wide variety of works depicting pop music royalty, including Elvis Presley, the Velvet Underground, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Liza Minnelli, Grace Jones, Deborah Harry of Blondie, and Michael Jackson. Major Warhol silkscreen paintings, films and sound recordings, album covers, illustrations, and photographs inspired by music and the performing arts will provide a visual and aural score to Warhol’s extraordinary work and life. Click here for more information: WARHOL LIVE
From 1949, the year he arrived in New York, to 1987, the last year of his life, Warhol illustrated fifty-one album covers, from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake to Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, the Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, and Blondie. The album covers read like a history of postwar American musical tastes, from classical to pop, jazz, soul, rock, disco, and avant-garde genres. He used music in his films and filmed concerts. He produced music videos and met with musicians, notably for Interview, the magazine he founded in 1969.
Liz, 1964. Color offset lithograph
Flowers, 1964. Offset lithograph poster
This exhibition brings together a wide variety of works depicting pop music royalty, including Elvis Presley, the Velvet Underground, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, Liza Minnelli, Grace Jones, Deborah Harry of Blondie, and Michael Jackson. Major Warhol silkscreen paintings, films and sound recordings, album covers, illustrations, and photographs inspired by music and the performing arts will provide a visual and aural score to Warhol’s extraordinary work and life. In addition, Warhol Live recreates some of the high points of the relationship between art and music, such as:
· the world of Warhol’s legendary Silver Factory, the glam art loft decorated with silver paint and tin foil, where Warhol and his Superstars partied and produced artwork;
· the multimedia performance spectacle Exploding Plastic Inevitable, staged mostly at clubs and venues in New York City but also including a U.S. tour with stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, featuring film screenings, dancers and performance art set to music by the Velvet Underground;
· the Silver Clouds used by the art director Jasper Johns and the choreographer Merce Cunningham for the dance piece RainForest (1968), with music by David Tudor;
· and the musical ambience of Studio 54 provided by Berkeley-based Meyer Sound Laboratories, a first at the de Young.
Campbell’s Tomato Soup (from a banner), 1968
American Bill Graham Presents (8) “Pop-Op Rock” Andy Warhol and His Plastic Inevitable; Velvet Underground, Fillmore Auditorium, 5/27-29/66, 1966.
The Velvet Underground and Nico, 1967. Screenprint on record album cover.
A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue titled WARHOL LIVE: Music and Dance in Andy Warhol’s Work , edited by Stéphane Aquin, with essays by prominent scholars and interviews with people that were involved in various stages of Warhol’s life, and the first catalogue raisonné of the record covers designed by ANDY WARHOL: The Record Covers 1949-1987, by Paul Maréchal, accompany the exhibition.
The exhibition is curated by Stéphane Aquin, curator of contemporary art at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Emma Lavigne, curator at the Musée national d’art moderne/CCI, Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Matt Wrbican, archivist at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Greg Pierce, assistant curator at The Andy Warhol Museum, put together the exhibition’s film and video programming. Timothy Anglin Burgard, the Ednah Root Curator-in-Charge of American Art, is the presenting curator at the de Young. Warhol Live will be presented at The Andy Warhol Museum June 10 to September 15, 2009.
FRIDAY, MAY 15: Final Friday Night Celebrating Warhol Live
Piazzoni Murals Room, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
A recreation of Andy Warhol’s Factory is installed for one night only at the de Young. The installation includes iconic Factory furniture, screenings by Bay Area filmmakers, filmmaking in progress, a special performance by the Mutants, plus the Psycho-delic sounds of DJ Neel N. Kizmiaz. Warholmania strikes again with father-and-son duo Rene and Rio Yañez and the now famous “Andys.”
Wilsey Court – 6:30 pm
The Mutants are an important band in the history of San Francisco punk and new wave music, known for their theatrical performances that often include elaborate props, projections, and comical antics.
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Hand-on art making for everyone led by “art diva” Kim Erickson. Unleash your inner Studio 54 personality and create a design inspired by Pop art textiles of the 1970s.
Jacqueline Kennedy III, plate 6 from the portfolio Eleven Pop Artists, Vol. III, 1965. Color screenprint
Kimiko Powers, 1971-1972, 1981. Screenprint poster
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.