Farewell Nathan Gluck

Anyone who passed through the old AIGA headquarters on Third Avenue during the 1980s and ’90s met Nathan Gluck, who passed away on Saturday. He was the smile on the institutional face. He was also a collage artist (above) who had gallery exhibitions and a retrospective at the Warhol Museum in 2001, in part because he was Andy Warhol’s assistant during Pop Art’s infancy.

Some facts: In 1955, Warhol was tracing photographs borrowed from the New York Public Library’s photo collection, all with Nathan’s assistance. In 1959, also with Nathan, Warhol designed wrapping paper that was printed with handmade stamps. Nathan taught Warhol how to marbleize paper: “Andy did these strange marbled things, and then he crumpled them up and just left them around on the floor,” Nathan once recalled. Later, he helped Warhol produce the Brillo Boxes as part of a group of replicas of commonplace supermarket packaging. Nathan was in charge of selecting the carton prototypes, but Warhol rejected his campier choices in favor of the most banal examples. In an interview with Patrick S. Smith in Warhol: Conversations about the Artist, Nathan recalled that Warhol chose “very nice boxes. You know, for grapefruit with maybe palm trees or crazy flamingos or some kind of oranges–maybe they would be called Blue Orchid Oranges, and the box would have a blue orchid on them.”

Farewell Nathan (below, left, with Andy Warhol).

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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