A shy, pale youth from working-class Pittsburgh, Andy Warhol became a popular commercial illustrator in 1950s New York, then a successful fine artist. With his depictions of Campbell soup cans and dollar bills, pop art broke the grip of abstract expressionism on the marketplace. Bourdon ( Pop ism: The Warhol ’60s ) is especially good on these early years. This chunky, lavishly illustrated monograph also documents the trendy artistic and social whirl at Warhol’s Factory and covers his avant-garde filmmaking in detail. Bourdon sees Warhol as an innovator who injected a freshness into portrait, still life and genre. He argues that Warhol’s paintings of the 1970s held up a mirror to the “me” generation, while in the ’80s he became a post-modernist, recycling familiar motifs in novel contexts.\nCopyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.\nFrom Library Journal\nWarhol, the self-promoting “king of Pop” who pictorially chronicled American society–its faces, products, and events–may be one of this century’s least understood artists. Given the recent spate of Warhol reminiscences, this biography is a good value: Words and pictures clarify his life and career, and the coffee-table format, offering over 300 reproductions that include personal photos and art–is visually satisfying. The author is an art critic who was also a colleague and long-time Warhol chum. His perspective is comprehensive, informed, and blunt without being too gossipy or sensational. The text, based on first-hand knowledge of Warhol as well as extensive interviews with his family and friends, conveys Warhol’s struggle to find his own niche in the art world, his attempts to discover new forms, his role as a cult figure and mentor, and his personal idiosyncrasies.\n- Robin Kaplan, Los Angeles\nCopyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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