DISPATCH - JUNE 17, 2014
NEW YORK CITY, NY-
Ultra Violet, a film superstar from Andy Warhol's "the Factory", died on Saturday at a hospital in New York City, reported The New York Times. The cause was cancer. The former film star and artist was 78 years old. Most recently, her artwork was exhibited at the Dillion Gallery in Chelsea in New York City. She was a frequent visitor to The Hamptons and regularly attended the art fairs held each July.
Ultra Violet was born on Sept. 6, 1935 in La Tronche, France with the given name Isabelle Collin Dufresne. She met Andy Warhol in 1964, while having tea with Salvador Dalí at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Dalí was her lover and mentor, at the time. Warhol expressed interest in having Dufresne appear in his films at the Factory, according to The Times. She did so the following year and changed her name permanently to Ultra Violet a few years later. At times, she was easily identifiable by her preference for purple--streaked in her hair, applied as eye shadow or as a clothing color of choice.
Her films with Warhol included “The Life of Juanita Castro” (1965) and “I, a Man” (1967). As Ultra Violet, Dufresne appeared in some 17 films plus numerous documentaries about the Warhol days and the Factory regulars, according to The New York Times.
In addition, Ultra Violet appeared in “Midnight Cowboy” (1969), “Taking Off” (1971), “An Unmarried Woman” (1978) and “Blackout” (1994), reported The New York Times.
Even before becoming Ultra Violet, Dufresne surrounded herself with artists and the arts. In the sixties, she was closely associated with John Graham, John Chamberlain, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Stella, and other artists of the New York School, according to a biography published on the Dillion Gallery's website. A solo show, "Ultra Violet: The Studio Recreated" was exhibited at Dillon Gallery from April 24 to June 3, 2014.
Her artwork delves into the September 11 terrorist attacks and the ways the iconography that follows now represents "an act of terrorism, annihilation and commercialization in contemporary society, according to the gallery. Her work was frequently exhibited at art fairs held in New York City, Miami, the Hamptons and other locations.
Gallery exhibitions featuring her work were presented nationally and internationally including Paris, London, Paris, Montreal, New Delhi, New York City, Chicago and others. In the Hamptons, Ultra Violet's work was exhibited in 2013 at Peter Marcelle Gallery. The film, "ULTRA VIOLET FOR SIXTEEEN MINUTES" was screened at "The Bridge" in Bridgehampton in 2012.
Her work was also selected for inclusion in the 2012 exhibition "Bad for You" curated by Beth deWoody at the Shizaru Gallery in London.
Ultra Violet's art works are in the collections of the Museum Pompidou (Paris), the Knokke-Heist Museum (Belgium), and art collector Beth deWoody. A recent acquisition of one of her sculptures will be loaned to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, according to Dillion Gallery.
Ultra Violet (Dufresne) is survived by two sisters, Catherine Cara and Edwige Merceron-Vicat, according to The New York Times. No information on funeral or memorial services have been provided.
RELATED: "Ultra Violet, Warhol Superstar, Dies at 78" by Anita Gates for The New York Times. Published June 15, 2014.
"Warhol Superstar Ultra Violet Dead at 78" by Jen Carlson for Gothamist. Published June 16, 2014.
Video: "ULTRA VIOLET FOR 16 MINUTES" by David Henry Gerson.