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Andy Warhol's 'Portrait' Films Are the Focus of MOMA Exhibit

Andy Warhol
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Andy Warhol

Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed and stars of 1960s NYC art scene are featured in "Motion Pictures" collection opening Dec. 19.

The experimental black and white "portrait" films of Andy Warhol are the focus of a new exhibit opening December 19 at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures is comprised of 14 "screen tests" (essentially short, silent portraits) culled from nearly 500 films the iconic artist made from 1964 to 1966 using the his famous friends -- including Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed and Allen Ginsberg -- as subjects.

"One of the things that makes these 'screen tests' so interesting is not only Warhol's interest in celebrity but more importantly his interest in rethinking the whole idea of portraiture in the 1960s," Museum of Modern Art director Glenn Lowry told Reuters.

The exhibit, which runs through March, also features a mix of Warhol's lengthier, rare cinematic projects, including the marathon Empire, an 8-hour silent film focusing on the Empire State Building.