Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych (1962) will be among the pop artist’s many famous works on display at a new exhibition, Warhol is Here, opening at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, East Sussex on September 24, through to February 26, 2012. Best of all, admission is free!
“The Pavilion is delighted to announce that one of Warhol’s most important works the Marilyn Diptych(1962), will be part of the exhibition. The painting, made in 1962, shortly after the actress’ death, comprises two canvasses, each containing 25 silkscreened repetitions of the image of Marilyn Monroe first used as a publicity photograph taken for her role in the film Niagara. It is considered to be one of the world’s most important pieces of contemporary art and was created at a time when Warhol was moving from being a commercial artist and establishing his reputation as a fine artist.”
An exhibition dedicated to Andy Warhol’s portraits of legendary divas – male and female – has opened at Manchester’s The Lowry, running until September 25.
“It was following Monroe’s death that Andy Warhol started to create his famous screen print works of famous faces, and it is widely known these now iconic works can be attributed to the Hollywood star, who represented the epitome of glamour and beauty which Warhol captured faultlessly and which other stars wanted to emulate.
Warhol’s image of Monroe was taken from a publicity shot of her 1953 hit, ‘Niagara’, and unlike many of his subjects with whom he was close friends, Warhol sadly never met Monroe. However, his image of her has become the lasting depiction of the star for generations after her death, her beauty and star status immortalized within popular culture and art history for ever.”
The feminist author and art critic, Germaine Greer, has analysed Andy Warhol’s Marilyn in The Guardian.
“Drawing and painting are fun, and most people like doing them, especially if they are considered good at them, but they are not art until they acquire separateness. A recognisable likeness of a celebrity will be artless, unless it acquires its own position in relation to all the other images of that celebrity and celebrity itself. Andy Warhol refined the image of Marilyn Monroe till it was almost insubstantial, a hieroglyph in place of a likeness, with neither age nor identity nor expression. It may seem the diametric opposite of the most famous portraits of history, but it isn’t. The portraits that survive have outlived their subjects and taken on a life the subjects could never claim. Those pictures exist in their own versions of the wandjina/Warhol zone.”
In her most famous book, The Female Eunuch (1970), Greer wrote of Marilyn:
“It still comes as a surprise to most people to learn that Marilyn Monroe was a great actress, most pitifully to Marilyn herself, which is one of the reasons why she is dead.”
Andy Warhol’s Nine Multi-Colored Marilyns (Reversal Series) (1979-86) sold for £3.2 million at Sotheby’s, London, last Tuesday, after the auction was interrupted by protesters campaigning against cuts to public services, including the arts.
John Reznikoff, of University Archives, has spoken publicly for the first time about the Cusack Papers, a series forged documents relating to Marilyn and John F. Kennedy, which surfaced during the 1990s. The papers initially duped many people, including certain biographers, until they were exposed as fakes by ABC News. For more details, and to listen to the interview, visit MM Collection Blog.
Meanwhile, over at The MMM Blog, Melinda reviews the current exhibition, ‘Marilyn in Canada’, at the McMichael, Toronto.
Eric Shiner, curator at Pittsburgh’s Warhol Museum, has spoken about the current Marilyn: Life as a Legend exhibition.
“‘She had so many layers under that facade of beauty, that facade of fame and celebrity,’ said Eric Shiner, a curator at the Warhol. ‘And it’s great that these things are finally coming to light. It’s great to see who she was as a real person.’
Aside from Warhol, Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend features work by such top-drawer luminaries as photographer Richard Avedon, Sgt. Pepper album-cover designer Peter Blake, abstract expressionist painter Willem De Kooning and photographer and filmmaker Bert Stern. De Kooning is represented through ‘Marilyn Monroe,’ a swirling, colorful interpretation of the former Norma Jean Baker that rarely escapes from the Neuberger Museum of Art in upstate New York.
Perhaps the works that prompt the most comment are Stern’s nude images of Monroe that were taken about six weeks before she died of an overdose of prescription medicine in August 1962. It’s possible to look at them and think that she appears a little careworn, a little forlorn. ‘That’s our human compulsion to do that,’ Shiner pointed out.
‘You want to read into what you’re seeing and want to find justification there. And every time I’ve taken groups through the show, standing in front of these pictures, almost everyone tries to read into her eyes. There’s sadness there, there’s some sort of hint of what’s to come.’
Warhol identified with Monroe, Shiner added, not only because of her celebrity, a perennial obsession with him, but also with her vulnerability and the turmoil in her private life. Newspaper clippings on her death pulled from Warhol’s collection are in the exhibit, as are his silkscreen prints of Monroe, which are among his most famous works.”
Some Like it Hot comes third in The Guardian‘s Top 25 Comedies, beaten by (ahem) Borat, and Annie Hall.
Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, film critic Barry Paris, who co-authored Tony Curtis’s first autobiography, celebrates Marilyn’s sizzling screen career ahead of the Life as a Legend exhibit and movie season at the Andy Warhol Museum.
“It took a smart cookie to play the ultimate dumb blonde — and become the pop culture’s most fragile, enduring icon in the process. Marilyn Monroe’s spectacular beauty and sexuality stoked America’s collective imagination, captivating and defining her era.
Chief among the MM pix, of course, is Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder’s 1959 classic, pretty unanimously considered the all-time best movie comedy. Tony Curtis, in and out of drag, falls hopelessly in love with her, and so do we. In Sugar Kane (nee Sugar Kowalczyk), we get her euphoric screen presence at its best, secretly battling her offscreen demons at their worst.
Hollywood’s most alluring sex goddess was also its most dysfunctional actress. All the good, bad and ugly aspects of working with Marilyn — more precisely, of Marilyn working — would converge during the making of Some Like It Hot…
…On the other hand, Mr. Wilder shrugged, ‘My Aunt Minnie would always be punctual on the set, never hold up production, and know her lines forwards and backwards — but who would pay to see my Aunt Minnie?'”
There could hardly be a more perfect setting for a Marilyn Monroe movie season than the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. The screenings accompany the Marilyn: Life as a Legend exhibit, which runs from October 23 through to January 2.
Nice to see two of Monroe’s lesser-known films on schedule: Don’t Bother to Knock (a 1952 thriller containing one of Monroe’s most impressive dramatic performances) and River of No Return, a visually arresting Cinemascope western from 1954, with some great musical numbers from Marilyn (though a bit light on realism!)
November 12, 2010
Don’t Bother to Knock(1952) 76 min. Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Niagara (1953) 92 min. Directed by Henry Hathaway
November 19, 2010
River of No Return(1954) 91 min. Directed by Otto Preminger
December 3, 2010
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953) 91 min. Directed by Howard Hawks
How to Marry a Millionaire(1953) 95 min. Directed by Dir. Jean Negulesco
December 10, 2010
Some Like It Hot(1959) 120 min. Directed by Billy Wilder
Pittsburgh author and journalist Barry Paris will introduce the film.
December 17, 2010
The Misfits(1961) 124 min. Directed by John Huston
Over 300 photographs and artworks in this touring exhibition, coming to the Warhol Museum, opening for 24 hours from 10 am, October 23, and continuing until January 2, 2011. A Monroe film series begins on November 12.
Though I’ve always been ambivalent about Warhol’s Marilyn, the warmer tones of this silkscreen are very alluring. So if any of my Brighton friends have £495 to spare and would like to buy me a present, make haste to Art Republic on Bond Street!