Andy in Aspen: Warhol Photographs of Aspen on Display at the Jerome Hotel
Aspen’s Warhol winter continues with two new exhibitions of photographs by the artist at the Jerome Hotel, curated by Jim Hedges from his private collection.
The two-show series begins with “Andy in Aspen,” so far and showing photos and Polaroids of Warhol during visits to Aspen in the 1970s and early 1980s. “Andy in Aspen” will be followed by “Women of Warhol” by Hedges. “, presenting the portraits of artists and candids of famous women in its orbit. Exhibits complement the “Andy Warhol: LIFEtimes” museum at the Aspen Art Museum and “Warhol in Colorado” at the Powers Art Center in Carbondale – both still in operation.
The Aspen-focused photography exhibit offers a chance to see Aspen through Warhol’s eyes, including plenty of adoring snowy landscapes that underscore his oft-repeated philosophy that “earth is the best art” (being Warhol, of course). , he contradicted himself by also proclaiming at other times “business is the best art”).
“Andy’s beautiful photographs of The Roaring Fork Valley reflect a personal and romantic view of the artist’s appreciation for the majesty of our nature, in quite stark contrast to his larger body of work,” Hedges said of the exhibition. “Seeing Aspen through Andy’s eyes gives us a sense of the indelible impression the community makes on those lucky enough to visit or call it home.”
Warhol visited Aspen throughout his career, from December 1956, when he held his first art exhibitions outside of New York, until the mid-1980s, when he made a series of visits to New York. An recounted in his diaries. The artist also came frequently to see his friends and patrons John and Kimiko Powers, who lived in Carbondale, bought land in Missouri Heights, and edited Aspen’s avant-garde “magazine in a box” in 1966.
“Andy Warhol spent decades visiting Aspen, and his connection to the valley represents an important chapter in the artist’s life,” Hedges said.
Some of the local shots may be familiar to local patrons, as they were also displayed at Christie’s pop-up exhibitions in 2014, 2015 and 2021 and helped nurture local Warhol lore. These include images that help imagine walking or driving Aspen and admiring the scene with Warhol – images like the Aspen Valley Hospital sign buried in snow in 1980, a downtown street lamp with a Christmas wreath snowed on it in 1983 and an image of the Snowbunny Lane street sign almost buried in the powder.
But many of these images are fresh and haven’t appeared in previous shows, including an intriguing candid of John Denver posing with his plane at Sardy Field in Aspen. Warhol wrote in his diary that he met the “Rocky Mountain High” singer here in 1981, noting that Denver said people often mistake him for Warhol.
The black-and-white photos include images of the Powers’ home in Carbondale (one with Warhol posed in an oversized trapper’s fur coat) and several snowy landscapes, including the view of Aspen Mountain from Baby Jane Holzer’s home in Meadowood.
We see a picture of Warhol on skis during a Powder Pandas lesson at Buttermilk Ski Area (“It was easy,” he wrote in his diary on December 30, 1981, “all the two-year-olds ski with me, and if you start when you’re two, you can really go with the waves and relax and become a good skier, but I was so uptight I fell three times.
Warhol also captured candid skiing photos of fellow countrymen Jed Johnson and Catherine Guinness and her boyfriend Jon Gould, including a sweet portrait of Gould with a heart carved into a snowbank.
The photos bear witness to the life of performance art created by Warhol, but also perhaps give us a more intimate glimpse into his non-public self. The Aspen shots are certainly of a different ilk from Warhol’s famous screen tests or his celebrity Polaroids (both on display in must-see sections of the Aspen Art Museum exhibit).
The “Women of Warhol” exhibition, scheduled as part of International Women’s Month, promises to offer another facet of the artist’s photographic practice and habit. Also from Hedges’ collection, works to be included in this exhibition include posed and candid images of some of Warhol’s favorite subjects like Bianca Jagger, who is featured in several candids including one at Studio 54 in 1977.
The collection also offers insight into Madonna’s Warhol with John “Jellybean” Benitez in 1984, Lana Turner and the “Love Boat” cast, actor Pia Zadora, philanthropist Deeda Blair, First Lady Nancy Reagan in 1981 and Elizabeth Taylor at Halston (Halston himself also appears on a couch with Dolly Parton). There are photographic portraits of figures like Princess Caroline of Monaco, Liza Minelli and Tina Turner and of Warhol himself posing with Ginger Rogers in 1980.
Like Aspen’s plans, these help place you in Warhol’s world, imagining what he was doing, for example, with Grace Jones and Maria Shriver when he found them laughing at each other’s cheeks. plays at a party in 1986 or laughter while filming Pat Hackett holding a peeled banana.
As Hedges puts it, Warhol had “a furious, poetic eye that knew a camera could celebrate the famous and also preserve the simple, quiet corners of the world where real interaction could take place.”