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Warhol, Andy (1926–1987) By Ahern, Mal

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM206-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 18 March 2018, from


Andy Warhol was a painter, filmmaker, producer, and multi-media artist. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania and worked in New York City from the 1940s onward. He started his career as a commercial artist before moving into fine-art painting in the 1950s. Between 1962 and 1968, he made hundreds of films, ranging from a series of short ‘‘Screen Tests,’’ to the notorious, eight-hour film Empire (1965), which comprised a series of stable, slow motion shots of the Empire State Building. Warhol’s films were notorious for their spare aesthetic and banal subject matter: he created films of people eating, sleeping, getting haircuts, and simply staring at the camera. His sound films, like Poor Little Rich Girl (1965, starring Edie Sedgwick) and Screen Test #2 (1965, starring Mario Montez) show their stars sparring with an off-screen voice.

Warhol’s work was also notable for the fact that it depicted the lives and personalities of Warhol’s friends and acquaintances, most of whom were a part of New York City’s queer ‘‘underground.’’ His two-screen, three-plus hour epic Chelsea Girls became a minor hit because of its frank depiction of queer sex, cross-dressing, and drug use. After Warhol was shot in 1968, he retreated from filmmaking, but continued to create paintings and other artworks.

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Citing this article:

Ahern, Mal. "Warhol, Andy (1926–1987)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 18 Mar. 2018 doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM206-1

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