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Dimensions:
200 × 150 mm
256 pages
Format:
Hardback
ISBN:
9781780231921
Illustrations:
150 illustrations, 45 in colour
Published:
03 Mar 2014

Citizen Warhol Blake Stimson

More than any other figure throughout art’s long history, Andy Warhol has attracted fans, aficionados, enthusiasts, experts, critics, art historians, philosophers and many thoughtful others who have not just reported on the details of his life’s work but have struggled to make sense of it as an enigma.

Citizen Warhol carries this inquiry forward by unpacking the lasting effects of Warhol’s most deep-seated influences – his Byzantine-rite religiosity and its relationship to the retinue of Roman Catholics that starred in his films and staffed his studio, his art training in an institutional crucible dominated by Andrew Carnegie’s Gilded Age theory of art, his powerful identification with Shirley Temple’s frolic in the adult world under the cover of childhood, his formative dalliance with the guilt-ridden sensibility of arch-decadent and Catholic convert Aubrey Beardsley, and his triumphs as a commercial artist working in a professional world still beholden to the Red Decade ideals of the 1930s as a ‘cheaper Ben Shahn’, the leading Social Realist artist.

Each of these underappreciated influences were fundamental to the life and legacy of the mature Warhol, an artist best understood as the Leonardo of our age who, more than any other, has given formative poetic expression to the epoch of the global consumer.

‘this book is not just another Warhol biography . . .  Each chapter delves deeply into a major theme theme present in Warhol’s life, work, or persona, and elucidates the ways in which these themes molded him into the figure who changed modern art irrevocably . . . Amid the wealth of writings and musings on the enigmatic mind of Andy Warhol, this volume brings a fresh perspective on and novel insights into the life of Warhol. Recommended’ – Choice

Citizen Warhol searches for origins, beginning with the problem of major Warhol – postmodern Warhol – and tracing its development through the various and often overlooked minor Warhols. In the diligence of its searching, however, this  fascinating book opens the door for reconsiderations of minor Warhols to come, and perhaps even for a minoritization of major Warhol: “An escape for language, for music, for writing. What we call pop . . .”  The remarkable paradox at the heart of Warhol’s work – the paradox that Citizen Warhol so brilliantly illuminates – is that a voice and vision this strange and queer and minor could be taken to exemplify American postwar culture.’ – Art Journal

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Blake Stimson is Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois, a specialist in post-war and contemporary art history and author of The Pivot of the World: Photography and Its Nation (2006).

PREFACE: THE CITIZENSHIP OF ARTISTS

INTRODUCTION: AMERICA REALLY IS THE BEAUTIFUL

PART ONE: INTERIORS

1. JESUS CHRIST

2. ANDREW CARNEGIE

3. SHIRLEY TEMPLE

4. AUBREY BEARDSLEY

5. BEN SHAHN

PART TWO: EXTERIORS

6. ANDY PAPERBAG

7. THE NOTHINGNESS HIMSELF

8. DRELLA

9. CITIZEN WARHOL

REFERENCES

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

PHOTO ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

INDEX