The Velvet Underground Experience, an intriguing new multi-media art and music exhibition spotlighting the iconic band’s early NYC roots, will be opening in New York City on October 10th. It’s the first global exhibition dedicated to the Velvet Underground and its influence on modern music, fashion, art and popular culture, set against the backdrop of the band’s early days collaborating with Andy Warhol in NYC in the 1960s. Co-presented by Bandsintown and Citi, the three-month exhibition will be located at 718 Broadway in Greenwich Village, paying homage as well to the neighborhood’s deep artistic base.
The first leg of the exhibition’s global tour originated in Paris in April 2016 at La Philharmonie de Paris, the largest Music and Art museum in Europe who served as originating producer, to great public and critical acclaim, with more than 65,000 visitors attending the exhibition.
“The first thing I noticed when I visited the Paris Velvet Underground Experience Exhibit was the number of different locations that The Exploding Plastic Inevitable had visited and the faithfulness of the detail that is contained in the show. The expansive mixed media elements highlight the great variety of responses to the EPI events wherever they appeared This was not only about the Velvet Underground. Whatever was created in the Factory did not stay in the Factory. What Andy had started at the Cinemateque by projecting film on to the Velvet Underground became exponentially more complex as the elements found new focus with each City Town or venue,” states John Cale. “These historical visits are contained in their raw energy in the current rooms of the Exhibit. They show the progress in personal expression not only in the disciplines of music, art and film, but the political servitude of the day. The pride and fear in our excitement made these expressions of urban continuity something we would never forget.”
“The exhibition portrays the creative effervescence of the 60’s NY from which the Velvet Underground emerged to achieve mythic status and change the face of pop culture,” says exhibition co-curators Christian Fevret and Carole Mirabello.
The Velvet Underground Experience retraces the band’s remarkable journey from the street to the highest echelons of New York society, from the pop music world to that of film, painting and literature. Half a century after the encounter between the founding members, the Velvet Underground are still the most modern and mysterious band in the history of music.
The exhibition will feature never-before-seen, immersive and interactive content structured around six main sections — Welcome to America, Reed and Cale, The Childhood of Art, NY Spirit, Factory Years, Banana Album, Reinventions of The Velvet Underground and Echoes of Heritage — offering fans a chronological tour, from Lou Reed and John Cale’s childhoods to the band’s influences on contemporary art as of today. The Velvet Underground Experience will also highlight how the spirit and range of the Velvet Underground captivated the music world and continued to influence artists over the decades. Far from being limited to just the musical sphere (from Kurt Cobain to LCD Soundsystem), the Velvet Underground’s artistic waves washed over art (from Mapplethorpe to Basquiat), photography (from Stephen Shore to Nan Goldin), cinema (from Jim Jarmusch to Todd Haynes) and fashion (from Agnes b to Hedi Slimane) : the band continues to inspire or amuse pop culture.
The multi-media experience will contain six films produced exclusively for the exhibition, alongside an array of portraits of the band members and influential contributors who comprised of the New York underground in the 60s such as Allen Ginsberg, Candy Darling, Jonas Mekas and of course Andy Warhol. Also on display will be hundreds of images, many taken by some of the photographers who witnessed the band’s meteoric career such as Nat Finkelstein, Donald Greenhaus, Lisa Law, Fred W. McDarrah, Gerard Malanga, Billy Name, Adam Ritchie, Steve Schapiro and Stephen Shore. The Velvet Underground Experience will appeal to longtime fans of the Velvet Underground as well as newcomers to the band’s unique contributions to NYC and pop culture history. Headphones will be provided to allow visitors to ‘plug in’ for a more personalized experience. The exhibition will be co-presented by Bandsintown and Citi. Additional supporting sponsors for The Velvet Underground Experience areJC DECAUX, Nice Prod and Sennheiser.
The Velvet Underground Experience will be accompanied by a diverse curated event series which will include concerts, screenings, talks, pop up installations, fashion collaborations and more. The exhibition will be open daily Except Monday from noon – 7 pm, and on Thursdays will be open until 10 pm. Tickets for the public will go on sale on Friday, August 17th at 10 am ET online with tickets ranging from $25-35 each.
The exhibition will be co-presented by Bandsintown, the most trusted source of concert discovery that connects passionate music fans with the artist they love, and Citi, the official pre-sale credit card of the Velvet Underground Experience.
Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase pre-sale tickets through Thursday, August 16th at 10 pm through Citi’s Private Pass program.