PRINT February 1981


POPism: The Warhol '60s and Picasso, Photographs from 1951-1972

POPism: The Warhol ’60s, by Andy Warhol & Pat Hackett, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980, 192 pages, 8 illustrations.

Andy has done it again. After hitting the top with Pop and movies and socialites and superstars, reinventing art pompier for our time, and defining celebrity once and for all, Warhol, with collaborator Pat Hackett, has told a story called POPism: The Warhol ’60s. It is the best book I’ve read about what it was like then to be involved with contemporary art and to be in New York.

With a cast that includes most of the painters, writers, dealers and collectors that seemed to “matter,” and all of the drugs that gave the ’60s their wired, fevered glow, POPism is mostly powerful gossip. But Warhol and Hackett have strung their glittering anecdotes on a storyline—a hardheaded, sensible, talented man makes good in a business that pretends it couldn’t care less about money and success: “To be successful as an artist, you have to have your work shown in a good gallery for the same reason that, say, Dior never sold his originals from a counter in Woolworth’s . . . . you need a good gallery so the ‘ruling class’ will notice you and spread enough confidence in your future so collectors will buy you, whether for five hundred dollars or fifty thousand.” This book is entertaining and devoid of can’t even if it makes you madder than hell.

Picasso, Photographs from 1951-1972, by Edward Quinn, New York: Barron’s, 1980, 137 pages, 127 photographs.

In these times of lumbering, buxom art books, Picasso, Photographs from 1951–1972, a hand-sized paperback, is mercifully unpretentious. Edward Quinn’s photographs of Picasso at work and play have been reproduced without much attention to quality, but, then, to begin with they weren’t carefully photographed. Quinn’s genius—if it may be called that—does not reside so much in how he took the individual photographs as it does in the fact that—as the text reveals—Picasso liked him and let him shoot at will.

Most of the 127 pictures in this book were taken when Picasso was in his seventies, a few in his eighties, and only one when he’d reached ninety. Instead of being ‘a record of Picasso’s last 20 years, as the title suggests, the book is mostly concerned with the years from 1953—when Picasso and Françoise Gilot broke up—to 1961, when he left La Californie and moved to his last home, the villa Le Mas Notre Dame de Vie at Mougins. Here Quinn shows us Picasso with his sons and daughters, with Paul, with Maia, with Claude and Paloma; Picasso with Gilot in an early shot at the pottery in Vallauris; Picasso with Jacqueline; Picasso with Cocteau; Picasso at the bullfights in Arles with Dominguin; Picasso with his tailor; Picasso wearing funny hats; Picasso with his dealer, with Jacques Prevert, and, occasionally, with his painting, sculpture and ceramics.

Parker Hodges