Book Review: Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms edited by Eva Meyer-Hermann

The book Andy Warhol: A Guide to 706 Itmes in 2 Hours and 56 Minutes, which is subtitled Other Voices, Other Rooms, was released to coincide with the Warhol exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.  This same massive Warhol exhibit will be on display in the United States as well, at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH from September 13, 2008 through January 4, 2009.

The subtitle, Other Voices, Other Rooms, is a reference to Truman Capote’s first published novel by the same name, and is indicative of the recurring theme throughout Warhol’s work of searching for one’s ever-shifting identity.  The evolution of self, as interpreted by one’s visual and psychological reflection and through the lens of society and various forms of media is a concept with which Warhol endeavored to illustrate through a variety of artistic modes of expression.  One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Warhol founded the concept that in today’s modern world, everyone would receive his or her 15 minutes of fame.

The book is divided into three sections that describe the various installments of the art exhibition itself — Cosmos, Filmscape, and TV-Scape.  Hundreds of illustrations that outline Warhol’s multi-faceted work are included in the book, along with chapters on Warhol’s famous Factory venue, his time capsules which are still being cataloged today, a recommended reading guide that summarizes other books about the Pittsburgh-born artist, and a checklist for viewing the artwork, photographs, music, film, television, and audio recordings presented at the museum exhibition.

This latest guide to Warhol’s work outlines for us once again the impact that Warhol had on art, music, photography, and pop culture.  Dozens of celebrities, such as David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Fonda, Sylvester Stallone, and Debbie Harry, can be seen throughout the images included in the book, which range from photographs taken at Factory parties, covers of Warhol’s Interview magazine, to paintings by the quintessential Pop Art icon.  Coverage of his films are also elucidated, including but not limited to the controversial Sleep, Blow Job, and Couch.

Whether you are purchasing this book to add to your collection, or using it as a source of edification in conjunction with the Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms art exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts, this broad survey of Warhol’s work would make satisfying viewing material for both Warhol fans and novices alike.

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