Billy Name, Andy and Gerard Malanga, from Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties (Pantheon)
Andy, Chuck Wein, Gerard Malanga and Edie Sedgewick as composite pop creature, spring 1965
in A Year in the Life of Andy Warhol (Phaidon)
The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne: Paintings and Sculpture 1964-1969, Vol. 2 (Phaidon)
Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonne: 1962-1987 (DAP)
Andy Warhol: 365 Takes (Abrams)
Ill Be Your Mirror: The Collected Andy Warhol Interviews (Carroll & Graf)
by Walter Robinson
Despite legions of naysayers, Andy Warhol remains an art-world evergreen. His work is wildly traded by art dealers; on the Artnet auction database he ranks fourth, with a total of 793 lots put up for auction in 2003 (following Picasso, Chagall and Dalí). Warhol exhibitions are too frequent to count, with shows opening in the last few months in venues ranging from the Vered Gallery in East Hampton to the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyo.
In the world of publishing, too, the action never ceases. Warhol remains the "Great Posthumous Presence," as Steven Watson writes in his recent Factory Made: Warhol in the Sixties (Pantheon, $27.50), the indispensable guide to the personalities of the "Silver Factory" period from 1960 to 68, which came out last fall. As Charlie Finch recently pointed out in Artnet Magazine, Watsons chronicle of authentic Factory avant-gardism provides a useful corrective to todays commercial culture.
For list-lovers, the books chronology is a treasure trove: in the first few months of 1964, for instance, Warhol bought his first tape recorder, had a brief romance with Billy Name, had his first public party at the Factory (celebrating a show at the Stable Gallery), installed his "Thirteen Most Wanted Men" series at the New York Worlds Fair (covering the mural with silver paint at the direction of Philip Johnson after governor Nelson Rockefeller objected) and joined the Leo Castelli Gallery. In the same period, Edie Sedgwick celebrated her 21st birthday (gaining control of her trust fund) and Congress established the National Endowment for the Arts.
The importance of Warhols entourage is made clear in David McCabes emblematic photograph from 1965, in which Andy, Edie Sedgwick, Gerard Malanga and Chuck Wein pose as a composite, multi-armed Shiva figure. "Andy always traveled with his entourage," McCabe told the Guardian recently. "They seemed to me to be part of him." Recently, Phaidon published the British photographers A Year in the Life of Andy Warhol ($39.95), a collection of some 450 photos, organized chronologically, shot in 1964 and 65 after Warhol hired McCabe to document his life for a year. Andy never did anything with them, and many pictures are now published for the first time.
Two months ago, Phaidon also issued the second volume of its Andy Warhol catalogue raisonne. Subtitled Warhol: Paintings and Sculpture 1964-1969, Vol. 2, the book is two slipcased volumes. Besides listing many more works than did volume one (1,564 as compared to 546) the new book is almost three times as thick (6.7 inches to 2.5 inches). The price of volume two is a healthy $750 -- but it may be a good investment! Volume one was issued in 2002 at $250, and now in its second printing is $375.
Last year, the Warhol Foundation also teamed up with Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P.) and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts to publish a complete catalogue of Warhols graphic works, Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonne: 1962-1987 ($85). More than 1,700 works are illustrated in what is the fourth edition of the catalogue (earlier versions appeared in 1985, 89 and 97).
The book contains an essay by philosopher-critic Arthur Danto on "Warhol and the Politics of Prints," and an impressive narrative by new Whitney Museum curator Donna De Salvo that surveys Warhols graphic corpus. De Salvo also compiled a section on Warhols now-superhot illustrations and books from the 1950s.
Though primarily a reference work, the Andy Warhol Prints rewards browsing with. . . a sense of covetousness. I want, for example a copy of Banana, a ca. 1966 screenprint on styrene made in an edition of 300 by an unknown printer, and obviously related to Warhols cover art for the Velvet Undergrounds debut album.
The sentiment must have been shared by the designer of Andy Warhol: 365 Takes ($29.95), which uses Warhols banana image on its cover. Published by Harry N. Abrams in association with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the 744-page picture book presents 365 images -- photos, artworks, installation shots, plus facing pages of brief explanatory text -- based on the Warhol Museum collection and selected by the museum staff. Its a colorful package, replete with glamour and history.
In 2001, theory-diva Wayne Koestenbaum wrote a swooning sexual biography of Warhol for the Penguin Lives series, and now hes back with a short afterword to Ill Be Your Mirror: The Collected Andy Warhol Interviews ($17), edited by artist and writer Kenneth Goldsmith and published by Carroll & Graf, New York. Warhol famously conducted interviews for his Interview magazine, but he also gave them, some 30 different dialogues throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
"What do your rows of Cambell soup cans signify?" asked the correspondent for the now-forgotten Art Voices magazine in December 1962. "Theyre things I had when I was a child," Warhol replied. Among the other interviewers, giants in their own right, are David Bourdon, Gene Swenson, John Giorno, Gerard Malanga, Glenn OBrien, Victor Bokris and Benjamin Buchloh.
Are the interviews revelatory? asks Koestenbaum, rhetorically. Not particularly, he says. "They offer, instead, a cage: Warhol, playing Houdini, escapes conversations captivity."
WALTER ROBINSON is editor of Artnet Magazine.