Title: Electric Chair (FS II.75)
Medium: Screenprint on Paper
Size: 35 ½” x 48”
Edition:Edition of 250 signed and dated ’71 in ball-point pen and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso; some signed in pencil. 50 AP numbered in Roman numerals, signed and dated in ball-point pen on verso and stamped AP and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso. Portfolio of 10.
Electric Chair 75
This print is from Warhol’s Electric Chairs portfolio published in 1971. With this portfolio, Warhol returned to the imagery of the electric chair, which he originally painted in 1963, and created ten different screenprints. This particular print has a pink background with the chair in silver. This portfolio is part of Warhol’s Death and Disaster series where he explored very controversial images found in the media. The image of the chair is abstracted, and the image is reduced to a notation or blueprint. The chair is something that is such a powerful tool, has been given a typical Warhol application of color and abstraction, reducing its power, much like the chair has done to human life.
Electric Chair 75 AS PART OF ANDY WARHOL’S LARGER BODY OF WORK:
Like with many of Warhol’s work, he was commenting on American society with his Death and Disaster series. Warhol created the first image of the electric chair the same year that New York’s Sing Sing Penitentiary had its final two executions by electric chair. There was societal uproar during the 1960s surrounding the death penalty, and Warhol was also commenting on society’s ability to numb them from tragedy that occurs so regularly. Like we have seen with other works by Warhol, the repetition of an image begins to reduce its power. He said, “When you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesn’t really have any effect.” (What is Pop Art? p.60) This is a concept that Warhol continues to play with throughout his career.