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The Warhol Kennedy Residence | A new residence in London invites you to step inside a unique moment in the history of contemporary art

Opening April 2nd

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The Warhol Kennedy Residence opens its doors to the world next month, inviting you to step inside the beating heart of a creative moment that would come to re-shape the landscape of contemporary art. This permanent appointment-only residence in London, nestled just off The Strand, is exclusively devoted to exhibiting previously unseen photographs of pop art icons Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana by the late-William John Kennedy, a broad-shouldered and handsome young man who was deeply ensconced in the bohemian netherworld of Warhol’s legendary Factory - not least, because of Warhol’s swooning attraction to him. As such, it is a veritable treasure trove of portraiture that not only shines a light on a playful Warhol on the brink of fame, but that also reveals a vulnerable side to the legend.

Lost for just over 40 years, these incredible images of two giants of contemporary art captured in the nascent stages of their respective careers were discovered purely by chance at the tail end of the 20th century, when Kennedy came across a tattered box of negatives at home that he had shot between 1963 and 1964. This was the period in which both artists were presenting key works that would become emblematic of the counterculture movement that would sweep across the nation, and the world - Indiana’s iconic LOVE image (which would grace the MoMA Christmas card in 64, and later be reproduced as a stamp) and Warhol’s now ubiquitous Campbell’s Soup screenprint being two of the most recognisable works of contemporary art ever to be mass produced.

Coming from a military background, the young Kennedy was perhaps an unlikely candidate to shoot the two men so candidly, but he was welcomed into both their worlds with open arms. Kennedy was already a veteran of the Korean War when he first met Robert Indiana at an art opening in New York in 1963, and the two struck up a keen friendship that led to the former US Marine being introduced to Warhol at the now legendary exhibition 'The Americans' at the Museum of Modern Art. The soon-to-be stratospherically successful pop artist was smitten by Kennedy’s All-American good looks and athletic physique, and immediately invited him to document life at The Factory, which led to intimate access not only to Warhol, but also to his various friends and acolytes, such as the poet Gerard Malanga, model Ultra Violet and the eccentric star of many of Warhol’s short films, Taylor Mead.

While the period captured was one of profound relevance for both Warhol and Indiana, it was something of an artistic anomaly for Kennedy, whose career post-1964 took him away from the heady glamour of the New York art scene and into the realm of commercial photography, which he produced under the auspices of various advertising agencies for the next 30 years. In fact, it wasn’t until 2010 that Kennedy was first reunited with Robert Indiana in the documentary Full Circle, which tells the story of his unearthed photographic gems. Now the full collection of his portraiture of these two peerless figures in the canon of contemporary art can be seen for the first time at The Warhol Kennedy Residence – providing a snapshot of a unique moment in time, and widening the aperture on the enduring mythology of Warhol.

The Warhol Kennedy Residence opens April 2. Find out more here.

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Warhol Kennedy Residence, Flaunt Magazine,
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