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Saturday, 28 July, 2001, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Rare Warhol films screened
Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol turned his hand to film-making
A series of short films by pop artist Andy Warhol are being screened for the first time in the UK on Saturday.

They feature unknowns and future celebrities who visited the artist's New York studio in the 1960s.

Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper is pictured, four years before he made Easy Rider
Warhol invited about 500 people to stand in front of his camera as if they were making a Hollywood screen test.

Among the friends, lovers, distant associates and complete strangers were movie star Dennis Hopper, musician Lou Reed and poet Allen Ginsberg.

Screen Tests

In the early '60s, Andy Warhol temporarily abandoned painting in favour of filmmaking.

In addition to widely known works such as Sleep and Chelsea Girls, he produced a range of works including the screen tests.

Lou Reed
Musician Lou Reed appears in Screen Tests
During the shooting of the films, the subjects were given no instructions.

They grew nervous and paranoid in front of the camera and Warhol left the room on occasions, abandoning them to the indifference of the lens.

The short, silent, intimate 16mm portraits are exhibited at London's ICA gallery until 2 September.

"Nobody knew about the films for ages. The first ones were discovered 12 years ago," said ICA director Philip Dodd.

"Since then, some have been cleaned and restored and sometimes shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but some have never been seen in public before and none has been seen in Britain."

See also:

23 Apr 01 | Arts
Warhol's Marilyns for sale
08 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Warhol's Ads on display
20 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hopper art show opens
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