ANDY WARHOL

 

In 1962, Andy Warhol started a series of silkscreened paintings of death and disasters that included photographs of suicides, plane and car crashes, and tragedy-stricken celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy. All the images were taken from the print media. He depicted an electric chair in several groups of silk-screens throughout the 1960s, the first in 1963--the same year that New York's Sing Sing State Penetentiary performed its last two executions by electric chair (capital punishment was banned in the United States from 1963-1997).

 

In 1971 Warhol published a suite of 10 silkscreen prints of the subject and in 1978, as part of his "Retrospective Series" the artist revisited many of his most iconic images; Mao, Marilyn, the Cow and Electric Chair, which were included in this series. In this small group of unique trial proof prints, however, he made several variations: he reversed some images, cropped others and combined images of Mao, the Cow and the Electric Chair in others, occasionally printing at raked angles, creating off-register, double, or overlaid images.



In this example we see a clear, solitary impression of the iconic Electric Chair. By the artist's account, the replication of the image was intended to "empty" it of meaning.



Provenance:
Andy Warhol Estate
Paul Kasmin Gallery
Private Collection, Minneapolis