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  • Provenance

    Sean Kelly, New York

  • Literature

    Feldman & Schellmann, eds., Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962–1987, 4th ed., New York, 2003, IIIA.9, p. 232 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Warhol's Disaster series is a provocative statement that underscores his fascination with the power of media, the underside of American life and the indiscriminate nature of death. Culled from tragic front-page news stories, its imagery chillingly reflects the artist's raw and confrontational attitude towards beauty and tragedy. Indeed, as Warhol himself said in a 1963 interview: "I realized that everything I was doing must have been Death. It was Labor Day and every time you turned on the radio they said something like ‘Four million are going to die'. That started it. But when you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn't really have any effect ... and I thought people should think about them some time ... It's not that I feel sorry for them, it's just that people go by and it doesn't really matter to them that someone unknown was killed so I thought it would be nice for these unknown people to be remembered." (Gene Swenson, ‘What is Pop Art?', Artnews 62, November 1963, pp. 60–61)

  • Artist Biography

    Andy Warhol

    American • 1928 - 1987

    Known as the “King of Pop,” Andy Warhol was the leading face of the Pop Art movement in the United States in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects like Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity, and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

    Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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Disaster (Retrospective Series)

c. 1978
Unique silkscreen on Saunders paper.
Image: 52.7 × 92.4 cm (20 3/4 × 36 2/5 in); paper: 77.5 × 109.2 cm (30 1/2 × 43 in).
Numbered ‘UP48.19' on the reverse.

£150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for £157,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2010