Wednesday, April 26, 2023

A career-spanning exhibition of Andy Warhol's work at the Brant Foundation

More than 100 career-spanning works by Andy Warhol will be on exhibit at the Brant Foundation, 421 E. Sixth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue, from May 10 to July 30.

Here's more about the show, titled "Thirty Are Better Than One" ...
... the survey spans the entirety of Warhol's illustrious career, from his early drawings and intimate Polaroids to instantly recognizable silkscreens and sculptures. "Thirty Are Better Than One" pulls in large part from the Brant Collections, which includes an expansive and coherent selection of Warhol's work. It is curated by Peter M. Brant, founder of The Brant Foundation and an early patron, collaborator, and close friend of the artist.
Tickets for the show are $20 ... there are discounts for students and folks 65+ ... and tickets for East Village residents are $15. Details here.

At the first show in the space in the spring of 2019, the Brant Foundation featured art by Jean-Michel Basquiat — some 70 works collectively valued at $1 billion. Brant later extended the show by a few weeks.

The Brant Foundation features 7,000 square feet of exhibition space over four floors. Brant bought the building — a former Con Edison substation and Walter de Maria studio — for $27 million in August 2014.


bill said...

If you go, don't forget to wear a Campbell's soup can.
Oops, I flunked out of comedy school again.

noble neolani said...

The man responsible for the dumbing down of the art world since the 1960's get a really big show.

Anonymous said...

Charging money to view art is, in my opinion, unjust. If you had $27 m to buy the building and intended to use it for a "nonprofit", then just be who you portended to be. Isn't the "art shop" or T-shirts and other art-themed items for sale enough of a profit? Or has the art world suffered inflation as well?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brant Foundation.

Dan said...

This should be FREE especially to all EV residents. Brant A-holes!

Anonymous said...

Agreed! This should absolutely be free. WTF is happening?

Anonymous said...

They are a nonprofit and don't contribute anything to the community yet charge for entry? No free hours? Another billionaire's tax hustle to employ family members and write off everything.

Anonymous said...

Most non-profit art museums (the Met, MoMA, etc.) charge admission (the Met might claim its admission fee is optional, but the Met twists arms to make people pay a high admission fee). And all for-profit museums charge admission. Admission to this Brant museum's earlier exhibits, including their Basquiat show, was free; Brant seems to be charging admission only now, to this Warhol exhibit, for the first time. While "free" anything is nice, there is no coherent argument that Brant has some moral obligation to offer free admission while other art exhibitors, non-profit and for-profit alike, charge admission. In the early 70s, there was a strident movement among kids (hippies, in those days) insisting that rock bands let everyone into their concerts for free. The movie "Festival Express" (filming a legendary series of concerts across Canada in 1974) shows small hippie riots, and screaming demonstrations, over charging for music tickets. (In the movie, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead has to shout down some hippies, explaining that the band has a right to charge for tickets.) These days, no one makes the moral argument that musicians cannot charge for concert tickets (although we do all complain bitterly about TicketMaster and its crazy add-on fees and reselling-gouging). The same should apply to physical art exhibits.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:44: The Brant Foundation operates an art "shop" that heavily merchandizes all the exhibits and sometimes sells apparel for more than $75/item, such as the Basquiat sweatshirts. I remember this fact because I wanted to buy one, but found the price point out of reach. The shop is open all the time and sells items regularly if there is an exhibit or not.

The website also says that the foundation uses proceeds to fund educational programs, but those are not abundantly clear.

Art needs to remain free, as least part of the time. Unlike all the major non-profits you describe in your comment, such as the Met or MOMA, do offer discounted/free days every week at designated times. ART SHOULD BE FOR THE MASSES, not only people with money.

Anonymous said...

So you’ll gladly pay $20 for a coffee & snack without a seconds thought, but bulk at paying $20 to see 100 Warhol works?
I live in the U.K. & would give my right testicle to pay to see this exhibition.
You’ve got a choice. Pay, go & enjoy it. Or don’t.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:52 (this is 3:44, responding):
* Just because Brant runs a gift shop that's open when there's no exhibit doesn't obligate them to throw open their exhibition doors for free. That argument "proves too much": Most all museums run gift shops selling overpriced stuff.
* I agree that the Brant website dubiously claims they run educational programs, and their "curriculum," if there is one, is thin to non-existent. They even call (or called) themselves the "Brant Foundation Study Center," without any discernable "Study" offerings. That's false advertising, and you raise a great point. But it's a completely different point. Brant should be truthful on their website and in their naming. But lying or exaggerating about offering educational/"Study" programs does not obligate them to throw open their exhibition doors for free. The 2 issues are not connected.
* As to "the Met [and] MOMA...offer discounted...days every week at designated times": Brant's Warhol exhibit also offers discounts, including a discount for us EV residents. Indeed, I myself bought 2 discounted tix to the Warhol exhibit taking advantage of their EV discount rate. So is your point that their discounting must run on calendar metrics, not local-resident metrics? Can't we give them the flexibility to decide the mundane/granular issue of discount mechanics?

Anonymous said...

The main issue is that Brant is getting some huge tax breaks through this foundation (lookup private museum tax breaks) and the benefit of those tax breaks is really not to fund a community benefit at all but rather simply to lessen Brant’s effective purchase price of art which to rich people is a financial asset just like stock. The foundation is a means to funding his own net worth not the community.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:41: Thank you for raising this less-than-obvious, but IMPORTANT, point. I will not be paying $20 (or even $15, also for a couple that's now $30-$40) to see Warhols that are intended to be seen for FREE.

And to 8:09: I will not now and have never paid $20 for a coffee and a snack bc that is not sustainable for me. You cannot assume that everyone has that much disposable income.

Again, VIEWING ART SHOULD NOT BE FOR PROFIT, especially considering that the rich are already deeply subsidized with tax breaks and loopholes that are exploited ad nauseam because of any foundation's tax-exempt status. I bet they never have to open the books.

Basquiat was one free show; the foundation status is forever. What does the "study center" have to offer the community? Asking for a friend. lol. I mean, at least Cooper Union actually offers free lectures and exhibits and offers the Great Hall up for oration. I'm serious. I'm an artist and I'd love to know what Brant is offering as a study center: I bet it's smoke and mirrors or something coming in the "future".

XTC said...

"The man responsible for the dumbing down of the art world since the 1960's get a really big show."

Possibly the silliest, most uniformed, and dumbest comment I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

If you live in the neighborhood - 15 bucks is a steal to see this show. It's a hell of a space and lets not forget that every show in the Brandt Gallery before this was free. Walter De Maria's space lives on filled with art - what more can you ask for? Let's not let 'perfect' get in the way of pretty fucking good..

Anonymous said...

Also, not to pile on, but Brant is offering exclusive limited edition Warhol apparel in conjunction with this specific show in a collaboration with Uniqlo. Is that not profit-making? When is the profit enough? Again, art needs to remain FREE for the masses. This is a slippery slope, folks.

Anonymous said...

I like the 15 dollar admission - it will reduce the crowds. If you saw the Basquiat show for free then you know this will be a fantastic time.

Anonymous said...

I'm "3:44" (later, "9:27") again, responding to the recent comments:

* The argument that because Brant gets tax breaks on buying art morally compels him/them to admit everyone to all their shows for free in perpetuity makes no sense, for 4 reasons:
(1) All non-profit 501(c)(3) art museums get tax breaks, by definition. But most of them charge admission. You can't link tax breaks to free admission unless you're arguing all non-profit art museums should be free. And if you're arguing that, then concede that Brant, in charging admission, is no worse than other art museums including Met and MoMA.
(2) Saying "art needs to remain FREE for the masses" is a nice-sounding slogan, but it's ridiculous. Music is art, by definition (when Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph, we called him "the ARTIST formerly known as Prince")--but no one these days says all concerts must be free; indeed, back when hippies in the early 70's advanced that ridiculous argument, even Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead shouted them down (watch him do that in "Festival Express"). If we can agree that musicians can charge for concert tickets, then it's just plain wrong to declare that all "art needs to remain FREE for the masses." Concerts are art, and they are not free.
(3) So many rich people pay low "capital gains" tax rates and do Donald-Trump-like tax dodges--but none of them have to let us in their houses for free. Fix the tax code. Meanwhile, these Brant people (even if loathsome for certain reasons) have brought some amazing shows to the EV. I saw the career-defining, enormous, world-famous 2018 Paris Basquiat show at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris--and just months later, I saw our 2019 EV Brant Basquiat show (I went through the Brant show a few times because it was free and I live half-a-block away). The Paris Vuitton Basquiat show was an international sensation; critics said it not only was the biggest-ever-to-date Basquiat show, but it was the biggest Basquiat show that would ever take place again, in future history. Then, just months later, our little EV Brant museum hosted its awesome Basquiat show--although smaller than the Paris/Vuitton show, Brant's version was huge and fantastic and had many major pieces and was maybe half, maybe a full 2/3, the size of the Paris/Vuitton show. And the Brant show was our little secret, right here in the EV. (If you missed it, missed out.) Beyond the EV, most New Yorkers seemed oblivious to it: It was ours. And the other Brant shows (post-Basquiat) have been worthwhile. Now, the Warhol exhibit promises to be a blockbuster. Plus, the Brant facility itself is quite impressive (although they are nasty for denying the public access to their roof garden with small pool; I've begged them in vain to let me see it). Even within NYC, the Brant facility is an unknown, hidden gem. Can't we cherish it as our private little gem here, in our EV?
(4) The Brant Basquiat show was free, and the later (smaller) Brant shows were free; Brant is launching paid admission only now, with the Warhol show. So: If you demand Brant shows be free, then you owe Brant a lusty "THANK YOU" for their previous free shows. But speak up...I can't hear your "THANK YOU."

* Enough with all the comments linking free admission to Brant shows to Brant's lies about being a "Study Center" and offering classes and a curriculum. As I said above, criticizing their lies about "Study"/curricula is a great point, but it's a DIFFERENT point (from the free-admission debate): The two issues are unconnected. If we want to attack them for lying about being a "Study Center," them I stand with you shoulder-to-shoulder. But that's a different discussion.

Anonymous said...

First, music and visual art are completely different forms. And what about galleries? Do you think they should also charge an entry fee? That's what I mean when I say slippery slope.

Second, I did see the Basquiat show and it was exquisite. I also took a ton of photos and credited Brant for the fantastic showing. That was a formal thank you. Need I kiss the ring?

And I stand by my opinion: Brant Foundation exhibits should be one free day per week, or at the very least, a dedicated half-day (such as an early morning window, for example) when truly poverty-stricken people (who also live here), can view the art. And yes, I am making the argument that nonprofit institutions have a moral obligation to be inclusive to the lowest money-making individuals who never dedicate any part of themselves to the pursuit of wealth. ART IS FOR THE MASSES.

What is the big deal? You would think that a person involved in presenting art to this degree would be more than happy to include EVERYONE. Even one free day per exhibit, limited timed tix to capacity. It should be a moral obligation to the non-profit status, but sadly, our morality is slipping away to all-important CAPITALISM. And on the way out, make sure to buy a WARHOL sweatshirt, likely made in a CHINESE sweatshop.

Anonymous said...

I'm "3:44" (later, "9:27" & "9:34") again, responding to @ 8:28:

8:28, you convinced me.
I agree with your points.
I grant that you need not kiss Brant's ring.
And I agree that offering one free museum day per week would be a gallant gesture to the community (yet, while I'd credit a museum that offers that, I would not criticize a museum for not offering it).

But you completely lose me at your final sentence, 8:28, when you advocate for mass lay-offs of Chinese people, or for Americans boycotting their labor. The Chinese deserve jobs, too. The terms/conditions of employment in the vast majority of Chinese factories comply with human rights standards, and in fact are surprisingly similar to--often better than--work conditions in US/Western factories that manufacture similar products. (American textile factories are not exactly Club Meds.)

Take off your MAGA hat when you argue that buying American is morally superior to patronizing the labors of foreigners (or, your word, the "CHINESE").

---By the way/just FYI: Most American criticism of human rights in Chinese labor practices involves the fact that the Chinese run prison factories. But that criticism is wildly hypocritical, because prison labor is widespread across the US, too, today and in the past ("making license plates," "chain gangs"). If American prisoners have to work (and they do), we Americans are in no position to criticize the Chinese for running prison factories.
But regardless, this Chinese-prison-labor issue is irrelevant to your point, 8:28: Under an almost 100-year-old US customs law, it's long been illegal to import into the US products of prison labor. And this particular customs law, once obscure, is now being rigorously policed against Chinese products (because of the current tensions with, and scrutiny of, China). So these "WARHOL sweatshirt[s]" are not made in Chinese prisons. They're made by hard workers with a right to earn a living who deserve your respect.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, 12:16: Not sure why you think I'm from the MAGA side (I'm not), and I never mentioned Chinese slave or prison labor or boycotts for that matter (though, yes, I guess "sweatshop" would lead to that possible assumption). I am, however, an American factory worker who manufactures a product that is entirely made in America and I try to buy American whenever possible. That said, I also buy imports, plenty of them. (How is it even possible not to buy imports?)

I have no idea where the items Brant is selling are made. They could very well be made in America. My point is that there IS profit being made on merchandise for this particular show in addition to ticket sales. It would have been nicer to consider all of our neighbors when deciding to have an important Warhol show, even those with very limited incomes, but I get it, even non-profits are businesses now. No need to get's cool to have and share different opinions. Enjoy the show. I'm sure it will be amazing and I would still rather have the foundation here than not. It's all good, I assure you. : )

XTC said...

Not only was the Basquiat show free but also the Julian Schnabel show Self-Portraits of Others as well from about a year ago. The Brant was pretty much devoid of visitors the day I attended. Rather good plate paintings of Van Gogh and "others." Best work in years I thought. Certainly a whole lot better than his recent blob paintings. If anyone wants free Warhols Mana Arts in Jersey City has a stunning collection of his early silkscreens. Amazing color combinations. Skulls, Marilyns, Shadows, Soupcans, Asses, it's all there.

Anonymous said...

I'm "3:44" (later, "9:27" & "9:34" & "12:16") again:

@ 2:55: OK, we are in full agreement. Let's go see the Warhol show together; I'll pay, if you
qualify for the EV discount.

@ 3:39: I love your "If anyone wants free Warhols Mana Arts in Jersey City..." tip. I'd like to see someone get from the EV to Jersey City, round trip, for less $ than the price of a Brant/Warhol EV-discount-rate admission ticket.

Anonymous said...

“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”