The Brant Foundation to Present a Landmark Andy Warhol Exhibition at East Village Location




Andy Warhol, Thirty Are Better Than One, 1963. Synthetic Polymer paint and silkscreen ink on Canvas
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Brant Foundation is pleased to present Thirty Are Better Than One, an exhibition of over 100 artworks by Andy Warhol, at its East Village location. On view from May 10 through July 31, 2023, 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.

Thirty Are Better Than One takes its title from Warhol’s important artwork from 1963. The eponymous work depicts 30 scaled-down, silk-screened images of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, showcasing the acute interest in mechanical repetition, the excess of images, and the disruption of art world hierarchies that defined the artist’s practice. Highlighting Warhol’s unparalleled ability to chronicle the visual culture of his time, the exhibition at The Brant Foundation explores his avid experimentation with numerous media through a highly cultivated artistic language, bringing into focus the artist’s innumerable contributions to the Pop Art movement and 20th-century American art in a staggering display.

Peter M. Brant’s first purchase of a work by Warhol was Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962, followed by Shot Light Blue Marilyn (1964), one of Andy Warhol’s most iconic works.  Brant has continued to collect important works from each decade of the artist’s practice. Drawing from Brant’s extensive collection, Thirty Are Better Than One highlights Brant’s close relationship with the artist, which started with their first meeting in 1967. Their friendship extended into the realm of collaboration: among other endeavors, Brant produced two films with Warhol—L’Amour (1973) and Bad (1976).

The exhibition includes a body of Warhol’s earliest works, made in the 1950s. After moving to New York, Warhol initially worked as a commercial illustrator, laying the groundwork for his future advances in the Pop Art movement. Ink, copper, and gold leaf recur as media during this formative period, which saw the creation of artworks such as Elvis Presley (Gold Boot) (1956), who was a frequent subject of Warhol’s work; and Mae West (1956), a fantastical copper leaf appliqué imagining the actress’s shoe.

In the 1960s, Warhol started working within the Pop Art movement and developed what is now his most notable style: the photographic silkscreen technique. The exhibition presents iconic images that reflect the growing idolization of the celebrity persona, such as Licorice Marilyn (1962) and Liz #5 (Early Colored Liz)(1963), and explores his use of everyday, commercial imagery, seen in his facsimiles of product packaging for Brillo pads and Campbell’s soup—some of his most instantly identifiable artworks. Works on view also include Most Wanted Men No. 5, Arthur Alvin M. (1964) and 12 Electric Chairs (1964), part of Warhol’s Death and Disasters series, which examined the darker uses of mass media and its displays of violence.

In the 1970s, Warhol experimented with abstraction and turned to new formats to produce work, although his obsession with image-making is seen throughout. The exhibition includes works from his Skulls series (1976), for which he worked from posed still-life photographs of skulls to capture seemingly endless investigations of light and color, as well as works in which he pared down his subjects to solely examine the effects of shadows.

In his later practice, Warhol reflected on faith, morality, and loss through the lens of his own Catholic upbringing, along with other subjects that were increasingly political in nature. The exhibition features some of the artist’s final works before his death in 1987, including works from his far-reaching 1986 series centered around Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Shown together, Warhol’s works explore not only his inventive appropriation of the imagery of popular culture, but also the contradictions that exist in American life.

The Brant Foundation inaugurated its New York space in 2019 with a solo exhibition of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, reuniting the East Village with a seminal figure of its past. Now, with Thirty Are Better Than One, the Foundation brings to the space yet another leading artist of the postwar New York art scene, presenting the finest examples of Warhol’s work from every period of his vast practice.

The exhibition includes a new line of merchandise created in collaboration with The Warhol Foundation and the Artist Rights Society (ARS), which will be exclusively available at The Brant Foundation Shop starting May 4, 2023.

The Brant Foundation is pleased to welcome Tiffany & Co. as the lead sponsor of this exhibition. It is a privilege to partner with a company that has a special history of collaborating with Andy Warhol at the start of his career in New York. The Brant Foundation will be exhibiting some of these collaborations such as the unique work Pin the Tail on The Donkey, a beautiful folding screen created for Tiffany’s window in 1954.

Peter Brant and The Brant Foundation would like to acknowledge Stephanie Seymour Brant for her continuous, unwavering support in realizing this exhibition.

Shipping Partner: Crozier Fine Arts

Thirty Are Better Than One: Andy Warhol will be on view from May 10 through July 31, 2023 at The Brant Foundation 421 East 6th Street in the East Village, NYC.

Admission is as follows: Adult – $20; Student – $15 (with valid ID upon arrival); Under 16 – $0; East Village Resident – $15 (with valid ID upon arrival); Senior (65 +) – $18; Visitor with Disability – $15 (Admission is free for a caregiver accompanying a visitor with a disability)

Now, a little about the historic building located at 421 East 6th Street, now owned and operated by The Brant Foundation.

Image of 421 East 6th Street via The Brant Foundation

The historic building located at 421 East 6th street was originally a Con Edison substation built in 1920, before becoming the home and studio of artist Walter De Maria from the mid 1980s until his death in 2013.  Purchased in 2014 by Peter Brant, the renovated 16,000 square-foot building features 7,000 square-feet of exhibition space across four floors, two new gardens adjacent to the structure, and a landscaped roof terrace.  We believe the building may still have several interior fixtures from the Con Edison era, including a through-floor pulley system and one can’t help but notice the stunning multi-story window on the front of the building. Brandt, industrialist, businessman, philanthropist and avid art collector, is owner and chairman of Brant Publications, Inc. (founded in 1983), publishing four magazines and a quarterly ~ Interview, Antiques, Art in America, the quarterly ARTnews, and Modern.  In addition, Brant produced several films including Basquiat (1996), Pollock (2000), and co-produced the PBS documentary Andy Warhol: A Documentary (2006) among others.

As it happens, a gallery/building once owned by Andy Warhol is within walking distance, located at 57 Great Jones Street. Basquiat lived and worked there from 1983 until his passing in 1988. The building maintains a plaque commemorating Basquiat on the face of the building, which was dedicated and installed in 2016 by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.