Andy Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls

Edited by Geralyn Huxley and Greg Pierce. Distributed Art Publishers, $65 (328p) ISBN 978-1-942884-18-7
This companion to Andy Warhol’s 1966 film The Chelsea Girls is a rare treasure: a reference work of great beauty and discerning scholarship. It’s also a fitting tribute to a film that has enjoyed landmark cultural status since its release while remaining notoriously difficult to see. It’s four hours long and requires two projectors running side by side simultaneously; it’s not easy for exhibitors to screen, and viewers have often reported finding its improvised, haphazardly recorded dialogue difficult to hear. In this light, perhaps the book’s greatest gift to Warhol fans is a 150-page transcript of every scrap of dialogue spoken (or every scrap that is decipherable) accompanied by wonderful reproductions of Warhol’s imagery. Also included is an illuminating introduction by filmmaker Gus Van Sant, a production history by Huxley and Pierce, a portrait gallery with capsule biographies of all the performers and participants, and a broad selection of contemporary reviews. Even if this book can’t make it easier to see The Chelsea Girls, it will certainly foster greater appreciation for an important entry in the Warhol oeuvre. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
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