9. duben 2003
County Hall Gallery
press release
Marilyn Monroe - Life of a Legend
9th April - 14th September 2003; opening night 8th April
Works on display include well-known pieces by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Allan Jones, Peter Blake, Richard Avedon Gottfried Helnwein and Henri Cartier-Bresson, as well as previously unseen works by Conny Holthusen, Antonio de Felipe, José de Guimares and Ernesto Tatafiore.
From her humble beginnings as wannabe model Norma Jeane, through her meteoric rise to international film goddess, Marilyn Monroe - Life of a Legend, captures the magic and sparkle of this beguiling beauty. This stunning exhibition chronicles the life and influence of the vivacious Marilyn Monroe and her evolution into one of the twentieth century's greatest cultural icons.
The works on display provide an insight into the private persona of the on-screen sensation and capture the many facets of her remarkable character. Photographs show Marilyn emitting an almost childlike innocence, whilst new works reflect the sexual allure for which she has become famous. Through the exhibition we also become aware of the internal conflicts that plagued Marilyn's life and helped to establish her reputation as one of the most intriguing and enduring personalities of the Twentieth century.
Independently curated by Thomas Levy for the Stratton Foundation, an institution dedicated to the enrichment of cultural arts, this comprehensive exhibition, which includes never before seen works has been sourced from a myriad of private collectors and European Foundations, and is the culmination of a two-year project and the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition.
'Along with so many others, I have always had a passion for Marilyn,' comments Levy, 'She has been such an inspiration to so many people and I wanted to put together an exhibition that reflected her immense influence on the art and culture of today.'
Accompanying the art and photography on display is a selection of music and film memorabilia provided by Cooper Owen, the world's leading celebrity memorabilia auctioneers.
'We are thrilled to be hosting the first showing of such an exciting exhibition,' comments Antonia Spanos of the County Hall Gallery. 'The sheer volume of material on display is a reflection of the breadth of Marilyn's appeal and we are delighted to be bringing the ultimate Marilyn experience to London.'
Premiering in London, and following its five month showcase at the County Hall Gallery, the exhibition will then tour for two years in Australia, Japan and the USA.

Bert Stern began his career in the advertising world of the 50s and in the 60s and 70s he became the prototype of the fashion photographer as the embodiment of glamour. Working for Vogue put Stern at the pinnacle of his career. He became the centre of an exciting studio where the worlds of fashion, celebrity and advertising revolved around his vortex. Stern's work has been exhibited in Tokyo, London and in galleries throughout the world. Stern had three sessions with Marilyn Monroe for Vogue magazine in late 1962, six weeks before her death. These three sessions produced extraordinarily beautiful and unique images.
Gottfried Helnwein is an Austrian artist and has worked as a painter, draftsman, photographer, muralist, sculptor and performance artist. His work is consistently concerned with psychological anxiety. Helnwein's paintings are technically classified as hyper-realism (surpassing super-realism) and at first glance are practically indistinguishable from photographs. Helnwein's work demonstrates a reflection of the aesthetics of popular culture and irony, and represent the artist's outlook on the world.
Henri Cartier-Bresson worked as a photojournalist for major magazines in Europe, The United States, India, Russia and China and was heavily influenced by the contemporary movement known as surrealism, which encouraged artists and writers to explore the meaning that lay hidden below the surface of everyday life, photography became a way to reveal significance that would otherwise be invisible or lost. When captured in a photograph, a simple gesture, chance meeting, or mundane setting could convey great beauty or tragedy or humour. Henri Cartier-Bresson is known for his ability to find these occasions and preserve them. Cartier-Bresson's work has been shown widely in magazines, books and museums.
Bob Henriques was a photojournalist who became renowned for his timeless icons, such as Marilyn Monroe "The Seven Year Itch". Henriques has worked on the sets of other major motion pictures and for major magazines. Henrique's work has been exhibited both in Europe and the United States.
Mel Ramos, painter of nudes and Pop rebel from the start, is one of the most important representatives of the California school of this style. Like his New York contemporaries, he began his career as a graphic designer. Like them, he dealt with the contemporary myths of his time-comic strip figures and synthetic dreams of the advertising world. Starting in 1963, he developed a predisposition for the common erotic fantasies about women, beginning from female cartoon super-heroes, to dominatrix to pin-up girls. His paintings hang in many important public collections and museums (including Guggenheim Museum und MOMA in New York, Museum für moderne Kunst in Vienna, Museum Ludwig in Aachen and Galerie der Gegenwart in Hamburg). Larger retrospectives were to be seen in the Oakland Museum, the art associations of Lingen, Mannheim, as well as the Kunsthalle Kiel.
Andy Warhol worked as an illustrator for several magazines including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker and did advertising and window displays for retail stores such as Bonwit Teller and I. Miller. Throughout the 1950s, Warhol enjoyed a successful career as a commercial artist, winning several commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. The 1960s was an extremely prolific decade for Warhol. Appropriating images from popular culture, Warhol created many paintings that remain icons of 20th-century art, such as the Campbell's Soup Cans, Disasters and Marilyns. At the start of the 1970s, Warhol began publishing Interview magazine and renewed his focus on painting. Works created in this decade include Maos, Skulls, Hammer and Sickles, Torsos and Shadows and many commissioned portraits. Warhol also published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again).
Since the 1950's Mimmo Rotella has created images by manipulating pre-existing ones. Using a reductive collage process, the artist tears at the surfaces of posters and advertisements, literally and figuratively exposing the multiple layers of everyday imagery such as fashion, advertising and the urban environment. Mimmo Rotella has exhibited extensively around the world, and has been the subject of numerous retrospectives throughout Europe and the United States.
Artists featured in the exhibition:
Eve Arnold, Richard Avedon, George Barris, Bernard of Hollywood, John Bryson, David Burke, Jock Carroll, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Hulton Getty, Milton H. Greene, Philippe Halsman, Ernst Hass, Bob Henriques, Conny Holthusen, Jean Jacques Lebel, Zoe Leonard, Marcus Junge, Douglas Kirkland, Christoper Makos, Frank Powolny, Paul Schutzer, Sam Shaw, George Silk, Peter Stackpole, Bert Stern, Erika Stone, Robert Zahornicky, Matty Zimmermann, Daniel Authouart, Christian Ludwig Attersee, Werner Berges, Peter Blake, Christian Blau, Christina Braitfub, Uwe Bremer, Antonio de Felipe, J.D. Flohr, Heike Gallmeier, Josè de Guiamares, Friedmann Hahn, Gottfried Helnwein, Voker Hildebrandt, Allen Jones, Karl Korab, Kuhl, Jürgen, Richard Lindner, Marc Lüders, Sasa Markarova,
Oswald Oberhuber, C.O. Paeffken, Eduardo Paolozi, Francis Picabia, George Pusenkoff, Mel Ramos, Arnulf Rainer, Mimmo Rotella, Daniel Spoerri, Hans Staudacher, Therese Stowell, Ernesto Tatafiore, Christobal Toral, Timm Ulrichs, Dieter Vieg, Ben Jakober & Yannick Vu, Andy Warhol, Sebastian Weissenbacher, Tom Wesselmann, Yasumasa Morimura, Yongbo Zhao, Tom Kelley, Saskia De Boer, Robert Combas, manfred C. Herbst, Robert Indiana, Jurgen Klauke, Martin Von Ostrowski, Cornelia Schleime and Ernst Wurm.
FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Lauren Gildersleve on 020 7428 4949 or lauren@ideageneration.co.uk