William John Kennedy

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Behind the Lens of

William John Kennedy

Shot in the early 1960s when fine art photographer William John Kennedy and his wife, Marie, forged a friendship with Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana, this recently published collection of images capture the two artists and their most iconic works at the rise of the Pop Art Movement.

William John Kennedy was born in Glen Cove in 1930. Orphaned as a young child he was raised with his older sister by his aunt and uncle in Garden City. After high school Kennedy enrolled at Syracuse University to study fine art. His studies were interrupted by the Korean War where he served as a Paratrooper making over 35 jumps. He was honorably discharged as a Master Sergeant.

When Kennedy returned to the states he moved to NYC to a studio on 23rd Street. He began working as a photographic assistant and studio manager for the renowned Vogue fashion photographer Clifford Coffin. After his time with Coffin, Kennedy launched his own commercial career and became a very successful freelance advertising agency photographer.

In the early 1960s Kennedy met Robert Indiana and subsequently Andy Warhol. Kennedy’s extraordinary 1960s photographs of these two artists at the seminal early part of their careers lay in storage for nearly 50 years. The film was rediscovered by Kennedy in the early 2000s. This amazing body of work reveals a story of the pivotal moments and players who shaped the course of American art in the second half of the 20th century, including Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Henry Geldzahler, Dorothy Miller, Claes Oldenburg and Eleanor Ward. A selection of Kennedy’s rare and newly published images premiered during Art Basel Miami.

Kennedy’s photographic career thrived throughout the 1960s and beyond with his work appearing in publications such as LIFE Magazine and Sports Illustrated. In the commercial arena he created national and international campaigns for corporate clients including Avon, GE, IBM, RJR Nabisco, American Express, and Xerox.

Throughout his professional life, Kennedy has pursued his passion for fine art photography and developed a full body of work. Kennedy’s photographs are included in over 15 museums collections around the world, including the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh

Marilyn Acetate ll
Andy Warhol holding up Marilyn Acetate ll
Exhibitions from 1967 – Present
Exhibitions

2020
Love and Warhol Photography | Metroquadro Gallery, Wynwood, Miami
Andy Warhol: Full Circle | Zebra One Gallery, Hampstead, London
Andy Warhol, Full Circle film screening | Bulgari Hotel, Knightsbridge
2019
A Night at the W Museum | W Hotel, Miami Design Week
Behind the Lens, William John Kennedy | The Art Flat, London
Full Circle & Pop | Aviary Art Gallery, Newcastle

2014
Essential Robert Indiana | Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Indiana State of Mind | Long-Sharp Gallery Indianapolis, IN
Beyond Love | McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol’s First Superstar | Norton Museum, Palm Beach, FL
Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair | Queens Museum, Queens, NY
20th Anniversary at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (Permanent Exhibition)

2013
The Armory Show, William John Kennedy: The Warhol Museum Edition, Andy Warhol Museum & KIWI Arts Group, New York City
Affirmation Arts, William John Kennedy: The Warhol Museum Edition, Andy Warhol Museum, New York City
Being Andy Warhol | Birnam Wood Galleries, New York City, NY
Masterpiece London with Long-Sharp Gallery | London UK
William John Kennedy: The Warhol Museum Edition | KIWI Arts Group, Miami, FL
Expo Chicago, with The Andy Warhol Museum & KIWI Arts Group | Chicago, IL
Full Circle Before They Were Famous | Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Utica
Andy Warhol: L’immagine e il mito | Palazzo d’arte e cultura, Pisa, Italy
William John Kennedy: Warhol Love Indiana | Steven Kasher Gallery, New York City
Loving Robert Indiana | KIWI Arts Group, Miami, FL

2012
William John Kennedy, Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy, Site 109, New York City
William John Kennedy, Behind the Lens of William John Kennedy, Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianapolis
Art Palm Beach with Long-Sharp Gallery | Palm Beach, FL
Art Hamptons with Birnam Woods Gallery | Bridgehampton, NY
Scope Art Fair with Long-Sharp Gallery | Miami, FL
William John Kennedy: The Warhol Museum Edition; Andy Warhol Museum & KIWI Arts Group | Versace Mansion, Miami Beach, FL

2011
San Francisco Art Fair with KIWI Arts Group | San Francisco, CA
Pop Art and its Kings, Mironova Gallery | Kiev, Ukraine
Art Moscow with Mironova Gallery | Moscow, Russia
Houston Fine Art Fair with Birnam Wood Galleries | Houston, TX
Art Hamptons with KIWI Arts Group | Bridgehampton, NY
Miami Scope Art Fair with KIWI Arts Group | Miami, FL
William John Kennedy | Long-Sharp Gallery, Detroit, MI

2010
Art Basel Miami Beach, Pop Up Gallery with KIWI Arts Group | Miami Beach, FL

2008
I Shot Warhol | Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
Exhibitions, cont.

2007
Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures | Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL

1967
Homage to Marilyn Monroe | Sydney Janis Gallery, New York City
Works by: Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, John Chamberlain: Salvador Dali, William John Kennedy, Willem de Kooning, Robert Indiana, Marisol, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg,
James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann

Pictured Warhol Museum Lobby

Museum and Institutional Collections

The Andy Warhol Museum

Newfields – Indianapolis Museum of Art

Detroit Institute of Art

Polk Museum of Art – Lakeland, Florida

Boca Raton Museum of Art

Indiana State University

New York University

Whitney Museum of American Art

Publications, Catalogues and Essays

Selected Publications
2015 Ashmolean Museum Oxford Hall Art Foundation
2014 The Essential Robert Indiana, Published by The Indianapolis Museum of Art
2013 Love and Fame Indiana State University
2013 Robert Indiana: Beyond Love Whitney Museum of Art
2013 Munch/Warhol and the Multiple Image The American-Scandinavian Foundation
2012 Robert Indiana: New Perspectives Published by Hatje Cantz
2008 Andy Warhol Giant Book published by Phaidon

Catalogues
Phillips, Auction Catalogue (Ref Material)
Christie’s Catalogue Editorial 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Sotheby’s Catalogue Editorial 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Thomas Crow, Yale University

Essays by:
William John Kennedy: The Warhol Museum Edition [2012]
Including Eric C. Shiner, Director, The Andy Warhol Museum
Nicholas Chambers, Milton Fine Curator of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum
Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist, The Andy Warhol Museum and
Thomas E Crow, Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art, NYU

Warhol Flowers V
Warhol Flowers V
Chromogenic Print
Chromogenic Print
Indiana with "LOVE"
Indiana with "LOVE"
Silver Gelatin Print
Warhol Flowers V
Andy Warhol in a field of black-eyed Susans with an early "Flowers" canvas serving as a backdrop in Queens, New York.
Indiana with "LOVE"
Robert Indiana Holding up his print of "LOVE"
Warhol Flowers III
Warhol Flowers III
Chromogenic Print
Indiana Reflects
Indiana Reflects
Chromogenic Print
Warhol Flowers III
Andy Warhol in a field of black-eyed Susans holding a bouquet of flowers with an early "Flowers" canvas serving as a backdrop in Queens, New York.
Indiana Reflects
Robert Indiana sitting in front of the panel of A "Father is a Father" from the "Mother and Father" diptych.