Catalog of the exhibition by James Rondeau and Sheena Wagstaff with contributions by Clare Bell, Yve-Alain Bois, and others
Art Institute of Chicago/ Tate Modern/Yale University Press, 368 pp., $65.00
McNay Art Museum/DAP/ Distributed Art Publishers, 79 pp., $29.95
One of the more memorable encounters in the history of modern art occurred late in 1961 when the period’s preeminent avant-garde dealer, Leo Castelli, paid a call at the Upper East Side Manhattan townhouse-cum-studio of Andy Warhol, whose pioneering Pop paintings based on cartoon characters including Dick Tracy, the Little King, Nancy, Popeye, and Superman had caught the eye of Castelli’s gallery director, Ivan Karp, who in turn urged his boss to go have a look for himself. Warhol, eager to make the difficult leap from commercial artist to “serious” painter, decades later recalled his crushing disappointment when Castelli coolly told him, “Well, it’s unfortunate, the timing, because I just took on Roy Lichtenstein, and the two of you in the same gallery would collide.”
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