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Added on March 31, 2002: Essential for any collector: Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisoné, Vol. 1: Paintings and Sculpture, 1961-1963. Phaidon, March 2002, 512 p. Edited by Georg Frei and Neil Printz. Order the book from,

Andy Warhol. Biography and the exhibition Series and Singles at the Fondation Beyeler.
Catalogue, hardcover, DuMont, Cologne, 2000, 216 p. Text in German and English. Get it from or
The Fondation Beyeler celebrates the expansion of its annex exhibition space in Riehen with a fresh look at Andy Warhol's Series and Singles. Georg Frei, an expert on Warhol and the co-editor of his catalogue raisonné, worked as a guest curator for the exhibition. In the Beyeler collection, Warhol has only been represented since 1998 (with three paintings). For the exhibition, the foundation managed to assemble some 100 works from museums and collections around the world. Among the exhibits are Coca-Cola, Suicide and Troy which have not been shown in public for over three decades.
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1928. At the age of 17, he entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology where he majored in pictorial design. Upon graduation, Andy Warhol moved to New York where, in 1949, he began to work as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker. He also did advertising and window displays for several retail stores. His first assignment was for Glamour magazine for an article intitled Success is a Job in New York.
Throughout the 1950s, Warhol enjoyed great success as a commercial artist. He won several commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In these years, he shortened his name from Warhola to Warhol. In 1952, Andy had his first individual show at the Hugo Gallery, exhibiting Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. Other exhibitions followed, including his first group show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1956.
Warhol was one of the first artists to understand the importance of the mass media. He took his early material from comic strips and advertisements which he found in tabloids like The National Inquirer and The Daily News. In contrast to Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and other representatives of Pop Art who integrated objects tel quel, without modification, in their paintings, Warhol concentrated on - at first hand painted - subjects of mass consumption and culture by isolating and monumentalizing them, without using other objects in the background and without preliminary sketches. Warhol used a projector to put them on canvas. He made it plain and simple and therefore was able to create the icons of Pop Art. In the Series and Singles exhibition, his early work is well represented with Comics, Campbell's Soup Cans, Dollar Bills and other Coca-Colas.
At the end of 1961, Andy created his first serial work with small Campbell's Soup Cans. A year later, his Do It Yourself pictures followed. In 1962, he began to experiment with silkscreening images onto painted canvas, a technique that allowed him to repeat a subject almost an infinite number of times. His series with Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty, Natalie Wood and other stars was based on it. The new technique made Warhol a star. In these early silkscreens, John Cage's chance operations came into play. The poet Gerard Malanga served as Andy's assistant.
In 1963, Warhol said in an interview that he wanted to work like a machine. He created the silkscreen paintings of Elizabeth Taylor. It was the year of Cleopatra, starring her and Richard Burton. Then, Warhol created the Death and Disaster series, showing car accidents, electric chairs and more. In the beginning of 1964, Andy moved to the Factory, which became the center of his work and a synonymous for a purely serial method of operation. His Jackies and Flowers fall into this period. But only his Brillo, Campell's and other Kellogg's Boxes are actually identical to each other since they came directly off the production line, whereas overlapping and smudging created individual aspects in his series of paintings. For the Jackies, Warhol used eight different images of Jacqueline Kennedy taken just before and after the assassination of her husband, whereas the Flowers use the same motifs, but differ in their arrangement, color and cropping. Later came the Marilyns.
In the summer of 1964, the New York World Fair opened. Warhol had been commissioned to do a mural for the American pavilion. Andy prepared a 20 foot by 20 foot work in black and white called The Thirteen Most Wanted Men featuring the police mug-shots of criminals. The Governor of New York, Nelson A. Rockefeller, already famous for similar decisions, ordered it removed. When Warhol's idea for a substitution, a painting with panels of a public official named Robert Moses, was not accepted, Andy had his work painted over in silver.
His friend Henry Geldzahler suggested that Andy should give up his Death and Disaster series and pointed out some flowers in a magazine as an alternative subject. The result was Warhol's series of glyphs of joy in the form of poppy flowers. They were commercially successful and, according to Edward Sanders, predicted the American Flower Power movement three years ahead of time.
In addition to painting, Warhol made 16mm films like Chelsea Girls, Empire and Blow Job, which have become underground classics. In 1968, Valerie Solanis, founder and sole member of SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) walked into the Factory and shot the artist. The attempted murder was nearly fatal. It changed Warhol's life and art. In 1972, Andy was back. Now, the monochromatic backgrounds of his silkscreens were replaced by more abstract-expressionistic paintings. With Hammer and Sickle, Warhol explored still-life painting in which he dealt with objects and their shadows. The theme of death returned with Skulls and Shadows. He concentrated on the interplay between printing and painting. In his Oxidation series, urination takes the place of painting, a sarcastic reference to Pollock's drippings.
In the early 1970s, Warhol began publishing Interview magazine and wrote The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again). He started the 1980s with the publication of POPism: The Warhol '60s and with exhibitions of Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century and the Retrospectives and Reversal series. He also created two cable television shows, Andy Warhol's TV (1982) and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes for MTV (1986). According to the mood of the 1980s, he introduced his Diamond Dust Shoes and Diamond Dust Beuys portraits. They referred to his beginnings as a commercial artist in the 1950s. In the Last Supper, Warhol finally celebrates his own immortality. He also engaged in a series of collaborations with younger artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Keith Haring.
Following routine gall bladder surgery, Andy Warhol died on the 22nd of February 1987. In 1989, the Museum of Modern Art in New York showed a major retrospective of his works. Five years later, the Andy Warhol Museum opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The catalogue documents Warhol the painter and sculptor of Series and Singles. Since he was an artist with multiple talents, his early films make up an integral part of the exhibition. Warhol also helped the music group The Velvet Underground to establish themselves. Above all, Warhol was able to create a special modern glyphic universe consisting of Elvis', Marliyns, Liz' and Jackies. Andy's late work was essentially based upon the years of finding the modern glyph, say 1962 to 1964.
The exhibition is chronological and follows Warhol's six New York ateliers. At Townhouse, 1342 Lexington Avenue, Andy made his hand-painted comic and consumer goods paintings, the Do It Yourself and the Close Cover Before Striking series. At Firehouse, an unheated loft between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Avenue 87th Street, the Disaster and Silver series were born. Then came the time of the Factory, 231 East 47th Street, a hotspot for the avant-garde, where the Flower, Jackie, Boxes and Marilyn series were created. In the 1970s, Warhol moved to the studios in 33 Union Square West and 860 Broadway, where his art became more expressive. His own retrospective, the Diamond Dust pictures, the self-portraits as well as the religiously inspired Last Supper series were made in the 1980s in his atelier at 22 East 33rd Street. In the exhibition, key pictures of his different series are confronted with impressive singles from other series.

Get the exhibition catalogue, Series and Singles from or from Fondation Beyeler, DuMont Verlag, 2000, 216 p. With essays, all in German and English, by Ernst Beyeler and Georg Frei for the introduction, by Peter Gidal on Saturday Disaster & Blowjob and by Edward Sanders on Andy Warhol and the Glyphe. Exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basle until December 31, 2000. - Check also our article on Pop Art.