This December Coldharbour London Gallery will be exhibiting The Day The Factory Died, a collection of never-before published photos by acclaimed fashion photographer Christophe Von Hohenberg, of Pop artist Andy Warhol’s memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1987. Curated by Aretha Campbell, the exhibition will bring together letters from the memorial, photographs, as well as works by Warhol himself. Published in conjunction with the exhibition, is a bible-like 176 page book featuring a calvacade of celebrities from the world’s of Hollywood, Fashion, Pop Music, International Society and Art.
Von Hohenberg, came upon Warhol’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, whilst on assignment for Vanity Fair. His probing lens snapping beautiful black and white photos, capturing the swirl of celebrity that forced itself, shoulder-to-shoulder into the event, it was as if Andy Warhol had planned his own funeral, a dizzying crush of fame and fakery.
The images, in this exhibition, convey warmth and sadness, despite the high-glitz factor of that day. Bianca Jagger, her hair pulled over one eye…The Stern defiant chin of Claus Von Bulow, looking down on the proceedings and the poor fools below him. A hurrying Robert Maplethorpe, angry mane blowing behind him. And the wild-eyed mania of punk and pop fashion designer Stephen Sprouse, perhaps the most Warholian of the subjects photographed.
The imaginatively-designed book, by Daniel Stark of Stark Design in New York City, features endpapers of the day-glo, Stephen Sprouse-designed, Warhol camouflage aprons that waiters wore at the luncheon following the memorial mass. It also features a foreword by well-known art writer Anthony Haden-Guest on Warhol’s expanding and still-controversial legacy. The book as well features an essay entitled Time Capsule by New York cultural historian and curator Charlie Scheips, who collaborated with von Hohenberg on the creation of the book. Scheips draws together the events of that day, and the character of those times, both as a search for a lost, bygone era but also as a guide to for those too young to remember that halcyon era that Warhol profoundly influenced. The book features over 45 letters from many of the notable figures present that day as testimony to the influence which Warhol had on their own lives and times—in many different ways. It concludes with rarely-seen photos of the actual burial ceremony in Warhol’s native Pittsburgh; and ends with a never-before published 1978 photo of Andy Warhol by Bill Kornreich.
The Day The Factory Died, Coldharbour London Gallery, 7/12/2011 – 22/1/2012. www.coldharbourlondon.com
Courtesy the artist