Christie’s Unveils Andy Warhol Film Exhibit Featuring Muse Edie Sedgwick

Monday was the kickoff of Frieze Week in Los Angeles, the contemporary art fair returning to Santa Monica Airport from Thursday to March 3 for its fifth edition. Christie’s hosted a dinner to celebrate its Andy Warhol exhibit, presenting a collection of “Screen Tests” in partnership with The Andy Warhol Museum.

“Most have not been seen before,” Sonya Roth, deputy chairman at Christie’s, said of the films.

Focusing on the medium in the mid-1960s, Warhol shot visitors in his famed studio The Factory, featuring the likes of Edie Sedgwick, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Donyale Luna. The clips, which are shown at a slightly slower speed, are moving portraits with his subjects sitting in front of a camera alone for three-and-a-half minutes. The works are displayed at a show inside Christie’s Beverly Hills, where the dinner was held. It’s running until March 14.

The project began when Maria Bell, a Warhol collector and filmmaker, was approached by Lee Hutter, chief executive officer of financial firm Curated Wealth Partners.

“He knew I’m a big Warhol fan,” Bell explained. “But also, at that time, I was making a film about Andy called ‘The Warhol Effects,’ about Andy’s effects on pop culture and contemporary art.”

She had interviewed Patrick Moore, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, for the documentary and seen Warhol’s film archives. Hutter and Moore, who are good friends, had previously discussed throwing a Warhol event in L.A. “Warhol is such an essential L.A. figure and icon in the sense that it’s all about fame,” said Hutter.

When Belle was brought on, she suggested working to preserve the films.

“We saw that there were some films that actually were desperately in need of being digitized,” Bell said. “The situation was quite urgent.”

With Christie’s help, the night was also held to raise funds for the cause.

“It’s an important initiative,” Bell went on. “And we’re hopeful that we’re going to make a really material difference and that way students and everyone can access the films.”

Warhol shot nearly a million feet of film, revealed Moore: “These films, camera originals, were in vaults at the Museum of Modern Art in New York…but because most of them exist only as camera originals, it’s much too dangerous to project them. And also museums no longer have 16-millimeter projectors. So even if we could, we couldn’t. The only way to utilize them and make sure that the world has access to them is in digital format.”

Dinner guests included art dealer Irving Blum, known for introducing Warhol’s work to the West Coast, and Vincent Fremont, who managed the artist’s studio. Joining Blum and his wife Jackie as part of the host committee were artist Jonas Wood, Bill and Leslie McMorrow, and Carolyn Powers.

“From a Christie’s standpoint, we’re just so happy to get involved with our institutional partners and do anything we can to make sure that important work is done in the art space, and this is certainly one of them,” added Roth.

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