Monumental Bid: A Car Crash Piece From Andy Warhol’s ‘Death and Disaster’ Series Sells for $85.4 Million - Arts & Culture

His work featured imagery of atomic bomb clouds and electric chairs.

Andy Warhol’s black and white artwork, “White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times),” was sold for $85.4 million on Wednesday. The 12-foot-tall and six foot-wide-lot was offered by Sotheby’s New York and is now one of the most valuable post-war works ever to sell at auction.

According to CNN, the piece’s creation in 1963 was when Warhol was “transfixed with gruesome and morbid images.” Other work featured imagery of atomic bomb clouds and electric chairs.

READ ALSO: Seminal Work: Piet Mondrian’s ‘Composition No. II’ Breaks A Record With $51 Million


“What distinguishes (the artwork) is not only its immense scale, which really bewilders anybody who stands in front of it … but also its palette,” David Galperin, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in New York, told the publication. “It really seems to glow, the way that the black silkscreen is registered against the sharp white background.”

The American visual artist’s recognizable works, including Shot Marilyns (1964) and Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962), were born in the same period. “These ideas of celebrity, tragedy, fame, death — these are the themes that occupied Warhol, and I think that the series he was working on simultaneously, the Marilyn paintings and the “Death and Disaster” paintings, are intricately linked,” Galperin added.

Banner image from Sotheby’s.

Order your print copy of this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA Magazine:
Download this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]