The exhibit “Hooray for Hollywood!” will feature works feature works by artists like Laurie Anderson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Izhar Patkin, Andy Warhol, and William Wegman that pay homage to the late gallery director Holly Solomon’s achievements, both as a gallerist and Pop icon, as well as the enduring friendships she fostered with her artists. “Hollywood,” opens tonight at Pavel Zoubok Gallery and Mixed Greensin New York City. Holly studied acting with Lee Strasberg and reveals her theatrical side in a 1976 work by Mapplethorpe – a black-and-white triptych presents Solomon puffing on a cigarette in a bed. In the final image, she reclines fully with eyes closed and dramatically leans her head back, as though she’s reached a state of peace. She appears charismatic and alluring in the 1963–4 photo booth strips by Andy Warhol.
I knew Holly and took this Polaroid of her (bottom, which is not in the show but I remembered I had it so I thought I’d dig it out) I used to design invitations and catalogues for her Fifth Avenue gallery and at the time, I had no aspirations to be in the art world, thank God, or she would have scared the shit out of me. She was an intimidating character but we got along well. Even if she was yelling at me about something that went wrong, it never really got me upset. She DID study to be an actress, and at the time I thought, “it’s all an act”. She had perfected the bitchy, intimidating New York gallerist and she played the part to a T. As they say, she was a real character – now one of legend.