In the 1960s, Andy Warhol was one of the most famous artists in the world, and by the time he died in 1987, he had churned out an enormous body of work.  His commercial production, drawings, paintings, sculpture, portraits, photographs, the thousands and thousands of mechanically reproduced images, his books (more than twenty), and hundreds of films make him one of the most prolific artists of the century.

1928 6 August, born Andrew Warhola in Pittsburgh, PA, to Andrej (Andrew) Warhola and Julia Zavacsky. His father immigrated to the United Stated from Czechoslovakia in 1913; mother followed in 1921. Brothers: Paul (born 1922) and John (born 1925).  Father works in construction, later as a coal miner in West Virginia.  Has a "nervous breakdown" (Saint Vitus's dance).

Brillo Boxes, 1964

1942 Father dies 15 May after a three-year illness (tuberculous peritonitis).

1945 Graduates from Schenley High School, Pittsburgh.

1945-49  Attends Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. Meets Philip Pearlstein, a fellow student. Teaches art part-time at Irene Kaufman Settlement and during the summers works as a window decorator for Joseph Horne department store.

1947 Art editor of the student magazine.

1949 Graduates with a B.F.A.  Moves to New York City and briefly shares apartment with Pearlstein. Begins using the name Warhol. Meets Tina Fredericks, art editor of Glamour.  Does advertisements for magazines, department stores, record companies, including Tiber Press, Columbia Records, Vogue, Seventeen, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, and I. Miller.  Also designs window displays, book jackets, cards, and stationary.

1950  His mother moves to New York to live with him.

1952  First solo exhibition held at Hugo Gallery, New York.  Includes drawings to illustrate stories by Truman Capote.  This is the first of seven individual exhibitions during the 1950s.   Receives Art Directors' Club award for newspaper advertising art.

1953  Publishes Love is a Pink Cake and A is an Alphabet with Ralph Ward which he uses as promotional gifts.

1954  Publishes a limited edition of Twenty-five Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. Receives Certificate of Excellence from American Institute for Graphic Arts.

1955  Publishes A la Recherche du Shoe Perdu with Ralph Pomeroy.

1956  Award for Distinctive merit presented by the Art Directors' Club.  Travels around the world with Charles Lisanby.

1957  Receives Art Directors Club Award for Distinctive Merit for I. Miller shoe advertisements.  Publishes The Gold Book.  Has nose altered.
1959  Meets filmmaker Emile de Antonio.

1960  Makes first paintings of comic strips heroes: Dick Tracy, Saturday's Popeye, Superman.

1961  Creates window display for Bonwit Teller using his comic strip paintings.  Sees Roy Lichtenstein's comic book paintings for the first time.  Buys drawings by Jasper Johns.  Meets Ivan Karp and Henry Geldzahler.

1962  Makes paintings of dollar bills, coke bottles, Campbell soup cans, Elvis, Marilyn, and other celebrities.  Campbell's Soup Cans exhibited by Irving Blum at Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles.  Makes first silkscreens.  Begins Death and Disaster Series.

1963  Buys a 16mm movie camera.  Shoots Sleep, Kiss, Eat, Blowjob  and other films.  Moves studio to 231 East Forty-seventh Street, which becomes the Factory.  Meets Gerard Malanga, who becomes his assistant, and Jonas Mekas, director of the Film Makers' Cooperative.  Begins wearing a silver wig.

1964 Shows Flower series at Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris.  Thirteen Most Wanted Men displayed at New York World's

Flowers, 1964

Fair is painted over for political reasons. Receives Independent Film Award from Film Culture magazine. Makes Brillo boxes, self-portraits. Shoots first sound film, Harlot. Also shoots other films, among them, Empire, Couch, Thirteen Most Beautiful Women.
1965  Electric Chairs, Cow Wallpaper. Begins working with Paul Morrissey, Lou Reed, and Ronnie Cutrone. Warhol announces his retirement from painting. Selected films: The Thirteen Most Beautiful Boys, Vinyl, Poor Little Rich Girl, Restaurant, Hedy, My Hustler.

1966  Exhibits Cow Wallpaper and Silver Pillows (Clouds) with Leo Castelli Gallery. Produces the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a multimedia event featuring Nico and the Velvet Underground.  Releases The Chelsea Girls, his first commercially successful film. Begins work on **** (Four Stars). Other films: Bufferin (Gerald Malanga Reads Poetry), Whips, Eating Too Fast (Blow-Job #2), The Velvet Underground And Nico, Nico (A Symphony in Sound).

1967  Designs album cover for the first Velvet Underground album which he also produced.  Publishes Andy Warhol's Index. Meets Frederick Hughes, Joe Dallesandro, and Candy Darling. Hires Allen Midgette to impersonate him at various speaking engagements.  Moves the Factory to 33 Union Square West. Selected films: I, a Man, Bike Boy, Construction–Destruction, Nude Restaurant, The Loves of Ondine (originally a segment of ****), Lonesome Cowboys.

1968  Publishes A: A Novel.  Meets Jed Johnson.  On June 3rd, Valerie Solanis, founder of Society for Cutting Up Men (SCUM), shoots Warhol at the Factory.  He nearly dies. Films: Blue Movie (Fuck), Flesh. With Flesh, Paul Morrissey becomes the de facto director of Warhol films.

1969  Blue Movie ruled obscene.  Warhol undergoes further surgeries in connection with the shooting.  First issue of Interview magazine appears.  Morrissey directs Surfing Movie and Trash.

1971 His play Pork opens in London.

1972   Maos. Begins painting again, primarily portraits of celebrities, a focus which continues with nearly one thousand commissions during the remainder of his career.  Mother dies.
Films: Women in Revolt, Heat.
1974  Moves Factory to 860 Broadway. Films: Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and Andy Warhol's Dracula.

1975  Publishes the Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again). Major retrospective exhibition held at Kunsthaus, Zurich.

1976  Skulls, Hammer and Sickle series.

1977  Athletes, Torsos.  Film: Andy Warhol's Bad (directed by Jed Johnson).

1978  Oxidations, Shadows.

1979  Retrospectives, Reversals.  Publishes Andy Warhol's Exposures.

1980  Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century. Publishes POPism: the Warhol 60's with Pat Hackett. Produces Andy Warhol's TV.

1981  Dollar Signs, Knives, Guns, Myths.

1982  Goethes, Stadiums.

1983  Endangered Species series.

1984  Renaissance Paintings, Munchs, Rorschachs. Collaborates with Jean-Michel Basquiat.

1985  Ads. Publishes America.

1986  Camouflages, Cars, Flowers, Self-Portraits.

1987  Beethovens.  February 22, dies following gall-bladder surgery in New York.

  Back to Warhol