Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures focuses on the artist’s cinematic portraits and non-narrative, silent, and black-and-white films from the mid-1960s. Warhol’s Screen Tests reveal his lifelong fascination with the cult of celebrity, comprising a visual almanac of the 1960s downtown avant-garde scene. Included in the exhibition are such Warhol “Superstars” as Edie Sedgwick, Nico, and Baby Jane Holzer; poet Allen Ginsberg; musician Lou Reed; actor Dennis Hopper; author Susan Sontag; and collector Ethel Scull, among others. Other early films included in the exhibition are Sleep (1963), Eat (1963), and Kiss (1963–64). Twelve Screen Tests in this exhibition are projected on the gallery walls at large scale and within frames, some measuring seven feet high and nearly nine feet wide, while Kiss is shown at the rear of the gallery in a 50-seat movie theater created for the exhibition.
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. It was first conceived at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), by Mary Lea Bandy, then Chief Curator, Department of Film and Media, and exhibited in 2003 as Andy Warhol: Screen Tests. With the addition of Warhol’s silent films, the show debuted as Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in 2004. Over the past five years Klaus Biesenbach has organized the tour of the exhibition to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Miami, Moscow, and Prague.