Extensive Lou Reed Exhibit Announced at New York Public Library
24 Sep 2021
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts have announced a major Lou Reed exhibition entitled 'Lou Reed: Caught Between the Twisted Stars', aptly named after a line in 'Romeo Had Juliette' from his definitive 1989 album, New York. The exhibit opens 2 March 2022, on what would have been Reed's 80th birthday.
His personal archives were acquired by the library back in 2017 and two years later, after extensive filing and digitizing, they opened to the public. The archive itself dates back to the formation of the Velvet Underground and continues through his solo career, which spans nearly five decades. Nothing is omitted: aimless things written by Reed such as a list of restaurants in New York, old receipts which document his whereabouts and fan mail he received, to significant rock artifacts such as acoustic home recordings, studio outtakes that would have otherwise gone unheard, and photographs taken of and by Reed.
Speaking to The Guardian
in 2019, his widow Laurie Anderson said that "having his archives here was a natural fit."
"Lou Reed as a person and artist was a quintessential New York figure and his work continues to influence the city to some degree. He was also a supporter and lover of the New York Public Library itself. Having his archives viewable for anyone with a library card, which anyone can get, very much speaks to his own aesthetic which embraced all types of people, in particular the marginalized."
Now, the library is set to curate these archives to create the large-scale exhibit, taking fans through a journey of rock and roll history that's embedded within the history of New York.
"The first large-scale exhibition featuring previously unseen and unheard work from Reed's incredible archive, which will delight fans and introduce new audiences to an icon whose profound influence-musically, visually, and culturally-through the Velvet Underground and four decades of solo albums is still inspiring people today," the NYPL said of the exhibit.
The free exhibition, which is onsite at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located within the Lincoln Center, will be on display through until 27 August 2022.
The Velvet Underground has received a great deal of attention over recent months. The band's upcoming documentary
, directed by Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, I'm Not There
), recently premiered at Cannes Film Festival, and is scheduled for general release on 15 October on Apple TV.
A cover album was also released today (24 September) as a tribute to the band. I'll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico includes renditions by Courtney Barnett, Iggy Pop and St. Vincent.