Jonas Mekas 1922-2019

The Lithuanian-born filmmaker, poet and artist, Jonas Mekas, has died aged 97. During World War II, he was imprisoned for eight months in a German labour camp while trying to flee his home country. In late 1949 he emigrated to the US with his brother, settling in Williamsburg, New York.

Mekas interviewed fellow Brooklynite Arthur Miller in 1954, and in 1958, he began writing a ‘Movie Journal’ column for the Village Voice. He would review The Misfits in 1961, praising Marilyn’s performance highly. He later wrote a rapturous tribute to Marilyn after her death.

In 1964, Mekas launched a campaign against movie censorship. His innovative art films inspired Andy Warhol to make movies. Throughout 2007, Jonas released a film each day on his website. He would continue his ‘online diary’ until his death.

Warhol Family to Sell ‘Double Marilyn’

Paul and Anne Warhola with Warhol’s ‘Double Marilyn’

Double Marilyn (or Two Marilyns), originally a gift from Andy Warhol to his late brother, is to be sold as part of the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale this Thursday (May 17) at the Phillips auction house on Park Avenue, NYC, with an estimate of $3-4 million, as Marylynne Pitz reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“Seven of the artist’s nieces and nephews, who range in age from 58 to 75, will share the proceeds. They are the children of Paul Warhola, who died in 2014, and his wife, Anne, who died in 2016.

Until last fall, ‘Double Marilyn’ and 10 early Warhol artworks owned by the Warhola family hung at The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Side. James Warhola, who lives in Long Island City in the New York borough of Queens, took them back after he was unable to arrange a sale or trade with museum director Patrick Moore.

‘My dad was the oldest brother,’ said James Warhola, a 63-year-old artist. ‘He saved the early works when my uncle left for New York. They have been in the family ever since as well as the “Double Marilyn” silkscreen. That was part of our household for close to 60 years.’

He said The Andy Warhol Museum ‘would have loved for us to have donated the collection’ but that was not possible.

‘My uncle’s estate went to a foundation. We didn’t get anything from the foundation. We’re not the Rockefellers. It was my dad’s main asset,’ Mr. Warhola said.

Pre-sale estimates are not always indicators of a painting’s actual auction price. Warhol’s works often sell for more than the pre-sale estimate. A 1962 ‘White Marilyn’ silkscreen by Warhol was estimated to sell for $12 million to $18 million in 2014. It fetched slightly more than $41 million at a Christie’s auction on May 13, 2014.

In this case, Phillips auction house has a third-party guarantee on ‘Double Marilyn.’ This means that one bidder has guaranteed a price of $3 million for the painting if no one bids higher.”

UPDATE: ‘Double Marilyn’ has been sold at Phillips for $3.6 million, as reported in an editorial for the Post-Gazette.

Warhol’s Marilyn in Madrid

Andy Warhol is fast becoming as ubiquitous as his most famous muse, Marilyn. In addition to three current US exhibiotions, Warhol: Mechanical Art is now on display at CaixaForum in Madrid, Spain until May 6. It will then move to Malaga on May 31, Blouinartinfo reports. (Incidentally, Marilyn was the subject of a lecture by the British academic Griselda Pollock at the Madrid venue in February.)

Thanks to Angelica at Marilyn Remembered

Warhol’s Marilyn in Palm Springs

An exhibition of Warhol prints (including a 1967 Marilyn) is currently on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum until May 28. In an article for the Desert Sun, Bruce Fessier talks to several of the artist’s friends and associates, including Jamie Kabler, an entrepreneur and philanthropist.

“Jamie and Elizabeth Kabler moved to New York after their 1979 marriage and remained friends with Warhol until his death in 1987 … They hosted parties with New York socialites, visited Warhol’s Factory and attended several lunches with Warhol. Kabler also invested in theatrical shows. Marilyn: An American Fable had 16 shows in 1983 after 35 previews. Warhol attended the opening, which meant a lot to Kabler.

‘Andy would go to the opening of a toothpaste factory,” he said. “He went out every night … He always showed up and people appreciated him. You could count on him.'”

Warhol Makes Marilyn a Vassar Girl

It seems you can find an Andy Warhol exhibition somewhere at any given time – and none would be complete without Marilyn. In addition to the current Andy Warhol: A Day in the Life in Michigan, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center in Poughkeepsie has unveiled a new show, People are Beautiful: Prints, Photographs, and Films by Andy Warhol, open now until April 15, as Matt Stein reports for Vassar College’s student paper, the Miscellany News. (The Ivy League location has a ring of poetry as Sugar Kane, Marilyn’s character in Some Like It Hot, once pretended to be a ‘Vassar girl’ in a bid to impress Tony Curtis, who was posing as an oil tycoon in-between bouts of drag.)

“The Loeb’s exhibit is part of ‘Warhol x 5,’ a consortium of five colleges in the Hudson Valley displaying Warhol’s art. Throughout 2018, exhibits at Vassar, SUNY New Paltz, Bard, SUNY Albany and SUNY Purchase will feature rarely-seen work by Warhol donated by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts … People are Beautiful is divided into five different sections. ‘Celebrity and Stardom’ features many of the works associated with Warhol, including prints from his Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe series.”

Andy Warhol’s Marilyn in Michigan

This 1967 screenprint is featured in Andy Warhol: A Day in the Life, now on display at the Eli and Edythe Broad Museum (or MSU Broad) at Michigan State University, East Lansing, until May 6.

Andy Warhol: A Day in the Life​ ​pulls​ ​back​ ​the​ ​veil​ ​on​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​twentieth​ ​century’s​ ​most important​ ​and​ ​iconographic​ ​artists.​ ​As​ ​with​ ​many​ ​artists​ ​and​ popular​ ​figures,​ ​Warhol’s​ ​public persona​ ​and​ ​identity​ ​were​ ​tightly​ ​controlled—a​ ​brand​ ​in​ ​and​ ​of​ ​itself.​ ​Warhol​ ​once​ ​said:​ ​’If​ ​you want​ ​to​ ​know​ ​Andy​ ​Warhol,​ ​just​ ​look​ ​at​ ​the​ ​surface​ ​of​ ​my​ ​paintings​ ​and​ ​films​ ​and​ ​me,​ ​and​ ​there I​ ​am.​ ​There’s​ ​nothing​ ​behind​ ​it.’​But​ ​the​ ​passage​ ​of​ ​time​ ​and​ ​accounts​ ​from​ ​those​ ​close​ ​to​ ​him reveal​ ​a​ ​different​ ​story.​ ​In​ ​particular,​ ​through​ ​his​ ​daily​ ​photographic​ ​habits,​ ​obsessive​ ​film​ ​and audio​ ​recording,​ ​and his interest in a wide range of subject matters,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​able​ ​to glimpse​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​his​ ​more​ ​intimate​ ​world,​ ​offering​ ​a​ ​unique​ ​perspective​ ​on​ ​one​ ​of​ ​America’s most​ ​famous​ ​artists.”

Marilyn’s Prayer Book Heads to Auction

A Jewish daily prayer-book acquired by Marilyn at the time of her 1956 marriage to Arthur Miller will be auctioned at William Doyle Galleries of New York as part of their Rare Books, Autographs & Maps sale on Tuesday, November 7. The book, which numbers some 648 pages, is described as ‘quite worn’ and includes a few notations in pencil, apparently by Marilyn herself. It was originally sold at Christie’s in 1999. The estimated price this time around is $4,000-$6,000. For more information on Marilyn’s conversion, read this excellent article by Simone Esther.

Also featured in the auction is a postcard reproduction of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn, signed by the artist.

UPDATE:  The Warhol postcard sold for $1,250, but Marilyn’s prayer-book went unsold.