1928 Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were immigrants from Mikova located in north-eastern Czechoslovakia.
1936 Andy Warhol becomes ill with chorea, which is an illness affecting the nervous system.
1942 Andy Warhol’s father dies. His mother didn’t allow him to attend the funeral, she was afraid that it may lead to a reoccurrence of his nervous condition.
1945 He graduates from Schenley High School and enrols in the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, where he studies pictorial design to become a commercial illustrator.
1949 He graduates with Bachelor of Fine Arts. Warhol moves to Manhattan and changes his surname to Warhol. One of his first free-lance jobs was for the magazine Glamour; he also did design for album covers, Christmas cards, and ad campaigns. All this lead to him being a very successful commercial artist during the 1950’s. It was around this time he begins to wear his infamous wig to cover his premature balding.
Glamour magazine 1949This was Warhol’s big break.
1952 The Art Directors Club presents Warhol with his first award for graphics (a radio program called The Nation’s Nightmare, which was about narcotics and crime).
Miller shoe advertisement 1956Warhol won a distinctive merit from the New York Art Directors Club for his shoe advertisements
Here are some early examples of Andy’s art work. Judy Garland, 1956 Collage, blotted line and gold - leaf
The Cupids 1956 Blotted line and watercolour on paper.
Hot Dog, 1957/58 Blotted line and watercolour on paper
Piglet, 1959 Watercolour and blotted line on paper,
1959 Warhol buys a townhouse in Manhattan and his mother moves in with him.
1962 Warhol has his first solo pop exhibition in West Hollywood. This exhibition featured 32 canvases of his famous Campbell’s soup cans. Later in the same year he does his first silk screens. The first silk screen featured Troy Donahue, later followed by Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and the Mona Lisa. Andy Warhol has his first solo show in New York at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery.
Campbell's Soup Cans 1962Synthetic polmer paint on canvass
Andy Does a series of images using morbid subject matter which is thought of as being a new era in the history of art.
Andy Warhol, 129 DIE IN JET (Plane Crash), 1962.
“I guess it was the crash picture, the front page of the newspaper: 129 DIE. I was also painting the Marilyn's. I realised that everything I was doing must have been Death. It was Christmas or Labour Day – a holiday – and every time you turned on the radio they said something like, “4 million are going to die.” That started it.” Andy Warhol, Interview with G.H. Swenson, What is Pop Art?. Art News, 62 (November 1963). P60.
“Actually you know it wasn’t the idea of the accidents and things like that... I thought of all the people who worked on the pyramids and... Well it would be easier to do a painting of people who died in car crashes because sometimes you know, you never know who they are.” David Baily, BBC Interview with Andy Warhol, Transcript (London, 1972).
“But when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn’t really have any effect.” Andy Warhol, with G.R. Swenson, What is Pop Art?, Art News, 62 (November 1963), P60
Double Silver Disaster, 1963Acrylic and liquitex in silkscreen on canvass
1963 He completes his first film titled “sleep”. The film is edited to last 8 hours, which is approximately the scientifically accepted length of time for normal sleep. He also films “kiss” later the same year.
1964 He started the first Factory, located in East 47th Street. The first works of art created were “a series of food boxes”. Warhol has his first sculpture show at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery; it was titled “The Personality of the Artist” and included his Brillo boxes, Heinz Tomato Ketchup cases, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Mott's Apple Sauce. He also has his first European show in Paris.
“I’d been thrilled having Kennedy as President; he was handsome, young, smart – but it didn’t bother me that much that he was dead. What bothered me was the way the television and radio were programming everybody to feel so sad.” Popism: The Warhol, 60s, New York, 1980, P. 60
“I’m sure I’m going to look in the mirror and see nothing. People are always calling me a mirror, and if a mirror looks into a mirror, what is there to see?” Andy Warhol. The Philosophy Of Warhol/ From A To B And Back Again
Andy Warhol working in his factory creating the Brillo boxes
W, Heinz Tomato Ketchup Boxes (stacked, get it?), 1964
1965 Warhol had one-man exhibitions in Europe throughout the year, including Paris, Milan, Turin, Essen and Stockholm. In May he announces his retirement in Paris from painting to devote more time to making movies. Andy meets Ultra Violet. According to Warhol she walked into the Factory dressed in a pink Channel suit and bought one of his big Flowers paintings.
“The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television – you don't feel anything.” Andy Warhol, The Philosophy Of Andy Warhol, (From to and back again), New York, 1975, P91
1966 Warhol releases the film “The Chelsea Girls”, which was his first major commercial success and catapulted many of its actors into superstardom. 1967 Andy received notice from the landlord that the building the factory was in was being demolished, they moved to another loft at 33 Union Square.
1968 Valerie Solanas walks into the Factory and shoots Warhol three times and Mario Amaya once. On arrival at hospital Warhol is pronounced clinically dead, he is dead for one and a half minutes before they can revive him. He undergoes a five and a half hour operation, is in a critical condition, but survives.
“Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.” Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, (From to and back again), New York, 1975, P.91.
1970 Warhol has his first retrospective exhibition in Pasadena, it then travels the world.
1972 Andy Warhol’s Mum dies. He never really acknowledged her death. As late as 1976 when friends asked about his mother Andy said, “Oh, she’s great. But she doesn’t get out of bed much.”
1974 The factory moves to its new location on Broadway.
1975 Warhol toured America to promote his book “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol From A to B and back again”.
1981 He creates his famous “Myths” series which depicts “pop culture” icons in American society. He also begins work creating prints of masterpieces, such as Botticelli’s Venus, or Goethe’s portrait.
1986 Warhol inaugurates his series “camouflages” which is based on mimicking the military pattern on various images. He also creates his famous prints dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last supper”.
Andy Warhol mass produced art and admits to churning out as many images in a day as possible. Most the images shown here have been mass produced and have evolved over his life time. In this slide show I have merely scratched the surface, so I will briefly show you some more of his famous works.
1987 Warhol begins to feel unwell and is told he needs an operation. He checks into New York Hospital’s Baker Pavilion under the name Bob Roberts. He died on February 22nd due to complications from the surgery. Death: “I don’t believe in it because you’re not around to know that it’s happened. I can’t say anything about it because I’m not prepared for it.” Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, ( From A to B and back again), New York, 1975, P.123.