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Past Exhibition The Chelsea Girls Exploded

February 21, 2019–March 22, 2020

Film stills side-by-side. The film still on the left is a close up of a woman with long, blond hair looking downward. Her right index finger is in her mouth. The still on the right is a close up of a man in black and white with dark hair looking towards the left of the frame.

Andy Warhol, The Chelsea Girls, 1966. Pictured: Nico / Ondine, ©2018 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved.

On September 15, 1966, Andy Warhol’s epic double-screen film masterpiece The Chelsea Girls premiered at the Film-makers’ Cinematheque and offered the world a genuine glimpse into Warhol’s New York underground of the 1960s through film tableaux featuring beauty, sex, drugs, and danger. Earlier that year, after shooting several films featuring his Superstars and friends, Warhol got the idea to unify all the pieces of these people’s lives by stringing them together as if they lived in different rooms of The Chelsea Hotel. The twelve reels of the film were chosen and shown with two projectors so that two different reels could be seen side by side on screen at the same time. The Chelsea Girls, one of Warhol’s most ambitious and commercially successful films, is a brilliant example of the artist’s signature technique of assembling complete reels of unedited film in various ways.

In celebration of the museum’s publication Andy Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls and its ongoing film digitization project, The Chelsea Girls Exploded exhibition showcases the film and a selection of promotional material, photography, and art, while revealing the extent of the film’s influence on cinema and popular culture during its time.

The Chelsea Girls Exploded is organized by Geralyn Huxley, curator of film and video, Greg Pierce, associate curator of film and video, and Erin Byrne, archivist.


Andy Warhol’s The Chelsea Girls

Andy Warhol’s 1966 movie The Chelsea Girls is the iconic document of the Factory scene and 1960s New York. This book is an in-depth, deluxe treatment of the film, featuring stills from the newly digitized film, previously unpublished transcripts and archival materials, and expanded information about each of the individual films that comprise The Chelsea Girls. The film’s alternation of sound between the left and right screens is reproduced in the publication’s complete, as-heard transcript printed directly alongside imagery from the corresponding reels on silver metallic paper to evoke an authentic experience of the film.

Geralyn Huxley and Greg Pierce with Gus Van Sant, Rajendra Roy, Patrick Moore, and Signe Warner Watson
Hardcover, 328 pages, illustrated throughout
Publisher: D.A.P. and The Andy Warhol Museum, 2018

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The cover of Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls book. The cover has a black and white image of Andy Warhol in dark sunglasses. To his left is a woman with dark hair. In front of him is a woman with dark hair and a blonde haired woman. They are all looking off to the right. Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls is printed overtop of the photo.