Page 22 - Studio International - February 1971
P. 22

5                                                                                   5 Andy Warhol
                                                                                          Silver Marlon 1963
                                                                                          Polymer silkscreened on canvas, 70 x 8o in.
                                                                                          Coll: The Leonard M. Asher Family Collection,
                                                                                          Los Angeles, California
                                                                                          6 Andy Warhol
                                                                                          Liz 1963
                                                                                          Silkscreen on 4 canvasses, each 4o x 4o in.
                                                                                          Photo: Rudolph Burckhardt, New York
                                                                                          7 Andy Warhol
                                                                                          Elvis 1962
                                                                                          68 x 58 in.
                                                                                          Coll: Galerie Bischofsberger, Zurich

                                                                                          by the seventies, but were in 1963 still
                                                                                          underground and understood only by the
                                                                                          vanguard of emerging cultural consciousness.
                                                                                          True, new heroes have since been thrown up to
                                                                                          replace the old ones, and to a younger
                                                                                          generation Presley and Brando are accounted as
                                                                                          `oldies'; but they represent in retrospect almost
                                                                                          the only subjects of Warhol's art that were not
                                                                                          blatantly obvious at the time he painted them.
                                                                                          With Elvis Warhol predicted what would
                                                                                          happen to music, not only in America but
                                                                                          elsewhere. And with his Brando, and its
                                                                                          evocation of the Wild Ones, he again predicted
                                                                                          the widespread revulsion against the existing
                                                                                          order in America that produced six years later
                                                                                          the movie Easy Rider." Whatever its
                                                                                          achievement it is true, as Michael Chanin
                                                                                          asserts, that the measure of the failure of this
                                                                                          movie is the incidental revelation that the only
                                                                                          freedom existent in America is of the kind
                                                                                          money can buy.12  q

      for the individual to search for his own future,   significance probably meant little other than   1 No gallery records exist on this particular exhibition,
                                                                                          but the following works are mentioned in various
      not passively, but aggressively, with     being 'hip'. But to a younger generation the new   reviews of the exhibition: modular and single
      commitment and passion. But if Warhol     Rock dances gave a genuine expression of almost   Campbell's soup cans, Coca-Cola match covers,
     approaches his men differently from the    tribal identification, the rhythm of the music   Martinson's coffee, several portraits including Troy
      women, the choice is forced upon him, for the   and dance becoming an intensely shared   Donahue and Marilyn Monroe as well as Presley, and
                                                                                          at least one of the newspaper images (129 Die).
     authenticity men aspire to, and sometimes   experience.                              2  The Liz paintings were exhibited in the back
     fulfill, is of a quality most women in American   Since 1962, and the first appearance of Elvis,   gallery of the Ferns, concurrent with the Elvis
     society are not often given the opportunity to   the face of America changed. The era of 'cool',   exhibition (see installation photograph).
                                                                                          'Another image not belonging to this group but
     realize for themselves.                    with which Warhol is so closely identified in life   originating from the same set of screens exists.
        Warhol painted the Elvis series at a moment   style, is over. A new generation of young   Titled Elvis I and II and dated 1964 ( ?), it is in the
                                                                                          collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Consisting
     when Rock and Roll had almost lost its minority   Americans has sprung into being whose   of two panels butting one against the other, but with a
     character and had gained wide popularity   principle tool is a direct and active confrontation   small space in between, the painting can be easily
     primarily through a series of revolutionary   of social injustice.                   recognized since two, non-overlapping and
     dancing styles, of which the most notable    When Warhol selected Presley and Brando   symmetrically positioned figures of Presley are
                                                                                          screened on each canvas, one of which is black on
     (though somewhat contrived) early form was   to focus upon, and in 1963 made the Elvis and   silver, and the other multi-coloured. A number of
     the 'Twist'. Rock dance styles received    Marlon paintings, he acted as a prophet of the   photographs exist of this painting showing the silver
     enthusiastic acceptance, even among the so-  future : he predicted the feelings that were to   panel positioned on the left. However, the back of the
                                                                                          painting is marked to indicate that it should be in the
     called cultural elite, to whom the sociological    become widespread among younger Americans   reverse order.
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