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Churner and Churner presents an exhibition of works by Taylor Mead, magister ludi of the American underground in film, poetry, and painting. The exhibition opens on January 12 with a poetry reading by the artist.

An influential member of the Beat scene in San Francisco’s North Beach, Mead moved to New York in the 1960s, where his erotic poems on sex, death, and homosexuality established him as a fixture on the East Village circuit. His charming ease secured him starring roles in plays and films, many by Andy Warhol. Now at age 87, Mead continues to perform, be it at the Bowery Poetry Club, on film, or in the Whitney Biennial (2006).

For his show at Churner and Churner, Mead has created a new series of drawings for the ever-evolving “Fairy Tale Poem,” a wry, illustrated tale of a castle in the woods starring none other than Andy Warhol himself. Also on display are a group of paintings from the 1980s and ’90s depicting wild animals and exotic
 scenes, many never before exhibited. Testimonies to the romantic bohemian lifestyle of New York in the 80s, these paintings have survived cockroach infestation, subsequent fumigation, and a collapsed ceiling. Their gestures and color palettes hail from Neo-Expressionism, but they retain a purposeful naiveté. Like all of Mead’s artistic practice, these works are invigorated by a combination of irony, innocence, and a roguish sense of humor.

On Saturday, January 14, the gallery will show Andy Warhol’s Lonseome Cowboys and the rarely screened Taylor Mead’s Ass, along with a collection of home-movies by Mead. A question-and-answer with the artist will follow.

About the Artist

Taylor Mead was born in 1924 in Grosse Point, Michigan. He was an influential member of the Beat scene in San Francisco’s North Beach and New York’s Lower East Side, crafting witty, ironic and occasionally dirty poetry. His first venture into film stardom was in Ron Rice’s The Flower Thief in 1960. Soon after Mead relocated to New York, where he was introduced to Andy Warhol, with whom he made numerous films, including a starring turn in Warhol’s Tarzan and Jane Regained… Sort of. J. Hoberman once called Mead “the first underground movie star.” He recently appeared in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, and continues to perform at the Bowery Poetry Club every Monday night.

For images or more information, please contact Rachel Churner at 212-675-2750 or rachel@churnerandchurner.com.

“A skull-sized dent in the canvas of Andy as the Odalisque, 1994 is just about level with Warhol’s head in Taylor Mead’s portrait of his influential friend and collaborator..”

Johanna Fateman, “Taylor Mead at Churner and Churner”, ArtForum (January 2012)

“Artist, poet, octogenarian, and “magister ludic of the American underground”Taylor Mead shows no signs of slowing down.”

“NYC Art Picks, Taylor Mead at Churner and Churner” ARTINFO (February 2,1012)

“Want to know whats on the mind of a real beatnik? Get thee to Churner and Churner…”

Emily Nathan, “Taylor Mead at Churner and Churner”, Artnet (January 19,2012)

“I’m a disciple of Nietzsche-I believe in a minimum of effort and a maximum of error, “explains painter, poet, and Warhol underground film star/longtime lover Taylor Mead”

Ashley Simpson, “Taylor Mead Bothers to Share Some Wisdom” Interview (January 13,2012)

“Artist,actor and writer Taylor Mead- who is perhaps best known as the subjects of the Warhol film “Taylor Mead’s Ass” (1964)..”

“8 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before Jan.16″ New York Observer/Gallerist NY (January 11, 2012)

“I first met Taylor Mead at the Limelight nightclub in 1986…Taylor was one of the invited “superstars.”

Clayton Patterson, “My times with Taylor Mead”, The Villager (January 12,2012)