Warhol’s Marilyn at Tate Modern

Photo by Matt Durham

A major Andy Warhol retrospective opens at London’s Tate Modern tomorrow, through to September 6, featuring his original Marilyn Diptych from 1962.

“Marilyn Monroe died in August 1962, having overdosed on barbiturates. In the following four months, Warhol made more than twenty silkscreen paintings of her, all based on the same publicity photograph from the 1953 film Niagara. Warhol found in Monroe a fusion of two of his consistent themes: death and the cult of celebrity. By repeating the image, he evokes her ubiquitous presence in the media. The contrast of vivid colour with black and white, and the effect of fading in the right panel are suggestive of the star’s mortality.”

Bert Stern’s Marilyn at HGU New York

A collection of Bert Stern’s photographs from his 1962 Vogue session with Marilyn is on display until April 13 in Marilyn Monroe: The Red Party, a pop-up exhibition at the HGU New York Hotel’s Gallery 151 Annex on East 52nd Street. with a Monroe-themed menu also available in its Lumaca restaurant, the Evening Standard reports.

“‘I was preparing for Marilyn’s arrival like a lover, and yet I was here to take photographs,’ Stern said … ‘Not to take her in my arms, but to turn her into… an image for the printed page.’

The shots were chosen by Vogue‘s art director and had been sent to print when the news of Monroe’s death came out.
It was too late to stop publication and the issue ended up becoming a final tribute to the late actress.

The editors decided to use the photographs that had been selected and added a note in the opening copy that read: ‘The word of Marilyn Monroe’s death came just as this issue of Vogue went on the press. After the first shock of tragedy, we debated whether it was technically possible to remove the pages from the printing forms. And then while we waited for an answer from our printers, we decided to publish the photographs in any case.’

‘For these were perhaps the only pictures of a new Marilyn Monroe – a Marilyn who showed outwardly the elegance and taste which we learned that she had instinctively; an indication of her lovely maturity, an emerging from the hoyden’s shell into a profoundly beautiful, profoundly moving young woman.'”

New York Stories: Marilyn at the Circus

This somewhat inelegant shot of Marilyn on a pink elephant, taken by Arthur Fellig (aka ‘Weegee’) backstage during the Ringling Brothers circus at Madison Square Garden in March 1955 is featured in New York Stories: Vintage Postwar Photographs, on display at the Keith de Lellis Gallery on East 57th Street until March 27. (Some more of Weegee’s photos from the evening are posted below.)

George Rodriguez’s ‘Double Vision’ of Marilyn and José

Photographer George Rodriguez, who captured Los Angeles life for forty years – from Hollywood glitz to Chicano civil rights movement – is the subject of a retrospective, George Rodriguez: Double Vision, at the Vincent Price Art Museum in LA until February 29, We Are Mitú reports. (Rodriguez photographed Marilyn at the Golden Globes in 1962 with her date, Mexican screenwriter José Bolaños, though it’s unclear whether these images of part of the exhibition.)

Marilyn Dons ‘Snap Cardigan’ for Agnès B

Fashion designer Agnès B  has assembled a group of creatives to put different spins on her classic black ‘snap cardigan’ for a new exhibition, opening in Manhattan this weekend and on display until March 1st, Flaunt reports. Among them is photographer William Strobeck, who has put the cardigan on a lifesize cutout of Marilyn in Bus Stop. A Monroe fan herself, Agnès B has said she was touched by the simple elegance of Marilyn’s possessions during a private view of The Personal Property of MM at Christie’s in 1999.

Marilyn Inspires Artist Dan Cooney

Comic book artist Dan Cooney, whose graphic novels include the upcoming second volume in his Tommy Gun Dolls series, has included this drawing of Marilyn (after a 1953 photo by Alfred Eisenstadt) among other portraits of Hollywood icons and book illustrations on display in Cooney’s first public exhibition at the Oak Bluffs Library in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, as Gwyn McAllister reports for the MV Times.