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Arts & Culture

The tragedies of Andy Warhol on display at the McNay

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Andy Warhol, Three Marilyns, 1962. Acrylic, screen-printing ink, and graphite on linen, 14 × 33½ in. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.60. © 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Many of his subjects, like President John Kennedy's widow Jackie Kennedy, were associated with tragedy when he made their portraits. Others would eventually find a tragic death. Warhol announced that he had quit painting in 1966 to focus on film. Even after he returned to painting in 1971 (when incidentally, his prices started to go up) he continued making movies. Largely ignored now, at the time they brought him much attention, and money, too. One of his first "super-stars" was Edie Sedgwick, the youngest daughter of a New England blue-blood. She is seen in a mid-'60s film portraying an actress, primping in a mirror. Edie, like many attracted to Warhol, was emotionally unstable. She died of an overdose after going through her inheritance and leaving the Factory. Warhol was seen by many as rapacious, an emotionless user of people. One who shared this view was Valerie Solanas. On June 3, 1968, she shot him. Warhol was declared dead on the operating table but was miraculously revived. The attempted murder made headlines, only to be eclipsed three days later by the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Like his second — and final — death, it was good for business. His prices climbed higher and higher. •

Andy Warhol: Fame and Misfortune

12-5pm Sun
10am-4pm Tue, Wed, Fri
10am-9pm Thur
10am-5pm Sat
McNay Art Museum
6000 N New Braunfels
(210) 824-5368
On view to May 20

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