Rainer Crone a highly respected university academic emeritus of Contemporary Art and History of Film at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and a specialist in the art of Andy Warhol has died after a long illness, age 73. His death was confirmed by Martina Fischer at the Haus der Kunst Museum in Munich.
Prof. Dr. Crone had previously taught at Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, and New York University. He was best known for writing the first catalogue raisonné of Andy Warhol which was published in July 1970. This was based on the research for his doctorate at the University of Hamburg and was funded by a two-year doctoral grant from the German government, without commercial backing or financial support from any individuals or galleries. Crone began working with Andy Warhol in 1968 and continued working with Warhol on numerous books and projects until the artist’s death in 1987.Crone’s first catalogue raisonné and his Ph.D. thesis still only available in German are regarded as the first European scholarly response to the work of Andy Warhol.
In January 1970 Warhol and Crone discussed which painting should be used for the cover of the raisonné of his work. The artist suggested a Red Self-Portrait, which had been recently acquired by Warhol’s most prominent European dealer and Interview magazine co-owner Bruno Bischofberger. It was signed, dated and dedicated to “Bruno B.” Warhol provided an Ektrachrome of this work which used for the cover of the 1970 raisonne and its 1972 revised edition, and 1976 edition which listed this Red Self Portrait as entry #169. The Andy Warhol Foundation later refused to authenticate this work as it was produced by someone else on Warhol’s instructions. Warhol signed the work and authorized its inclusion in the first catalogue raisonné. Crone argued that it should be considered an authentic Warhol. The case is still unresolved.
In 1985 Crone, along with James Beck and Meyer Schapiro, was co-founder of the International Associates for Contemporary Art (I.A.C.A). Other founding members of the I.A.C.A included Eli Broad. The artist’s committee of the I.A.C.A included Georg Baselitz, John Baldessari, Richard Hamilton (artist), Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella and Richard Serra. The I.A.C.A was replaced by ICARUS in 1992.