Andy Warhol, San Diego Surf, 1968/1996 (still): image courtesy The Andy Warhol Museum

San Diego Surf (1968/1996) and Sunset (1967)

Related Exhibition Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again
Part of Films by Andy Warhol

Phyllis Wattis Theater, Floor 1

Free and open to the public. First come, first served.

1 p.m. San Diego Surf, 1968/1996, 90 min, 16mm

3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunset, 1967, 33 min, 16mm

This series of Andy Warhol films concludes with two West Coast creations. California seemed to have an effect on Warhol and his collaborators, as the artist noted in his memoir, POPism, when describing the filming of San Diego Surf:

“Everybody was so happy being in La Jolla that the New York problems we usually made our movies about went away — the edge came right off everybody…From time to time I’d try to provoke a few fights so I could film them, but everybody was too relaxed even to fight. I guess that’s why the whole thing turned out to be more of a memento of a bunch of friends taking a vacation together than a movie.”

Following this feature-length beachside melodrama, the day’s program closes with two showings of the rarely screened Sunset, considered an unfinished work. Sunset parallels Warhol’s early studies of everyday subjects and the passage of time, like Empire and Sleep. In this case, his camera gazes at the sun as it sets, capturing the transition to dusk on the California coast. As to why the film remained incomplete, Warhol said: “I filmed so many sunsets for that project, but I never got one that satisfied me.” In the early 1970s, Warhol depicted sunsets again in a series of more than 600 screen prints featuring soft, candy-colored gradients, achieved through an intricate process of ink variations and applications. A selection of these works is on view in the galleries of Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again.

San Diego Surf screens courtesy The Andy Warhol Museum. Sunset screens courtesy the Museum of Modern Art Circulating Film and Video Library.