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Andy Warhol’s Photography During the Last Decade of His Life, Examined for the First Time

In Contact Warhol, Peggy Phelan and Richard Meyer analyze never seen before contact sheets calling it Warhol’s final body of work.

Andy Warhol, 1928–1987. Contact Sheet
Andy Warhol U.S.A. (1928–1987), Contact Sheet, [Andy Warhol photo shoot with Liza Minnelli, Victor Hugo, and John Lennon] ( 1978).

“A picture means I know where I was every minute. That’s why I take pictures.”— Andy Warhol

From 1976 until his death in 1987, Andy Warhol was never without his camera. He snapped photos at discos, dinner parties, flea markets, and wrestling matches. Friends, boyfriends, business associates, socialites, celebrities, passers-by: all captured Warhol’s attention—at least for the moment he looked through the lens. In a way, Warhol’s daily photography practice anticipated our current smart phone habits—our need to record our friends, our families, and our food. Warhol printed only about 17 percent of the 130,000 exposures he left on contact sheets. In 2014, Stanford’s Cantor Center for the Arts acquired the 3,600 contact sheets from the Warhol Foundation. This book, Contact Warhol, examines and documents for the first time these contact sheets and photographs—Warhol’s final body of work.

Peggy Phelan and Richard Meyer analyze the contact sheets, never before seen, and their importance in Warhol’s oeuvre. Accompanying their text and other essays are reproductions of contact sheets, photographs, and other visual material. The contact sheets present Warhol’s point of view, unedited; we know where he was every minute because a photograph remembers it.

Contact Warhol is published by MIT Press and Cantor Arts Center and is available for sale at mitpress.mit.edu.