Books: Warhol, That Antidote to Doris Day and Rock Hudson; Andy Warhol - 365 Takes, Edited by the Staff of the Andy Warhol Museum, Thames & Hudson, Pounds 24.95

Article excerpt

Byline: Reviewed by Richard Edmonds

I first met Andy Warhol via his 1970s movies. Nobody had ever seen anything as steamy as Flesh or as fruity as Lonesome Cowboy .

We crowded into cinemas and gawped in amazement at the excesses of Sylvia Miles or Joe Dalessandro who seemed to take off his gear at the drop of a hat.

Marvellous stuff, all of it, and a breath of fresh air in a world that, in those days, seemed to be filled to excess with Doris Day, Rock Hudson and poor British comedy movies.

For all of us Warhol's vivid Campbell's soup can images beatified the everyday, giving a fine-art cutting edge to the commonplace.

Andy did exactly the same thing with his lurid screen prints of Monroe and Presley, it was all perceived as art for now - it was quick and it splashed across the term 'fine art' like a corrosive acid.

Warhol always wanted it like that, using screaming yellows, vibrant blues and in-your-face reds to make his point.

But there were always two Warhols, as no doubt there were two of all the people who staffed his infamously laissez-faire production studios. Warhol, the private collector who admired and collected French 19th century paintings, art deco furniture and bronzes and expensive 1930s solid silver. But his oeuvre gave you another take altogether since it was uninhibited, experimental and frequently slapdash. …