Born – 6th August 1928
Died – 22nd February 1987
Father – Ondrej Warhola (1889 – 1942)
Mother – Julia Zavacká (1892 – 1972)
Spouse – None
Children – None
1928 (6th August)
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola to Ondrej Warhola and Julia née Zavacká in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. His parents had emigrated to the United States from Miková, Slovakia (formerly Austria-Hungary). Andy was the couple’s fourth child. He had two older brothers Ján and James and a third sibling that had died before his birth.
Warhol was sick with Sydenham’s chorea (St Vitus’ Dance). He was bedridden for long periods and passed the time by drawing, reading magazine articles about celebrities and listening to the radio.
Andy attended Schenley High School.
Warhol’s father died of tuberculosis peritonitis. He was deeply upset by the fact that his father’s body lay in the living room for three days before being buried.
Warhol began studying commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh.
Andy took on the role of art director for the student art magazine ‘Cano’.
Warhol graduated with a degree in Pictorial Design.
Andy moved to New York City where he worked as a magazine and advertisement illustrator. It was at this point that he dropped the ‘a’ from his surname becoming Andy Warhol.
Warhol gained a commission to draw shoes for Glamour magazine. Soon afterwards he was taken on as a designer for shoemaker Israel Miller.
Andy’s mother, Julia, moved to New York. She also liked to draw, particularly cats and angels.
The Hugo Gallery in New York put on a show of Warhol’s work. However, it was not very well received.
The Museum of Modern Art included some of Warhol’s work in a group exhibition.
Andy Warhol became friends with Edward Wallowitch, an art photographer, and used his photograph ‘Young Man Smoking a Cigarette’ for a book design cover.
Warhol published a book of his mother’s cat drawings entitled ‘Holy Cats by Andy Warhol’s Mother’.
The Bodley Gallery, which specialised in contemporary work, displayed some of Warhol’s shoe advertisements.
A pop art painting by Andy Warhol was displayed in Bonwit Teller’s window. Bonwit Teller’s was a New York Department store.
Warhol began to take lessons from Max Arthur in silk screen printmaking.
Warhol produced a series of paintings entitled the ‘Death and Disaster series’.
The first one dollar bills paintings were produced including ‘200 One Dollar Bills’.
Warhol produced a series of paintings depicting Coca Cola.
Time magazine wrote an article about Warhol and his ‘pop art’ painting ‘Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) (1962)’.
‘Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) (1962)’ was the first of Andy’s works to be displayed in a museum when the Wadsworth Atheneum chose it for an exhibition.
1962 (9th July)
Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles. The exhibition featured thirty-two paintings of the iconic soup cans, one for every variety offered by the company.
An exhibition at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery included Warhol’s art – Gold Marilyn, Marilyn Diptych, 100 Soup Cans, 100 Coke Bottles, and 100 Dollar Bills eight of the so-called ‘Flavor Marilyns’.
Warhol began producing a series of static films.
Andy Warhol met the poet John Giorno when he visited the Stable Gallery exhibition. They became lovers.
A series of paintings of actress Elizabeth Taylor were produced.
Andy Warhol produced Green Car Crash and Silver Car Crash.
A series of paintings depicting Elvis Presley was produced.
Warhol opened his own art studio. Known as The Factory, it was a large silver-painted warehouse in New York City. It soon became the go-to place for artists, celebrities and writers.
Warhol began a relationship with William George Linich, known as Billy Name.
Warhol produced a new series of Marilyn Monroe paintings including ‘Orange Marilyn’ and ‘Turquoise Marilyn’.
Warhol produced the film ‘Sleep’ a five hour film of John Giorno sleeping.
Warhol produced the film ‘Empire’ featuring slow motion footage of the Empire State Building in New York.
A fan of the Batman series, Warhol produced a film entitled ‘Batman Dracula’..
Warhol staged a second exhibition at the Stable Gallery. This exhibition featured sculptures of commercial boxes such as ‘Brillo’ and Kellogg’s Cornflakes.
The American Supermarket exhibition was held at the Upper East Side gallery. The gallery had been transformed to resemble a supermarket. Everything inside was created by pop artists.
The notion of ‘pop art’ was challenged by many classicists who felt that it pandered to commercialism. At the same time Warhol’s use of assistants in ‘The Factory’ to replicate his work and increase productivity was also criticised.
Warhol began working with the group ‘Velvet Underground’. He and Paul Morrissey managed the band and they were used in Warhol’s multimedia show ‘Exploding Plastic Inevitable’.
Warhol produced the film ‘vinyl’ an adaptation of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess.
Warhol’s film ‘Chelsea Girls’ was critically acclaimed and a big success.
Warhol began a twelve-year relationship with Jed Johnson who took a job sweeping floors in The Factory. He soon began editing Warhol’s films and eventually became an interior designer.
1968 (3rd June)
Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and art critic Mario Amaya. Amaya was released from hospital the same day but Warhol was badly injured and at one point it was feared he would die. He survived but suffered the effects of his injuries for the rest of his life. Solanas was a feminist writer, who had been part of ‘The Factory’ but had fallen out with Warhol over a missing script. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and served three years in prison.
‘Blue Movie’ a sexually explicit film, was Warhol’s last movie. After the shooting incident he became more reclusive and delegated movie making to his assistant Paul Morrissey.
Andy Warhol and journalist John Wilcock founded Interview magazine. The publication featured interviews with celebrities.
Andy Warhol and Craig Braun designed the album cover for the Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’. It was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Warhol created a portrait of Mao Zedong, leader of Communist China.
Warhol began ‘Time Capsules’. He collected everyday items from his life and sealed them in cardboard boxes.
The book ‘The Philosophy of Andy Warhol’ was published.
Warhol was commissioned by art collector Richard Weisman to create ten portraits of leading athletes.
Andy Warhol and Stuart Pivar founded the New York Academy of Art.
Warhol published his memoir ‘Popism: The Warhol Sixties’.
Warhol’s ‘Speed Skater’ was used on an official poster for the Sarajevo Winter Olympics.
Warhol began working with artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente
‘Orange Prince’ was produced. Commissioned by Vanity Fair magazine, Warhol had been commissioned to produce a portrait of singer Prince.
Andy Warhol was commissioned to produce a work based on Leonardo’s Last Supper for an exhibition in Milan. Over the next three years Warhol would produce nearly 100 variations of his interpretation.
Andy Warhol produced ‘Reigning Queens’ a series of silkscreen prints of reigning queens – Elizabeth II of the UK, Beatrix of the Netherlands, Margrethe II of Denmark, and Queen Ntfombi Twala of Swaziland.
Mercedes-Benz commissioned Warhol to produce a series of paintings entitled ‘Cars’.
During an interview for MTV, Warhol made his famous statement ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’. It is now widely acknowledged that the quote was not Warhol’s own.
Andy Warhol began a series of self-portraits.
Warhol was in Milan for the opening of his exhibition ‘Last Supper’.
1987 (20th February)
Andy Warhol was admitted to hospital for gallbladder surgery.
1987 (22nd February)
Andy Warhol died in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest following gallbladder surgery.
1987 (26th February)
A funeral service was held at Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittsburgh. Warhol was buried beside his parents.
The ‘Andy Warhol Diaries’ was published posthumously. Warhol had previously dictated much of the content.
Published Mar 17 2022 @ 12:42 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). Andy Warhol 1928 – 1987.