‘The Velvet Underground: New York Extravaganza’ Looks at Band as Center of the City’s Avant-Garde


New Paris exhibition The Velvet Underground: New York Extravaganza , curated by Christian Fevret, founder of Les Inrockuptibles music magazine, with art director and producer Carole Mirabello, celebrates the band at the center of the city’s avant-garde. The show highlights the significance of the group’s meeting and development in ‘60s New York, where the downtown scene was a tapestry of innovative artists, musicians, and filmmakers. This month also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the band’s debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, co-produced by Andy Warhol, famously featuring the artist’s print of a banana on the cover.

The Philharmonie de Paris’ multimedia exhibition, open through August 21, kicked off with a concert by John Cale and special guests playing the album. More concerts, workshops, film screenings, and symposiums are in store throughout the show’s run, offering further context for the band’s rise to fame in New York.

Documentary footage of Warhol’s Factory, along with various photographs and videos, are displayed along with mattresses so visitors can lounge around and soak it all in. Work by sources close to the band, including the photos of poet and Warhol assistant Gerard Malanga, who helped connect the curators with other Velvet associates from the time, are featured throughout the exhibit.

See a preview of Velvet Underground: New York Extravaganza in our gallery.

Le Velvet Underground au Castle Los Angeles 1966 © Gerard Malanga

Le Velvet Underground et Nico avec Andy Warhol Hollywood Hills 1966© Gerard Malanga Courtesy Galerie Caroline Smulders Paris

The Velvet Underground, John Davies Cale, Lou Reed. Courtesy of Cité de la Musique, Philharmonie de Paris

Courtesy of Cité de la Musique, Philharmonie de Paris

Le Velvet Underground au Cafe Bizarre 1965 © Adam Ritchie