Bold Red Art for Your Home
A time capsule from the zenith of New York’s 1950-60's art seen.
Its cards offer an unusually intimate glimpse into one of the most exciting moments of America’s artistic heritage.
This Rolodex belonged to an art dealer or agent—or perhaps a critic (but not the then all-powerful Clement Greenberg, as he is here, cited affectionately as “Clem”). Whichever, the owner was connected at the highest level. He or she (possibly the latter, as there is a card for “Louise Dressmaker”) has the number for Andy Warhol’s Factory and home; Mark Rothko’s home and studio; Joseph Cornell’s home on Utopia Parkway in Queens; Robert Indiana’s home; Robert Motherwell’s; Frank Stella’s.
The owner apparently lived or worked on the upper East Side, as there is a concentration of local cleaners and liquor stores and other neighborhood necessities.
The Rolodex seems entirely complete—there is scarcely room for another card among the hundreds here, which contain the names of many less-well-known artists of the day, and some famous ones not so closely associated with the New York art scene (Marisol, Jean Dubuffet). Here too are the prominent galleries of the day (Leo Castelli, of course), the leading art publications, and figures prominent in the non-painting arts (the composer John Cage, Rodgers and Hammerstein) as well as ones just generally prominent (Rockefeller, John D. III; Rockefeller, Nelson).
Signature: Not signed
Private Collection, NY
Hemphill Collection, NY
Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.
American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
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One of the most influential composers of the 20th century and a leading figure in the post-war avant-garde, John Cage was a music theorist, writer, and artist, as well as a composer. His most famous piece, 4’33” (1952), consisted of musicians doing nothing but listening to the sounds in a room for the duration of 4 minutes and 33 seconds. For Cartridge Music (1960), he amplified small household objects in a live performance. Influenced by Indian philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Duchamp’s readymades, Cage championed chance procedures in music, incorporating found sounds, noise, and alternative instruments into his compositions. Two important early collaborators were the painter Robert Rauschenberg and the dancer Merce Cunningham, who was also his romantic partner for most of their lives. Cage published his first book, Silence, in 1961 and, in the 1970s, began to transform literary works, including those of Joyce and Thoreau, into music.
American, 1912-1992, Los Angeles, California, based in New York, New York
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