Ah, The Arts: Hanging With Warhol

You wouldn’t think my Shakespeare-worshipping, Jane Austen-loving, Mozart-adoring, Van Gogh-displaying, Audrey Hepburn-admiring, Downton Abbey-watching wife would be a fan of avant-garde ’60s artist Andy Warhol, but she is. She even dragged me through the Warhol Museum when we were in Pittsburgh for LawyerCon a few years back.

That’s reason No. 5,497,874 why I love her.

And so it was that last night we drove across town to attend the opening night reception for The Velvet Years, 1965-67: Warhol’s Factory – Photographs by Stephen Shore  at the Foundry Art Centre.

As you might guess from the title, it’s an “exhibition of photographs taken by Stephen Shore between 1965 and 1967, depicting the scene at Andy Warhol’s studio, the Factory,” according to the press release.

I’ll let whoever wrote the press release continue to do my work for me:

Andy Warhol and Lou Reed

Shore captures a time when Warhol was emerging as a prominent visual artist and avant-garde filmmaker. The Factory Shore depicts is populated with a diverse group of musicians, artists, actors, writers and aspiring cultural sophisticates, including The Velvet Underground. This Exhibit was organized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, Ohio.

The exhibit takes up most of the Foundry’s main hall. The framed black-and-white photos hang neatly in a row down one long hall with a few along the opposite wall. All the Warhol gang is there — Lou Reed, Nico, Edie Sedgwick ,,, I’m losing the kids, aren’t I? Look it up on Wikipedia.

The exhibit is complemented by some other ’60s treasures. At the end of the hall is a recreation of a 1960s living room that’s pretty authentic based on our memories. In the middle of the hall are three bean bag chairs next to three iPods where you can listen to people reciting the poetry of the time (I’d have put some Velvet Underground on one of those iPods, but I don’t run the show). Vintage record covers hang along one wall.

In one corner a space covered in silver is set aside for people to leave their comments in black marker. I gave one to The Son and let him put on some flourishes. Go check it out and see if you can figure out what he did.

As it was opening night, there was the usual spread of appetizers — this time with a ’60s taste. Go for the art, stay for the snacks, I always say. It was a good spread.

It should be noted that there is none of Warhol’s actual work on exhibit, just photographs, but it’s still an interesting snapshot on an intriguing moment in time. I’m told this is the last time the exhibit will be displayed before it goes back to the Rock and Roll Museum and put away in storage, so check it out while you have a chance. The Wife really loved it.

“The Velvet Years, 1965-67: Warhol’s Factory – Photographs by Stephen Shore” runs through Dec. 14 at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles. Admission is free. http://foundryartcentre.org/exhibitions/StephenShoreExhibition.aspx  

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