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ANDY WARHOL’S BOOKS – BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

 

 Andy Warhol, A Gold Book, 1957. Courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

March 4, 2015     New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday

ANDY’S BOOKS

From his student days in the 1940s until his death in 1987,  Before the age of digital books, and e-readers,Warhol experimented wildly with form and content, turning traditional notions of media and authorship on their heads. 

Now, the first US exhibition to concentrate on Andy Warhol’s book work, “Warhol by the Book”. opens at the Williams College Museum of Art March 7 and will be on view through August 16, 2015. The museum’s website states that,

“He co-produced a satirical cookbook mocking fashionable French recipes; held coloring parties for crowdsourcing his own promotional books; and designed a pop-up “children’s book for hipsters” featuring sound recordings, holograms, and a do-it-yourself nose job.”

As described by ArtDaily,

“Nearly 500 objects covering more than 80 book titles including unique and unpublished materials come together from WCMA and The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The exhibition showcases a range of material from Warhol’s practice including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and artist’s books. It also includes projections of sixteen Screen Test portrait-films of writers. Warhol had a lifelong fascination with the written word and with the book as an art form.”

“Featuring drawings created to fulfill college assignments, to the Party Book, which was in development at the time of his death, Warhol by the Book traces the artist’s ideas, influences, collaborations, and innovations throughout his career. ‘Printed books were essential in Warhol’s daily life and with almost every known example of his work for books represented, this exhibition demonstrates his prolific and diverse contribution to the field of publishing,’ says Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist, The Andy Warhol Museum and Curator of Warhol by the Book.”

“Featured in the exhibition are: 

– Many unfinished works such as a unique maquette for a book made from his Marilyn Monroe prints which unfolds to a length of almost 30 feet ⦁

– Unique Red Books of Warhol’s Polaroid photographs of his celebrity friends including Mick Jagger ⦁

– Never-before exhibited paste-up layouts for two books of photos: Andy Warhol’s Exposures and America.”

– Works related to Warhol’s interest in Truman Capote, the subject of Warhol’s first solo exhibition in 1952 ⦁

– Illustrations in mass-market children’s books, a language instruction book, a cook book, and an etiquette book.”

THE BOOK PROJECTS
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WHAT WARHOL WOULD DO NOW IN THE DIGITAL AGE

As stated in the Purpose Page of this blog,

“THE BOOK, both print and even current versions of the electronic reader, are already near artifacts. Book publishing is in the death throes of the last century, bound up in static, linear publications. At the same time, the technology of the new media has developed to such a degree of creativity and innovation that Alice Rawsthorn commented in the New York Times of November 28, 2010 that”

“‘These devices offer thrilling possibilities for us to do much more than read words on a screen, and it is deeply               disappointing that so few designers and publishers are embracing them.'”

ArtDaily,

Many of Warhol’s projects focused on the book as an object. He blended the borders of art, design, and text. Andy Warhol’s Index (Book) (1967), was the first of several books to defy the definition of a book. This seminal publication has been called a “children’s book for hipsters,” complete with sound recordings, balloons, fold-outs, holograms, and even a do-it-yourself nose job. Three preliminary mock-ups for this project are featured from WCMA’s collection, showing how the book changed from inception to its final state. Further playing with form and content Warhol produced a novel from transcriptions of audiotapes, which is exhibited with the very cassette recorder used to make the recordings, and Stephen Shore’s photos that document the sessions.”

Imagine what Andy Warhol would do now with the technology and tools of the digital age.

 

 

 

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One comment on “ANDY WARHOL’S BOOKS – BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

  1. Great article. In the late 1960’s I met Andy & several members of the Velvet Underground & was invited to eat with them at the Jewish restaurant which name I’ve forgotten that was on S. Broad St. near the Philadelphia College of Art. I was fortunate to sit next to him & talk a bit. I should have found a way to sustain a friendship!

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