Brigid Berlin at Vito Schnabel Gallery, New York
A central member of Andy Warhol’s entourage, Brigid Berlin was the daughter of the CEO of the Hearst media empire and a New York socialite but preferred the life of an artist in the city’s bohemian cultural scene of the 1960s. After befriending Warhol in 1964, Berlin became part of the in-crowd at Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory, where she starred in Warhol’s films and made Polaroid portraits and tape recordings of the artists and celebrities who hung out there and at downtown’s famous haunt, Max’s Kansas City.
For audiences who know little or nothing of Berlin’s life and art, “The Heaviest” exhibition offers an eye-opening overview. Impressively organized by Alison M. Gingeras, the compact-yet-comprehensive installation presents a selection of Berlin’s photos, tapes, legendary Tit Prints (made by pressing her paint-dipped breasts onto paper), one-of-a-kind scrapbooks— including her huge Topical Bible (Cock Book)—and handcrafted needlepoint pillows of sensational newspaper covers, alongside a fascinating array ephemera and portraits of Berlin made by her peers (including Ray Johnson and Larry Rivers) and several touching homages by contemporary artists.