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Andy Warhol

Electric Chair

1971

From

Electric Chair

Artist

Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

Title

Electric Chair

Portfolio/Series

Electric Chair
2 of 10 in the Portfolio

Date

1971

Medium

Screenprint

Dimensions

Sheet: 35 7/16 × 47 7/8 in. (90 × 121.6 cm)

Edition information

192/250 | 50 APs [Roman numerals]

Publication information

Printed by Silkprint Kettner; published by Bruno Bischofberger

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Peter M. Brant

Accession number

73.92.2

Object Label

This set of ten color screenprints, which are intended to be exhibited as a group, addresses a subject to which Andy Warhol returned several times over the course of a decade. In 1963, perhaps prompted by New York state’s decision to cease using the electric chair to execute prisoners, Warhol began using an image of the chair in his Disaster series, a body of work focused on startlingly political and gruesome content. To create these works, Warhol appropriated newspaper and police report photographs of race riots and car crashes, among other subjects. In the Electric Chair prints, the liveliness of Warhol’s secondary palette—acid green, lavender, teal—seems to contravene the pathos of the image, while other aspects of his technique reinforce it. The silkscreen process imbues the prints with breaks and irregularities, passages of murkiness, and areas of glare—all perhaps metaphors for the sense of absence, loss, and disillusionment underlying the image of the electric chair.

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