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Andy Warhol and the Business of Art

Andy Warhol understood that artistic success in the modern world requires not just talent and hard work, it requires business savvy. As he once said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.”

Preparation for that professional art world — the one Warhol understood so well — is exactly what Christie’s Education courses offer its students. So it’s fitting, perhaps, that faculty instructors Véronique Chagnon-Burke and Julie Reiss will offer a new and unique short course on Warhol’s art and market starting this October. Part lecture series, part behind-the-scenes pass to a wide range of art world institutions (including the Museum of Modern Art, Christie’s and the Lower East Side Printshop), this course will present Warhol as you’ve never seen him before.

Here, they recall their favorite Warhol moments and give us a preview of course highlights.

 

What’s your first memory involving Warhol or his work?

JULIE REISS: I grew up a block away from Max’s Kansas City, a restaurant frequented by Warhol and his entourage. When my mother didn’t feel like cooking, she would take my sister and me there for the free chickpeas and chicken wings. We were always the only kids there so I didn’t look around much, but I was probably ten feet away from Andy and didn’t even know it!

New York is filled with Warhol’s old haunts: Where should people go to retrace his steps?

JR: Start at 33 Union Square West, the second site of Warhol’s Factory. Continue up to Midtown and Serendipity 3, one of Warhol’s favorite sweet shops. End your tour at Castelli Gallery, now located at 18 E. 77th St. While you’re there, walk past the original location of the Leo Castelli Gallery at 4 E. 77th St., where Warhol held several shows.

If you could travel back to any moment from Warhol’s career or personal life, what would it be? Why?

VÉRONIQUE CHAGNON-BURKE: The opening of the “Flower” show at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1964 and the dinner Ethel and Robert Scull hosted following the show in their Fifth Avenue apartment. It’d be fascinating to see the major New York art world players of the time — all of whom were at the top of their game — and Andy would have been at the center of this.

julie RESIZEveronique RESIZE 2

Christie’s Education faculty instructors, Julie Reiss
and Véronique Chagnon-Burke; © Christie’s Images

 

Tell us more about the course. What are you looking forward to the most?

VC: The course will give people behind-the-scenes access to Christie’s — we’ll be speaking with Christie’s specialists throughout the course about everything from curating the Andy Warhol @ Christie’s online sales to the ins-and-outs of Warhol’s market.

JR: We’ll also be visiting the Lower East Side Printshop, where a master printmaker will demonstrate the silkscreen process firsthand. Through our exclusive, private tour at the Museum of Modern Art, we’ll explore some of Warhol’s most important masterpieces.

What makes this course unique?

VC: The focus of this course — understanding not only Warhol’s works but also his market — is something you won’t find anywhere else.

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ANDY WARHOL, Self-Portrait (1966), offset lithograph on silver-coated paper, 578 x 578 mm.