Andy Warhol, ‘ Electric Chair (FS II.78)’, 1971, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘ Electric Chair (FS II.78)’, 1971, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘ Electric Chair (FS II.78)’, 1971, Revolver Gallery

ELECTRIC CHAIR 78

Warhol’s Electric Chairs from his Death and Disaster canon are considered his most famous images. Created in the mid-60s and made into prints in the 1970s, they represent some of the artist’s most controversial and thought-provoking works even today. Warhol has abstracted the image as to almost obliterate it, reducing the image to a notation or blueprint.

ELECTRIC CHAIR 78 AS PART OF ANDY WARHOL’S LARGER BODY OF WORK

Warhol created different screenprints of the electric chair as part of his Death and Disaster series, released in the early 1970s. The series created much controversy, as it focused on the gruesome imagery of suicides and plane crashes. The first set of chairs caused somewhat of a societal uproar, as they were created the same year New York’s Sing Sing State Penitentiary performed its last execution by electric chair. Warhol wanted the Death and Disaster series to be a commentary on society’s ability to numb themselves from tragedy that occurs so regularly.

Signature: signed and dated ’71 in ball-point pen and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso; some signed in pencil.

About Andy Warhol

Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.

American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York