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What is it About Warhol That...?

Three decades after his death, Andy Warhol and his work continue to affect and influence contemporary art practices. For some artists, his work is very present, for others less so. How does Warhol's work "infiltrate" art-making now? What is his complicated legacy as artist, filmmaker, cultural icon, philosopher, queer outlaw, and more?

For this discussion, writer and cultural critic Lynne Tillman has invited three contemporary artists and one art critic to respond to the question “What is it about Warhol that...?” Their responses consider ways in which Warhol’s work continues to be generative—or not—for themselves and others today. Speakers are Cy Gavin, Justine Kurland, Leigh Ledare, and Elizabeth Schambelan. Tillman moderates the conversation.

Cy Gavin is an artist based in New York. His recent solo exhibitions include presentations at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; VNH Gallery, Paris; and Sargent’s Daughters, New York. Group exhibitions include Lure of the Dark at MASS MoCA and Between the Waters at the Whitney.

Justine Kurland is a photographer known for her utopian images of American landscapes and the fringe communities, both real and imagined, that inhabit them. Her work has been exhibited extensively at museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, and is included in the permanent collection of the Whitney, among many others.

Leigh Ledare creates work that raises questions of agency, intimacy and consent, transforming the observer into the voyeur of private scenes or situations dealing with social taboos. Using photography, the archive, language, and film, he explores notions of subjectivity in a performative dimension, his interventions putting in tension the realities of social constructions and the projective assumptions that surround them.

Elizabeth Schambelan is Deputy Editor at Artforum and has published reviews and essays in publications including Artforum, Bookforum, LA Review of Books, and n+1 magazine.

Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writing Fellowship. Currently, Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at The University of Albany and teaches at the School of Visual Arts’ Art Criticism and Writing MFA Program in New York. Tillman's most recent books are The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories (2016), Men and Apparitions (2018), and the new edition of her 2006 novel, American Genius, A Comedy (2019).