Installation view, Andy Warhol: Red Book. Photo: Steve Farmer

Andy Warhol: Red Book

Friday, 10 October 2014 to Sunday, 4 January 2015

Working with what surrounded him, from soap boxes to soup cans, Andy Warhol elevated the everyday object to an art-form. This extended to his circle of friends: artists, musicians, models and writers—members of Warhol’s entourage—were often included in his photographs and films.

Warhol is well known for his screen-printed images of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps less known are the intimate catalogues of photography he took of friends and acquaintances. Warhol shot hundreds of Polaroid pictures, establishing his own system of cataloguing and collating them, and housing them in red Holson Polaroid albums. These albums, with his original classification and themes, have remained intact, including the artist’s own notes on the objects themselves.

The Andy Warhol Foundation, in honour of its 25th anniversary, donated Warhol’s Red Books to select museums, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. On view here are the individual photographs from the Red Book, as well as the album itself. Stripped of lighting and his signature “pop” colours, the subjects appear human and ordinary, a far cry from their glamorous public persona.