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Indepth Arts News:

"Dia's Andy: Through the Lens of Patronage"
2005-05-15 until 2006-04-10
Beacon, , USA United States

Marking the second anniversary of Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, the acclaimed contemporary art museum in the New York's Hudson Valley, Dia Art Foundation presents an exhibition of works by Andy Warhol, one of the first artists whose work was collected in-depth by Dia. On view beginning May 15, "Dia's Andy: Through the Lens of Patronage" brings together paintings, sculptures, films, wallpapers, and Time Capsules, celebrating the institution's unique relationship with the artist and the extraordinary range of his practice.

A special publication, which takes Warhol's Interview magazine as a model, contextualizes the exhibition with images and facsimiles of published texts related to the works on view. Public programs include screenings of the artist's early films and Gallery Talks on Warhol's work. Augmenting the exhibition is a selection of works by Louise Lawler which feature examples of Warhol's art. Both organized by Dia Art Foundation curator Lynne Cooke, "Dia's Andy" and "In and Out of Place: Louise Lawler and Andy Warhol," will be on view through April 10, 2006. 

Andy Warhol has been a central figure in Dia's history since the Foundation's beginnings in the early 1970s. Dia commissioned the monumental Shadows (1978-79), a multicanvas painting now occupying a 7,000-square-foot gallery at Dia:Beacon, as well as an extensive group of his Skull paintings (1976). In addition, the Foundation collected works from his series of Disaster paintings (1963), Hand-Painted Pop works, and portraits ranging from that of Joseph Beuys to Liza Minelli, among other significant works. In keeping with Dia's dedication to creating permanent, single-artist museums, in 1994 Dia gifted some 80 artworks to found the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. "Dia's Andy: Through the Lens of Patronage" is timed to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Warhol Museum and will return to Dia a group of these works for the first time. In addition to works from the Disaster and Skulls series and a group of portraits, the exhibition includes an installation of Brillo Boxes, a display of Time Capsules, and a program of Screen Tests.

Adjacent to the long-term installation of the Shadows, a series of galleries will be devoted to Warhol's paintings and sculpture, which will be installed against the backdrop of his "Washington Monument" wallpaper. Warhol's use of wallpaper reflects his interest in the environment of displays and décor, an interest also reflected in the edge-to-edge installation of the Shadow paintings. A collection of some 75 portraits of the famous, nonfamous, and infamous will include depictions of Truman Capote, Joan Collins, Jane Fonda, Aretha Franklin, Pia Zadora, Andy Warhol himself, and several artists in Dia's collection, namely Joseph Beuys and John Chamberlain. Brillo Boxes which highlight Warhol's traversions between commercial and fine art will be installed in a grid pattern.

On the lower level of the museum, Warhol's colorful "Cow" wallpaper will provide the backdrop for an installation of his Time Capsules. Beginning in the 1960s, Warhol assembled his Time Capsules by filling cardboard boxes with papers, receipts, documents, drawings, mementos, and other ephemera, sealing them for storage. Comprising more than six hundred boxes, the Time Capsules constitute an unparalleled archive of Warhol's life, art, and interests. For "Dia's Andy," four of these boxes will be newly opened and their contents displayed.

Also on the lower level, a program of Warhol's Screen Tests will be shown. Starting in 1964, Warhol made over five hundred of these four-minute silent films, inviting visitors to his Factory to be filmed for several minutes in front of his stationary Bolex camera. While some sat still, as expected, others started primping, talking, chewing gum, bobbing their heads to unheard music, even brushing their teeth. At Dia:Beacon, some Screen Tests, including those of Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed, and Susan Sontag, and will be shown.

Dia will also present a program of Warhol's early films curated by art historian and critic Douglas Crimp, who is currently codirector of the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester. Included in the summer-long series are such classics as Sleep (1963), a five-hour-long film depicting poet and Factory regular John Giorno sleeping; Couch (1964), which includes among its cast Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac; Henry Geldzahler (1964), a 99-minute portrait of the art historian and curator; Salvador Dalí (1966); Mrs. Warhol (1966), for which Warhol filmed his mother in her basement apartment; and Sunset (1967), a film commissioned by Dominique and John de Menil and narrated by the Velvet Underground's Nico. Eighteen film programs will take place on weekends from mid-May though Labor Day, 2005. The screenings are free with museum admission.

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