Synopses & Reviews
Published in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art
In the mid-1960s, at the height of his creative powers, Andy Warhol produced hundreds of three-minute cinematic portraits, called "Screen Tests." Although rarely screened now, these short films captured a virtual who's who of the avant-garde, including such cultural icons as Edie Sedgwick, Bob Dylan, Salvador Dali, and Susan Sontag. At last, in the initial volume of the authorized catalogue raisonné of Warhol's films, Warhol authority Callie Angell examines all 189 people captured by Warhol's lens. Stills from many of the films appear here for the first time. Drawing on 13 years of original research into the Screen Test subjects and their relationships to Warhol, Angell provides an unprecedented look at the pop art master's working method, and a unique record of his colorful social and professional life.
"In 1963, Warhol began making short, silent films of the people who came through his New York studio, accumulating personalities in the same way he collected Campbell's soup cans or Brillo boxes. The first in a two-volume catalogue (which will eventually encompass all of Warhol's cinema), this book offers some surprisingly engrossing entries, while serving as a basic reference guide to the films. In addition to supplying the expected cataloguing data (dates, running time, cast, credits and other notations), the capsule biographies of the subjects and film action narratives reveal the fascinating and creative world of the Factory. Here is the tragic Freddy Herko, who 'danced out the window of John Dodd's fifth-floor apartment'; models Ivy Nicholson and Imu; poets John Ashbery and Ted Berrigan; and musicians Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. Equally interesting are blurbs about the unknowns: 'A young man named Stevie, with an illegible last name. Near the end of the roll, someone throws water on his face from offscreen.' Several essays speculate about Warhol's overarching intentions for the films and discuss their mysteriously limited showings. Extravagantly produced with 780 photographs, the book reinforces the sense of Warhol as an expert in subverting notions of celebrity. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Callie Angell is internationally recognized as the foremost authority on the films of Andy Warhol. She has been adjunct curator of the Andy Warhol Film Project at the Whitney Museum of American Art and consultant to The Museum of Modern Art on the preservation of Warhol's cinema since 1991. Angell lives in New York City.