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Warhol [Hardcover]

David Bourdon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1989
With its lively, engrossing text and 325 striking illustrations, this critical biography is the definitive study of the internationally renowned king of Pop art.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; 1st Edition edition (Oct 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810917610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810917613
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 25.7 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,938,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a lavishly illustrated large format book (11"x11") by one time Warhol associate David Bourdon.
It tells the oft told story of how a sickly boy from a poor immigrant family became one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century, who's images of the famous and the mundane still influence art, design fashion and advertising today.
Even though the book is over 400 pages long with the author obviously interviewing many of the artist friends and family, Bourdon does not really document Warhol's life in any great detail. If that is what you are looking for, I suggest Victor Bockris excellent detailed biography "Warhol". Having said that, the author does cover all the main events of Warhol's life in a gossipy easy to read style (one which Warhol himself might have enjoyed).
The books main attraction is the amount of full page colour illustrations of the artists work. Probably around two thirds of the books 432 pages are given over to this, beginning with Warhol's first drawings at Pittsburgh Art College up to his last series The Last Supper.
Bourdon argues a convincing case for Warhol's importance as an artist and how more than several of the artist's concepts (I hesitate to call them theories) on the nature of celebrity and the business of art have entered the public conscience. I doubt we would have had Basquiat, Emin and Hirst without Warhol. The book shows how Warhol was and still is the perfect mirror for his age. From the Campbell soup tins, underground films, the drugs and sex filled Factory or the fame obsessed, celebrity portraits of the 70's.
If you are after an indepth biography of Andy Warhol I suggest that you try Bockris instead. However, if you are after a beautifully illustrated volume of Warhol's work and a good introduction to his life and work I strongly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond outstanding 23 Oct 2007
By calmly
Format:Paperback
If you only want one book about Warhol, this seems a great choice. If you want many books about Warhol, you may find after reading them all that this is the one you'll rely on.

If you plan on becoming a great artist, plan on developing a great friendship with someone like Bourdon.

I've read other very good books about Warhol, including Bockris' "Warhol: The Biography", "Prince of Pop", "POPism" and "365 Takes", but remained quite puzzled about Warhol. Bourdon doesn't remove all the mystery, but he does reduce it considerably.

Besides being an excellent writer and so knowledgable about art, he was a close friend of Warhol's for more than 25 years. He's packed the book both with details and astute assessments. There's a lot of the movies in here, both about their contents and about why they made an impact. Many prints and people are pictured. He's provided contexts within the worlds of painting, of moviemaking, and of the culture at large rather than just describe what Warhol did. Although a friend, he's not afraid to note Warhol's failings, including his stinginess in paying assistants and the coldness he could exhibit to former friends.
Warhol's sad (to me) descent into hanging out with celebrities after the 60's is also well-covered.

Why would people hang out at the dumpy Silver Factory? Perhaps for a chance to get into his movies, perhaps to be invited to a group dinner that night, perhaps because they were wanted no where else, perhaps to score. What really happened to Edie Sedgwick? A book focused on her might tell you, but Bourdon manages to tell enough that you can realize the full tragedy.

This is the closest I've gotten to what made Warhol and his associates tick. It won't stop me from reading more about Warhol, but Bourdon has helped me make a big step in my understanding of Warhol. It's an exceptional book and hence seems a great value.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully illustrated volume of Warhol's work 21 May 2000
By Terry Truman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a lavishly illustrated large format book (11"x11") by one time Warhol associate David Bourdon. It tells the oft told story of how a sickly boy from a poor immigrant family became one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century, who's images of the famous and the mundane still influence art, design fashion and advertising today.
Even though the book is over 400 pages long with the author obviously interviewing many of the artist friends and family, Bourdon does not really document Warhol's life in any great detail. If that is what you are looking for, I suggest Victor Bockris excellent detailed biography "Warhol". Having said that, the author does cover all the main events of Warhol's life in a gossipy easy to read style (one which Warhol himself might have enjoyed).
The books main attraction is the amount of full page colour illustrations of the artists work. Probably around two thirds of the books 432 pages are given over to this, beginning with Warhol's first drawings at Pittsburgh Art College up to his last series The Last Supper.
Bourdon argues a convincing case for Warhol's importance as an artist and how more than several of the artist's concepts (I hesitate to call them theories) on the nature of celebrity and the business of art have entered the public conscience. I doubt we would have had Basquiat, Emin and Hirst without Warhol. The book shows how Warhol was and still is the perfect mirror for his age. From the Campbell soup tins, underground films, the drugs and sex filled Factory or the fame obsessed, celebrity portraits of the 70's.
If you are after an indepth biography of Andy Warhol I suggest that you try Bockris instead. However, if you are after a beautifully illustrated volume of Warhol's work and a good introduction to is life and work I strongly recommend this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-hand Warhol 21 Dec 2009
By Reich Claude - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Originally published in 1989, this is not the most recent monograph on Warhol but, in my opinion , it is the best (I own 12 books on Warhol). The text, written by a long-time friend of the artist's, follows a strictly chronological pattern and tackles all the aspects of Warhol's art (painting, advertising, film...) and also gives a fair (though maybe not 100% unbiased) idea of his personality. The illustrations are first-rate and very diversified (film stills, photos of Warhol and the Factory crowd,photos of historical painting shows etc). Many rarely-seen paintings are also shown in the book (to my knowledge, it is the only book where the recently auctioned 1962 "Two-Hundred dollar Bills" painting is illustrated).

Highly recommended for anyone interested in this major figure of post-war American culture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond outstanding 11 Sep 2005
By calmly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you only want one book about Warhol, this seems a great choice. If you want many books about Warhol, you may find after reading them all that this is the one you'll rely on.

If you plan on becoming a great artist, plan on developing a great friendship with someone like Bourdon.

I've read other very good books about Warhol, including Bockris' "Warhol: The Biography", "Prince of Pop", "POPism" and "365 Takes", but remained quite puzzled about Warhol. Bourdon doesn't remove all the mystery, but he does reduce it considerably.

Besides being an excellent writer and so knowledgable about art, he was a close friend of Warhol's for more than 25 years. He's packed the book both with details and astute assessments. There's a lot of the movies in here, both about their contents and about why they made an impact. Many prints and people are pictured. He's provided contexts within the worlds of painting, of moviemaking, and of the culture at large rather than just describe what Warhol did. Although a friend, he's not afraid to note Warhol's failings, including his stinginess in paying assistants and the coldness he could exhibit to former friends.
Warhol's sad (to me) descent into hanging out with celebrities after the 60's is also well-covered.

Why would people hang out at the dumpy Silver Factory? Perhaps for a chance to get into his movies, perhaps to be invited to a group dinner that night, perhaps because they were wanted no where else, perhaps to score. What really happened to Edie Sedgwick? A book focused on her might tell you, but Bourdon manages to tell enough that you can realize the full tragedy.

This is the closest I've gotten to what made Warhol and his associates tick. It won't stop me from reading more about Warhol, but Bourdon has helped me make a big step in my understanding of Warhol. It's an exceptional book and hence seems a great value.
3.0 out of 5 stars An Insider's Survey of Andy Warhol's Career 12 Mar 2014
By Toolshed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Art critic David Bourdon's book is not a monographic study of Andy Warhol's art--it is a comprehensive survey of the artist's career aimed at a general readership. The book benefits greatly from the author's firsthand knowledge of his subject (he not only knew Warhol, but participated in the execution of several important works). Unlike the vast majority of publications on Warhol, which focus on the period 1962 - 68, Bourdon's book covers Warhol's entire career, giving equal page-time to all of the media he in which he worked. Warhol blurred the boundaries of art and business, and Bourdon follows suits by astutely including Warhol's business ventures like Interview, Andy Warhol TV and later work in print advertising among chapters on art. Bourdon is an unpretentious writer and the book is an easy read. His brief and sporadic forays into the interpretation of Warhol's work are weak, hastily summarizing idées récues reductive readings that usually end with on a non-committal note. The disappointingly large number of black and white reproductions of the works--limitations imposed, one imagines, by the publisher--diminishes the book's usefulness as a resource to critics and scholars and lessens its appeal as a coffee-table book.
5.0 out of 5 stars good book beautiful portraits 19 Nov 2013
By Ferne D. Spence - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
beautiful book. first saw it at metropolitan museum of art and found the works very interesting. this copy was in perfect condition and was sold to me at a very reasonable price. i also received it in good shipping speed.
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