Warhol and Fashion
“Fashion wasn’t what you wore someplace anymore; it was the whole reason for going.”Andy Warhol
Gagosian Paris opened a new exhibition on August 3 of photographs taken by Andy Warhol from the 1970s to the mid-1980s. Opening reception: Thursday, September 8, 6–8 pm; 9 rue de Castiglione, Paris.
“Taken primarily during his trips to Paris, the images capture notable figures in the artist’s inner circle, including many key names in fashion, and depict well-known locations in the city.”
An extensive collection
The works come together to form one of the most extensive selections of Warhol’s photographs in private hands. “Best known for using a Polaroid camera, he also took photo booth strips in the 1960s. These became the source material for paintings reflecting his preoccupation with mechanical reproduction, serial repetition, and the removal of the artist’s hand.”
Warhol, Paris, Fashion, and Celebrities
The Gagosian Paris exhibition’s photographs are organized into four thematic parts: Warhol, Paris, Fashion, and Celebrities. Unique silver gelatin prints, self-portraits, views of Parisian streets, buildings, monuments, and evocations of the capital’s fashion scene—and Polaroid portraits of French and international actors, designers, and models enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame.
The Warhol section of the exhibition includes two self-portraits that reflect the artist’s enduring fascination with his image and its pop-cultural mediation. Andy Warhol on Façade Magazine cover (c. 1977) depicts a sheet of prints of the titular composition, which features a 1977 photograph by Joël Le Bon of Warhol with model Edwige Belmore, aka the “Queen of Punk.” The Polaroid Self-Portrait in Fright Wig (1986) belongs to a series showing the artist sporting a wild silver mop of artificial hair that contrasts his pallid skin with his sunglasses and the photo’s black background.
Parisian Fashion History
The composition’s overwhelming drama and mystery anticipate Warhol’s death just a few months later, in February 1987. Among numerous photographs parading the status of Paris as a global fashion hub are portraits—some formal, others more candid—of celebrated designers, including Azzedine Alaïa, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hubert de Givenchy, and Sonia Rykiel.
Also on view are several photographs commissioned by Vogue—including two multi-shot collages, James Brown and Model (1984) and John Sex, Andre Walker and Two Unidentified Men (c. 1984)—and examples of the perennially business-savvy Warhol’s commissioned Polaroids for brands such as Halston (Shoes ) and Levi’s (Blue Jeans ).
Finally, among the glittering subjects of the exhibition’s Celebrities section is Warhol’s close friend and “Queen of the Night,” Régine Zylberberg. A 1977 Polaroid shows the legendary red-haired club maven—she established the world’s first-ever discotheque, Chez Régine, in Paris and pioneered the use of twin turntables as a tool for musical flow—wearing a strapless party dress and gazing over her shoulder at the viewer with a mischievous eye.
Paris and Fashion
Opening reception: Thursday, September 8, 6–8 pm
September 8–October 12, 2022
9 rue de Castiglione, Paris