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Warhol’s Zero Minutes of Fame at Pittsburgh Airport (video) & Warhol Museum’s Most X-Rated Show

What did I do on my summer work-cation (which limited my posting last week)? I was part of a press group escorted by Tom Sokolowski, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, through a tour of his Downtown Pittsburgh institution:


Thomas Sokolowski, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, fronts a band of Elvises

The most important temporary display, which Sokolowski left us with too little time to explore on our own, analyzed a match made in heaven (much more so than Picasso/Degas)—a show entitled Twisted Pair: Marcel Duchamp/Andy Warhol, curated by Matt Wrbican, the museum’s archivist.

Included were a canny juxtaposition of a Duchamp bottle rack with a Warhol array of dusty Coke bottles arranged in a sectioned crate, as well as a 1963 snapshot by actor Dennis Hopper (currently the subject of LA MOCA’s critically slammed retrospective) showing Warhol, the actor/writer Taylor Mead (longtime member of Andy’s circle), and Hopper’s then wife, Brooke Hayward, who were all on hand for the opening of Duchamp’s retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum.

Our tour also included a sneak peek at an about-to-open installation that is a strong contender for Most X-Rated Show in the museum’s history (as confirmed to me by Sokolowski)—Sex Parts. It includes not only Warhol’s relatively unshocking paintings of genitalia but also his unsparingly explicit, small black-and-white snapshots of men in his studio, caught in acts of oral and anal sex. (Move over, Mapplethorpe!)

During my video report (at the bottom of this post), you’ll hear me refer to boxes of Warhol ephemera in which some items now arrayed at the Pittsburgh airport were discovered. During our visit to the museum, Tom had taken us into the inner sanctum of the Warhol Archives, where the artist’s 610 “Time Capsules” of unsorted stuff are being opened, carton by carton, to be carefully examined and catalogued:


Warhol’s “Time Capsules”

The museum has thus far opened about half the boxes and hopes to have the job done in three more years. Among the fabulous finds: a slice of pizza, hundreds of bottle of liquor, table settings purloined from the Concorde, a petrified foot from the 2nd century A.D.,$17,000 in cash, and, let us not forget, the widely reported autographed poster of the nude Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

While we were down there, one of the cataloguers had just come upon another of many postcards that had been sent to Andy by the poet Allen Ginsberg:


White-gloved researcher reads Ginsberg’s postcard. Tom Sokolowski listens at right

The photos below were part of the contents of a box being examined during our visit. At the center, right, is a shot of Andy with the young Luciano Pavarotti:
But what Sokolowski really wanted to do was attach a name to the face of the man who appears in two of these photos:
If you can identify the fellow on the left (who is also at the left of the photo above the color photo), click CultureGrrl‘s “Contact Me” link (located below the Twitter logo in my center column) and we’ll help to solve this mystery. He looks vaguely familiar to me, but I just can’t place him.

But now let’s leave the Downtown Pittsburgh Warhol Museum and explore its much busier, noisier outpost. At the very end of this CultureGrrl Video, you’ll see a poignant demonstration of how a purposeful, hurried mother can squelch a child’s natural curiosity about art:

an ArtsJournal blog