Andy Warhol & Haley Mellin


Haley Mellin and Andy WarholWarhol & Mellin

Kantor Gallery is pleased to present a two-person show of early still life drawings and paintings. It is the second show at the new gallery. The exhibition will be salon installed and mediums range from a mixture of ink on paper to oil on canvas. The artists, one deceased, Warhol, and one younger and living, Mellin, represent modes of painting and contemporary ways of representing life. The still life series are both seen as the artist’s “first series” of their careers and are intimate in scale and sized true to life.

Mellin’s banana still lifes are the first sequential series of her career (2013 – 2016) wherein she worked on teaching herself a digital-real painting style, repeatedly painting bananas, each painting being more skilled than the last. Mellin’s work is observation based. These paintings, first shown at Sculpture Center, New York in 2013, with the most recent shown at Dickenson Gallery, New York, in 2016, are done in oil. While she tended to repaint a single image of a banana during this period, she made one series where each painting is unique in scale and approach. This series is being exhibited for the first time alongside Warhol’s early series of shoes. Indian photographer Robert Jain said:

“The series ushers in the characteristics of her career: observation, careful looking, making things real to life. She is invested in the how and why to make a painting.”

Warhol’s early commercial illustration has recently been acclaimed as the arena in which he first learned to manipulate popular tastes. His drawings were often comic, decorative, and whimsical, and their tone is entirely different from the cold and impersonal mood of Pop art. Warhol’s early career was dedicated to commercial and advertising art; his first commission was to draw shoes for Glamour magazine in the late 1940s. In the 1950s, Warhol worked as a designer for shoe manufacturer Israel Miller. His whimsical ink drawings of shoe advertisements figured in some of his earliest showings at the Bodley Gallery in New York in the 1950s.

American photographer John Coplans recalled that, “nobody drew shoes the way Andy did. He somehow gave each shoe a temperament of its own, a sort of sly, Toulouse-Lautrec kind of sophistication, but the shape and the style came through accurately and the buckle was always in the right place.”
The exhibition’s proceeds are buying acreage to permanently protect endangered plant and animal species.

Born in California, Haley Mellin was a member of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Studio Program, received a BA from University of California Berkeley and PhDs in both Visual Culture and Education from New York University. Grants include the Rhizome Commission from the New Museum, the Haas Creative Research Grant, and the Strauss Grant for a Large-Scale Public Project. Exhibitions include Black Ball Projects, Brooklyn; Bischoff Projects, Frankfurt; Simon Dickenson, New York; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Marianne Boesky, New York; Museo Pino Pascali, Italy; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium; and Retrospective, New York. She is deeply devoted to wildlife conservation.

Born Andrew Warhola in Oakland, Pennsylvania, Warhol received a BA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Recent exhibitions include Andy Warhol: Shadows. Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain; Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England; Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Yes! Yes! Yes! Warholmania in Munich. Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; Capturing Fame: Photographs and Prints by Andy Warhol, Richard E. Peeler Art Center, Depauw University, Greencastle, Indiana; Warhol: Myths and Legends from the Cochran Collection. Warhol appeared as a recurring character in the TV series Vinyl, played by John Cameron Mitchell. In 2002, the US Postal Service issued an 18-cent stamp commemorating Warhol.