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Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 27, 2009

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 27, 2009
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Book Description

A major reassessment of the most influential and controversial American artist of the second half of the twentieth century

To his critics, he was the cynical magus of a movement that debased high art and reduced it to a commodity. To his admirers, he was the most important artist since Picasso. Indisputably, Andy Warhol redefined what art could be. As the quintessential Pop artist, he razed the barrier between high and low culture, taking as his subject matter comic books, tabloids, Hollywood publicity photos, and supermarket products. Through his films and the exotic milieu of the Factory, he exhibited an unprecedented talent for publicity and outrage, revealing an underworld of speed freaks, transvestites, and glittering, doomed superstars. Beneath the deceptively simple surface of his silk screens, the old hierarchies of art collapsed. Warhol's x-ray vision exposed the garish, vulgar, and irrepressible new world of 1960s America.

Focusing on that influential decade, Pop disentangles the myths of Warhol--fraught with contradictions--from the man he truly was, and offers a vivid, entertaining, and provocative look at the legendary artist's personal and artistic evolution during his most productive and innovative years. A detailed, insightful chronicle of his rise, as well as a critical examination of Warhol's most important works, this ground-breaking book sheds light on a man who remains an icon of the twentieth century. Drawing on brand-new sources--including extensive original interviews and insight from those who knew him best--Pop offers the most dynamic, comprehensive portrait ever written of the man who changed the way we see the world.

Art from Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol
(Click to See Full Image)

Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn, 1962. Silkscreen ink on synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 83 1⁄4" × 57". Gift of Philip Johnson. Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2009 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ARS, New York. Digital image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, New York. Andy Warhol, Silver Liz, 1963. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas, 40" × 40 1⁄2". Collection of the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. © 2009 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ARS, New York. Photo credit: The Andy Warhol Foundation, Inc./Art Resource, New York. Andy Warhol, “Flowers,” 1964. Screenprint printed on white paper. 23" × 23". © 2009 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo credit: The Andy Warhol Foundation, Inc./Art Resource, New York. Bob Dylan’s screen test. © Billy Name/Ovoworks. Andy in front of Serendipity, 1961. Photo by John Ardoin. Courtesy of Serendipity 3.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Here is Andy Warhol in full: open to suggestion, voyeuristic, given to “gallows humor,” driven by “revenge, anger, and scorn,” and determined to glorify the commonplace, “infuriate the critics, . . . puzzle the public, and titillate the media.” With unprecedented access to remarkable archival materials, the gleanings of 139 interviews, extraordinary analytic powers, and a mutual gift for compelling prose, distinguished arts writers Scherman and Dalton, who knew Warhol, present the most forthright and nuanced portrait yet of the artist who rejected originality and technical virtuosity as criteria for fine art, and focused instead on manipulating potent commercial images. Scherman and Dalton cover in stinging detail Warhol’s rough Pittsburgh youth and the afflictions that made sexual relationships so fraught. Inlaid with sharp profiles of numerous pivotal figures, including assistants Gerard Malanga and Billy Name, gallery director Ivan Karp, art historian Henry Geldzahler, and “It Girl” Edie Sedgwick, this riveting reconsideration assesses Warhol’s place in New York’s gay society as well as its art world, and chronicles the complex dynamics of Warhol’s amphetamine-fueled art and film studio, the infamous Factory. By comprehensively portraying the ferociously influential artist in his prime, up to his nearly fatal shooting in 1967, Scherman and Dalton reveal the essential Warhol in all his contradictions, torment, calculation, and brilliance. --Donna Seaman

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006621243X
  • ASIN: B0058M6TE6
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,186,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With Pop Art entering its dotage, here come the book that delivers its fascinating youth and adolescence. Authors Scherman and Dalton, who clearly have earned themselves a Pulitzer if there is any justice in this world, form a genius tag team. Dalton, the insider, the eye witness, delivers the juicy gossip. Scherman, the talented journalist, delivers one of the great portraits of the American art world. The book focuses on the 1960s, the decade when the Pop artists of New York City completed the work of the Abstract Expressionists in the previous decade and knocked Europe off its pedestal to claim the center of the art universe.

Of course, at its center is the Dada of it all, Mr. Andy Warhola. We get a brief background of Andy's sickly childhood in Pittsburgh, where he escaped from a world of crowded immigrant flats and skin ailments by immersing himself in his mother's Hollywood fanzines. We follow him in his late teens to Carnegie Tech where he is both thought a fraud and a genius. There Andy discovers his penchant for shock with paintings that explore nose-picking and cross-dressing.

After graduation, Andy moves to New York and his fierce climb to the top begins. Warhol's ambition is shameless. He courts critics, dealers, Jasper Johns and anyone else that can move his career forward in the slightest. But he has the talent to match. His early work has him painting blow-ups of comic strips at least a year before the emergence of Roy Lichtenstein. Warhol, in the eyes of the authors, succeeds not because he hitches his wagon to the Pop tidal wave as much as he is the historical and personal embodiment of its ethos. The real achievement of this book, however, is that by the end the high priest of camp emerges as a hero as worthy as anything the Greeks had in their art.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Mehegan VINE VOICE on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is fabulous. It's the first book that really answered for me the question "What is Pop Art?" I had often inquired of others and researched Pop Art, but was often confused, until reading this book. The detail and evolution of Andy Warhol's life and art is vividly depicted. He's a fascinating character -- an extremely ambitious, hard-working man, masked beneath a nonchalant and detached outward persona.

Andy often contradicted himself: describing Pop Art as only depicting "the boringness of life" and elsewhere declaring Pop Art "as portraying the beauty of the ordinary". But Warhol's genius emerged early on when he was merely illustrating shoe ads for I. Miller Shoes. His unusual flair was apparent and some artists actually collected these images to study.

If you appreciate Pop Art and the era, and Andy Warhol -- get this book. Kudos to the authors -- you did a great job!
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Format: Paperback
Was never a major fan of Warhol's work but am intrigued by the era of Pop Art and the NYC Factory scene with these creative artists (Warhol, Lou Reed etc). The book delivers on all these points. Great anecdotes about Warhol some of which will make you laugh out loud. In the end, I got a much better understanding of the often sad, stunted emotional life of Warhol, and the origins of Pop Art as it grew out of the Abstract Expressionists movement. Recommended for Warhol fans and anyone intrigued by this fertile time in US history.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By a guy on November 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very informative and well-researched book with a lot of interesting and verified takes on a very complex Guy we will never really know.
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5 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Son of May on January 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act."

The authors write, "When she left the Chelsea, Solanas had asked Mrs. Wilson if she could keep her laundry at her apartment. `She showed up with a bulky-looking flowered cloth bag and put it under the bed. One morning Valerie arrived at my mother's door, 208 West 23rd Street,' said Wilson, `saying she had come for her laundry'" (Page 421). No one ever said "bulky-looking," that is an editor making an event explicit but truly false. This passage sounds like a rewrite by someone who uses another journalist's notes, without getting confirmation from people who were interviewed. The point of the anecdote has been blunted by not understanding the deception about a gun. Valerie Solanas often visited May Wilson, and as often asked to 'borrow' $5 or $10. She asked to keep her laundry under the bed, but she arrived with non-bulky flower-print cloth bag which she said was her laundry, and shoved it under the bed. The bag contained no laundry, but one pistol. To get laughs, May Wilson would pull the bag out, then press the cloth to outline the gun - in a studio-apartment where children often played (see "twin baby daughters," page 134). She would say, "This is Valerie's laundry!" Thus a "feminist," Valerie, deceived a friendly older woman who even fed her. On June 3,1968, Valerie retrieved her gun. While exploitation of a generous woman is added to attempted murders, add "exploitation" to this book. If a book is untrustworthy on one page, then...
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