Andy Warhol

Electric Chair | FS-II.74

Screenprint on white paper.
35.5″ x 48″
Edition of 250, signed and dated ’71 in ball-point pen and numbered with rubber stamp on verso. There are 50 AP, signed, dated and numbered in Roman numerals in ball-point pen on verso with AP stamped; some AP writen.
Portfolio of 10 screenprints.
Printer: Silkprint Kettner, Zurich
Publisher: Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich

Andy Warhol – Edition Prints – Electric Chair

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Andy Warhol Electric Chair is a range of artworks created by artist Andy Warhol.

Warhol began using the image of the electric chair in 1963, the same year as the two final executions in New York State. Over the next decade, he repeatedly returned to the subject, reflecting the political controversy surrounding the death penalty in America in the 1960s. The chair, and its brutal reduction of life to nothingness, is given a typically deadpan presentation by Warhol. The image of an unoccupied electric chair in an empty execution chamber becomes a poignant metaphor for death.

When Andy Warhol first burst onto the artistic stage in the 1960s’, he did so by incorporating images that were firmly embedded in the American psyche. His bright and colorful paintings and serigraphs presented images that were commonplace — a soup can or coke bottle — but were transformed by his technique into artistic icons of popular culture. Warhol was most interested in image and not reality, although one could say that by casting these mass produced commercial images in his own unique style, Warhol was making a comment on the reality of living in a world that was dominated by images from the advertising and entertainment industries. Warhol’s prints are in essence images of images. They are at least once removed, and often several times removed, from reality. His famous prints of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, not to mention countless other celebrities, are based on photographs. As in the case with Marilyn Monroe, many of those photographs are of his subjects posing as a character, not as themselves, a subtle reminder that once someone achieves a certain celebrity status, they become further and further removed from their real selves. How many layers must one remove to finally see the real person depicted in a Warhol print?