Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, 1965
Andy had a show at the Ileana Sonnabend Gallery in Paris and he took me, Chuck Wein, and Gerard Malanga with him. This is the famous show where Andy announced he was retiring from painting and going to focus on filmmaking. Chuck and I had really only known Andy for about 6 weeks and here we were off on a tour from New York to Paris, Madrid, Tangier, London, and finally home to New York. Oh, giggles and as you can see, the total for the 4 of us to go to all those cities on Air France was $1550!
In Paris Warhol’s gang startled the dancers at Chez Castel by appearing with fifteen rabbits and Edie Sedgwick in a black leotard and a white mink coat. In her deep, campy voice, strained through smoke and Boston, she said: It’s all I have to wear.
— Vogue, August, 1965
click for slide show
Ileana Sonnabend gives Warhol a show in Paris at her gallery. Andy asks if he can take his entourage. Sonnabend is only too happy to send him more tickets. If he comes with a pretty underdressed girl he’s bound to get more press, she tells him. At Castel’s, a fancy Parisian restaurant, the hat-check girl asks Edie if she’d like to check her coat. No, she says, it’s all I’ve got on. Edie’s luggage contains nothing but another white mink coat. In Paris, Andy announces he is retiring from painting and will henceforth devote his life to making films. Paintings don’t go far enough. Films are easy. Andy knew he was at a crossroads. He understood that the three-years-of-fame rule applied to him, too.
— David Dalton
Ileana Sonnabend was married to New York gallerist Leo Castelli for 25 years. They were divorced in 1959 but remained lifelong friends. Andy showed at Leo Castelli Gallery twice last year (1964) and would show with Castelli for years to come.
- Museum of Modern Art, New York / Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New. December 21, 2013 – April 21, 2014
- Gagosian Gallery / Warhol from the Sonnabend Collection. January 20 – March 7, 2009
I used to also believe in re-incarnation, but that was in my other life.
No worries Jeff – you’ll believe again in your next life!