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SPACE AROUND WARHOL

ANDY WARHOL’S SENSE of space was a missing element at MoMA’s recent Warhol retrospective. Anyone who has seen photographs of installations in which Warhol had a hand, or who has read the chapter called “Atmosphere” in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, knows how sensitive he was to the nuances of physical context. I want to add to those words and pictures some recollections of how he and his work occupied space in that moment when both were launched from the space of art into the more diffuse realm of celebrity.

I stepped into Warhol space through two shows that were part of that launching process: the 1965 retrospective organized by Sam Green at the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, and Leo Castelli’s show of Warhol’s Mylar clouds and cow wallpaper the following year. At the time, Warhol had announced his retirement from painting and was concentrating on movies, which he hoped would

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