ONLY THE SHADOW KNOWS: For the first time in nearly 40 years, Andy Warhol’s “Shadows” (1978–79) will be back in New York City next month in a street-front space at Calvin Klein Inc.’s headquarters.
The single painting in multiple parts will be unveiled at 205 West 39th Street starting Oct. 26 and running through Dec. 15. Warhol fans will find a series of abstract canvases stretching edge to edge around the room. The timing will overlap with the upcoming exhibition “Andy Warhol — From A to B and Back Again” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. That retrospective will get underway on Nov. 12 and will run through March. After its Midtown viewing at Calvin Klein, “Shadows” will be installed on a long-term basis at Dia: Beacon in Beacon, N.Y., next year.
That Duchess County town is where the conservation of “Shadows” is underway, compliments of Calvin Klein, Inc. To draw in more people to the company’s headquarters, there will be a series of public programs focused on Warhol. All the anticipated foot traffic to the West 39th Street location will also serve as some branding reinforcement. The Raf Simons-designed collection carries the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC label.
Fittingly, “Shadows” was first presented in New York City by Dia in 1979. The year before, the artist set to work on the piece at his Factory. The end result was 102 screen prints, and the canvases are installed edge to edge as space allows, depending on the exhibition space. The arrangement follows the order that Warhol’s assistants Ronnie Cutrone and Stephen Mueller originally hung them. The intent is to reflect the continuity of a filmstrip, and reference Warhol’s filmmaking practice as well as create an immersive experience for viewers.
Last fall Calvin Klein Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH Corp., unveiled a partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc., that gives the Calvin Klein brand access to the artist’s works. While Calvin Klein is still involved in the four-year agreement with the foundation to license Warhol’s art across its collections and activations, this presentation is not tied to that work directly, according to a Dia spokeswoman.
Art is intrinsic to the Belgian-born Simons’ work at Calvin Klein. Artist Sterling Ruby has lent a hand to in-store design and the showroom in the brand’s headquarters among other things. In addition to the Warhol alliance, the designer Simon will be honored at the American Folk Art Museum’s annual benefit on Oct. 2 for infusing American quilts into Calvin Klein’s collections, advertising campaigns and specific design projects.