Among Warhol’s cinematic oeuvre, the black and white silent films are the most daring and experimental in their selection of subject and theme, psychological acuity, rhythmic pacing, and sheer beauty of form. Although these films were originally shot at sound-film speed (24 frames per second), Warhol specified that prints be projected at a slower speed of 16 frames per second, a rate used in the projection of silent films from the 1890s through the 1920s. For this exhibition, a selection of Warhol’s films made in 1963–1966 has been transferred from 16mm film to DVD at the speed of 16 frames per second, and projected onto screens and monitors in a gallery setting. Thus it is again possible to see the works as Warhol intended, and to appreciate the ways in which he challenged and provoked both subject and viewer in his manipulation of moving images.
This exhibition originated at MoMA as Andy Warhol: Screen Tests (shown at MoMA QNS from May 1 to September 1, 2003). With the addition of Andy Warhol’s silent films, the show debuted as Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (May 8–August 8, 2004), and was also presented at Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro (April 26–June 26, 2005); Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (June 16–August 14, 2005); Malba—Colección Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (September 23–November 21, 2005); the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (December 18, 2008-February 9, 2009); and the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague (January 29–April 5, 2009). It is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and MoMA’s Chief Curator at Large.