Friday, May 2, 2014

The Art Set: Out in New York and Philadelphia

Hollywood Legend Paulette Goddard, Who Had Been Married to Charlie Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, and Erich Maria Remarque, Fascinated Andy Warhol So Much He Tried to Write a Book About Her, ca. 1980

From BOB COLACELLO: Holy Terror, Photographs from Inside Warhol's World at Steven Kasher Gallery.
The Art Set: Out in New York and Philadelphia
by Charlie Scheips

A month ago I went down to Diane Von Furstenberg’s on 14th Street for a cocktail reception for the recently published new edition of Bob Colacello’s Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up that was originally published in 1990 — just three years after the artist’s death.

Click to order Bob Colacello’s Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up.
If you don’t have it already buy this new edition that features a new introduction by Bob — it’s a great read.

The reception that night made me nostalgic for a much more glamorous and amusing New York. I went to the party with art dealer Kelly Padden after a catch up drink with her around the corner at SoHo House. By the time we got to DVF’s, Bob was a signing stack of Holy Terror.

I said hello to a swarm of familiar faces including: Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Ross Bleckner, Whitney Museum director Adam Weinberg, Mercedes Bass, John Richardson, Fran Lebowitz, Graydon Carter, along with phalanx of Vanity Fair editors including Chris Garrett, Amy Bell, Anne Schneider. I also ran into Bettina Zilkha, Christopher Mason, Earl McGrath, Peter Schlesinger, Jonathan Becker, Peter McGough, Sam Shahid, Christopher Bollen, Tom Cashin and Jay Johnson, Martin Saar, Milly de Cabrol, and Bob’s fellow Warhol insider Vincent Fremont.
Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea.
Bob with host Diane Von Furstenberg and stacks of Holy Terror.
Bob Colacello and Charlie.
Bob is a great writer and Holy Terror is really a landmark work about New York when it was still the capital of just about everything — pre global, pre digital, pre 9/11. He was editor of Interview magazine during its golden age from 1970 to 1982 where, in addition to his myriad other tasks (chronicled brilliantly in the book) he wrote a monthly column called Out that is basically what I modeled these Art Set columns on many years later. Interview was the magazine of the era and while it thrived a few years after Bob quit it changed forever with Warhol’s death. I’ve kept all my copies from the mid 1970s to 1987. They are still great today including the fabulous color — swathed Warholesque covers by the brilliant Richard Bernstein

In addition to reissuing his Warhol book Bob wrote a great piece in the catalog for Blain|Di Donna gallery’s (2nd floor of the Carlyle Hotel) must-see Warhol: Jackie show that features a gallery full of paintings Warhol did of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis between 1964 and 1968On top of that, and Vanity Fair, he is also working on a new book about the Reagans, following his Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House — 1911-1980.
Warhol: Jackie, Blain|Di Donna, All Artworks by Andy Warhol © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies. 1964, Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 60 7/8 by 48 3/4 in. (154.6 by 123.8 cm), The Sonnabend Collection, on long-term loan to Ca' Pesaro, International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice, Italy, Nina Sundell and Antonio Homem,© 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Source image on image no. 1 and 9: photograph Henri Dauman, 1963
Andy Warhol, Four Jackies. 1964, Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 40 by 32 in. (101.6 by 81.3 cm), Private Collection, © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Jackie. 1964, Spray paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 20 by 16 in. (50.8 by 40.6 cm), The Sonnabend Collection and Antonio Homem © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol, Jackie. c. 1968, Collage with screenprinted acetate and paper on board, 21 1/4 by 21 1/8 in. (54 by 53.6 cm) PRIVATE COLLECTION © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Last week Bob opened a show of his amusing photographs from his “Warhol Period” at Steven Kasher’s gallery on 23rd Street in Chelsea and was on hand to sign more copies of Holy Terror for friends and fans. I traveled over to the gallery with Laura Montalban and spotted Wayne Lawson, Neil Printz (who is hard at work on the fourth volume of the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné of paintings, sculptures and drawings being published by Phaedon), Susan Gutfreund, Zac Posen, Cornelia Guest, Random House’s Sonny Mehta and Shelley Wanger, Sam Bolton, Paul Kasmin, among the throng.

Here are some highlights from Bob’s show but go see it for yourself and take in Kasher’s retrospective exhibition Slaves of Mimesis: Nine Years on 23rd Street that marks the gallery’s move to new quarters on 26th Street later this summer in the space formerly occupied by Barry Friedman.
Andy Warhol with New York Social Powerhouse Jerry Zipkin, a Friend Since the 1950s, ca. 1980
Andy Warhol in the Front Hall Closet of the East 66th Street House, Getting Ready to Go Out, ca. 1980 Andy Warhol at a Party with His Tape Recorder, Which he Referred to as "My Wife Sony," and an Unidentified Friend, ca. 1980
Paul Morrissey, Flippers, Los Angeles, ca. 1975
Andy Warhol with Happy Rockefeller, One of His First Portrait Subjects in the 1960s, at Ronald Reagan's Inauguration, 1981
Andy Warhol with Nancy Reagan's Decorator, Ted Garber, and Betsy Bloomingdale at an Inauguration Party, 1981
Leo Castelli and Andy Warhol at the Dia Foundation Exhibition of Shadow Paintings, 1978 Out on the Town: Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol, ca. 1980
The High Priest of German Conceptual Art, Joseph Beuys Autographs a Catalogue for Andy Warhol, 1980
Andy Warhol Signing Copies of Interview at Fiorucci on East 59th Street, with Truman Capote, Whom He had Idolized in His Youth and Became Friends with in the 1970s, 1977
Andy Warhol Having Breakfast in His Naples Hotel Suite Wearing His Usual Sleep Attire--Shirt, Jockey Shorts, and Supp-Hose Socks, 1976
Last Saturday I drove down to Philadelphia to attend the opening celebration of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s life-affirming survey of the brilliant African American fashion designer Patrick Kelly whose short career ended in his death from HIV/AIDS at age 35 on January 1, 1990.  Organized by the Museum’s Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles Dilys Blum, the show is in the Museum’s Art Deco Perlman building across the street from its massive headquarters. The opening celebrated the announcement of a promised gift to the Museum of more than 80 ensembles by Kelly from his business and life partner Bjorn Amelan, and Bill T. Jones.
The Philadelphia Museum's Perlman Building, site of Patrick Kelly: Runway of Life.
The show is entitled Runway of Love and its sure to put you in a good mood.  The charismatic Kelly was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1954.  At age 18 he was working without pay as a window dresser of the Yves Saint Laurent boutique in Atlanta — he studied art at Jackson State University and later attended Parsons in New York.  During the opening ceremonies, Bjorn noted that the statuesque iconic model Pat Cleveland, who was present for the show, was rumored to have been responsible for giving Kelly, in 1979, a one-way airplane ticket to Paris that changed his life.
Beautiful Pat Cleveland poses with friends.
Philadelphia Museum Chief Curator of Costumes and Textiles Dilys Blum. A red runway runs through the center of the gallery.
In the five remaining years of his life, Kelly catapulted to fame after Pierre Bergé helped him open the Patrick Kelly Paris fashion house.  He was the first person of color to become a member of the elite syndicate of fashion designers in Paris.  He was a media darling instantly recognizable for wearing oversized denim overalls, with sneakers, polka dotted heart shirts and an upturned Patrick Kelly log cap with “Paris” on its visor.

Kelly boldly integrated his African American southern heritage into his fashion by sampling, and then transforming, stereotypic racist symbols ranging from golliwogs, watermelons and pineapples, colorful buttons, Aunt Jemimah bandanas and pickaninnie dolls overtly into his whimsical yet elegant fashion. His muse was Josephine Baker, another African American export who first wowed Paris in the late 1920s.
Photograph of Patrick Kelly by Oliviero Toscani. Patrick Kelly's "uniform."
A group of Patrick Kelly's collection of Aunt Jemimahs and goliwogs that inspired his shopping bag.
Kelly said “I want my clothes to smile” and they certainly still do! He loved to spray paint hearts as the backdrop to his collections. Just watching the videos installed throughout the gallery of his runway shows reveal a joyful exuberance and festive swagger that has vanished in today’s way-too-serious fashion world of awkward and humorless models clomping down runways like bizarre teetering circus ponies. Patrick Kelly’s girls sashayed — and way before there was even something called  “Voguing” that went mainstream in the early 1990s with Madonna’s video Vogue and the film Paris is Burning.
Homage to Josephine Baker. Woman's Ensemble: Bra Top and Banana Skirt, Fall/Winter 1986. Designed by Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Plastic, metal, rubber.
Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones.
Woman's Ensemble: Jumpsuit and Apron, Fall/Winter 1987. Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Jumpsuit: Wool and acrylic knit. Apron: Cotton twill denim, metal. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones.
Woman's Ensemble: Dress, Hat, and Shoes, Fall/Winter 1987. Designed by Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Dress and Hat: Wool and spandex knit. Shoes: Black suede, cotton embroidery, plastic. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones. Woman's Ensemble: Dress, Hat, and Shoes, Fall/Winter 1989. Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Dress: Wool and spandex knit, plastic. Hat: Wire, nylon velvet. Shoes: Leather. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones.
Left: Woman's Ensemble: Coat and Dress, Fall/Winter 1986. Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Coat: Printed rayon twill. Dress: Wool and spandex knit, plastic buttons. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones.

Center: Woman's Dress, Fall/Winter 1986. Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990. Wool and spandex knit, plastic. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones.

Right: Woman's Dress and Gloves, Fall/Winter 1988.
Patrick Kelly, American (active Paris), c. 1954 - 1990.
Dress: Wool knit, acetate faille, cotton embroidery. Promised gift of Bjorn Guil Amelan and Bill T. Jones.
Gloves: Wool knit, plastic. Purchased with the Costume and Textiles Revolving Fund, 2012.
After the reception I jumped in a cab and asked the driver to take me to an area with a lot of restaurants. He delivered me to Rittenhouse Square where I had delicious raw oysters and clams and an amazing mushroom and truffle tart at the bar of Parc — a huge jam-packed French Bistro that is part of Stephen Starr’s restaurant empire.
I always stay at the Four Seasons when I go to Philadelphia.
A welcome plate of little sweets at the Four Seasons Hotel when I arrived.
Parc on Rittenhouse Square.
Raw oysters and clams at Parc
Parc's delicious Mushroom truffle tart.
While in Philadelphia, I also made my first visit to the still somewhat controversial new home (2012) of the Barnes Foundation. The Barnes was founded by chemist Albert C. Barnes in the 1920s after he made a fortune a decade earlier developing Argyrol — an anti-gonorrhea drug created before widespread use of antibiotics. He formed an amazing collection of modern masterpieces that is truly extraordinary. 

Until recently, Barnes mansion and galleries were in Merion on the “Main Line” just outside the city of Philadelphia. It was famously hard to visit — you had to make an appointment weeks in advance, they did not allow reproductions of works in the collection and I believe I remember they never loaned out works to other museums. 
The Barnes Foundation on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Dramatic modernist fountains surround the grounds of the Barnes Foundation.
A panoramic shot of the Barnes Foundation.
Barnes had definite ideas about art and education and installed antique locks and keys and other antiquated tools and artifacts, tribal art and other ephemera alongside the hundreds of masterpieces from old masters to modern giants — I’ve never really studied Barnes ideas about art education but I think he wanted to draw attention to the role of art in daily life and across national and cultural borders. 

Giorgio de Chirico's Dr. Albert C. Barnes, 1926 at the Barnes Foundation.
I think that his ideas about art’s continuity centered on blurring (in his eccentric hanging of the collection) the divide between older art and the revolution of modern art. I suppose the idea still has some merit although I like to form my own ideas about art rather than have to look at it through someone else’s intellectual lens.

So, what did I think of the new Barnes? Well, the building by New York architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien is very good looking and the surrounding grounds (designed by Laurie Olin) discreetly handsome in a modern manner. The galleries of the original building and placement of art, artifacts and furniture were recreated in the new building to (so I heard a guide say) a sixteenth of an inch.

Just like the first incarnation of the Barnes collection, the amount of visitors is limited to a small number so that there are no crowded galleries, which is a pleasant way to enjoy the collection. There are no wall labels so you have to refer to printed booklets in each gallery or an audio guide — neither of which I care for.  I had been given permission, and a press pass, to take photographs but within seconds of entering the collection galleries I was pounced on by several guards who told me I could not take any photos — when a manager came to see me I just gave up.  So at least Albert C. Barnes’ s ornery disposition has made its way into the new building. This is the Age of Security I suppose. 
Henri Matisse, The Dance (La Danse), 1932-1933.
The Barnes collection rooms are facsimiles from the old place in Merion — and very accurate ones. But there is something antiseptic about being in a modern building that houses the layout of a traditional Beaux Arts building. I never believed that the move was a good idea, as it was expressly against the founder’s stated wishes. But, it is a beautiful setting and far more convenient, and its collection is one of the greatest on the planet.

So, I like (but don’t love) the Barnes. It’s worth the trip to Philadelphia just to spend an afternoon with an extraordinary collection of Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, Seurat, Van Gogh, Renoir and Monet — and also see the wonderful eccentric watercolors of Pennsylvanian Charles Demuth that are installed throughout the galleries. 
The Main Room of the Barnes Foundation.
Paul Cezanne's masterpiece, The Card Players (Les Joueurs de cartes), 1890–1892.
Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire (La Montagne Sainte-Victoire), 1892–1895.
Vincent van Gogh, The Postman (Joseph-Étienne Roulin), 1889.
A typical installation at the Barnes with Matisses, Picassos, and Braques.
After the Barnes, I wandered across to the Rodin Museum that had been totally renovated three years ago. The Philadelphia Museum, which has operated the Rodin Museum and its collection since 1929, restored the building in the spirit of its original plan by French architect Paul Crept. It’s a beautiful place with lovely formal gardens originally designed and also restored recently according to French landscape designer Jacques Gerber’s original plan. 
The front entrance of the Rodin Museum.
Fountain at Rodin Museum.
The main gallery of the Rodin Museum.
A plaster cast of an 1880s clay Torso of a Man by Rodin.
Rodin's Gates of Hell.
Driving back to New York City through our version of Gates of Hell.