SUSSEX auctioneer John Nicholson has come forward with primary source evidence to establish the existence of artist Pietro Psaier and his links with Andy Warhol.
Co-researcher Jacqueline Chapman has just returned from a European trip with a witnessed statement and photographs from Psaier’s therapist, Dr Carlos Langelaan.
The revelation comes in answer to a number of claims that Psaier never existed, that there is no evidence of links to Warhol, and that the whole Psaier legend is a scam.
Dr Langelaan’s statement confirms that the artist was his patient and friend from 1979 to 1992. He further confirms that he has written about Psaier’s art and has signed documents shown to him by Jacqueline Chapman on Mr Nicholson’s behalf to verify that they are genuine documents publicising Psaier’s work and exhibitions.
He has also signed a photograph to confirm that it is of the artist.
Most importantly, Dr Langelaan also confirms the relationship with Andy Warhol and says he met Warhol in Madrid in 1983, while in Psaier’s company:
“…I visited the Galleria Fernando Vijande, where Andy Warhol’s Guns & Knives exhibition was showing. Pietro was elated when he introduced me to Andy Warhol – later that evening in the Palace Hotel I observed his disappointment as Warhol made excuses, and postponed a planned visit for the following day where he had promised to view his [Psaier’s] art.”
Dr Langelaan goes on to state that, in his opinion, the link with the Warhol factory has “been blown out of all proportion”.
“There is no doubt that Pietro Psaier knew Andy Warhol, but only as a journeyman artist (and possibly a lover), and it is also my belief that Warhol was involved in some of his art works. Peter the Italian was a very small fish in a very big pond of evil decadence…”
The statement also comes with other pieces of fresh evidence.
The photograph Dr Langelaan has signed as confirmation that it is of Psaier as an older man includes a signature work by the artist that appears on a promotional leaflet for an exhibition at the Hotel Andalucia Plaza in Marbella, which opened on August 6, 1993.
A copy of the leaflet itself, signed and handed to Jacqueline Chapman by Dr Langelaan, appears mounted on the main display board below the artist’s logo in digitally dated photographs taken at the August 1993 exhibition.
This means that there is a direct link between the photograph of the man confirmed by Dr Langelaan as the artist and a photo album of preparations for and the opening of the Marbella exhibition.
John Nicholson is in the process of assessing other potential evidence shown to ATG in preparation for his September 24 sale of Psaier’s work.
Mr Nicholson has also listed a host of auctioneers around the world, including Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams, as well as a number of UK provincial auctioneers, who have held sales of Psaier’s work linked to Warhol going back more than a decade.
He was able to show ATG the original promotional leaflet from Bonhams Chelsea’s July 31, 1996 sale of Psychedelic Rock & Underground Posters & the Pop Art of the Warhol Factory. It uses a Psaier work to illustrate the back cover and states that the sale includes: “The Pop Art of the Warhol Factory, part of the Pietro Psaier Collection, features collaborations with Andy Warhol, and collaborations between famed poster artist Rick Griffin & Pietro Psaier, including the Nells New York Joint Show, many multi-media pieces, Warhol signed posters and The Exploding Plastic Inevitable.”
The joint specialist for that Bonhams sale was Ted Owen, who has since written about Psaier on the website for his rock, film, art and collectables business, The Fame Bureau, where he currently lists two Psaier works for sale.
By Ivan Macquisten