Warhol’s $60 million ‘Silver Car Crash’ headlines Sotheby’s New York auction

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2015-06-26 10:34:53

The large 1963 work by the pioneering Pop artist will head to auction for the first time since 1988.

One of Andy Warhol’s most important artworks is set to headline the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York next month.

The monumental silkscreen print ‘Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)’, measuring 8ft by 13ft, was executed in 1963 as part of the artist’s ‘Death and Disaster’ series. It depicts the aftermath of a car accident in which a vehicle has crashed into a tree, with the images repeated numerous times across the large silver-grey canvas.

Warhol produced just four works in the ‘Death and Disaster’ series on such a large scale, with three of them belonging to important national institutions: ‘Orange Car Crash 14 Times’ in The Museum of Modern Art, New York, ‘Black and White Disaster #4’ in the Kunstmuseum, Basel and ‘Orange Car Crash’ in the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung, Ludwig, Vienna.

‘Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)’ is the only work of the four to remain in private hands, having passed through the renowned collections of Charles Saatchi, Gunter Sachs and dealer Thomas Ammann.

Seen just once by the public in the past 26 years, the work has remained in a private European collection since 1988. It will be offered in the sale with an estimate in excess of $60 million.

"When I saw this painting for the first time, I was completely blown away," Tobias Meyer, Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s said in a recent interview with the company's website. "It's big, and it's powerful, and it makes you silent… It's like a great film."

“With Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) Warhol consciously created work of such scale and ambition that it takes its place alongside paintings such as Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa as one of the definitive masterpieces of history painting.”

The painting will be on view at Sotheby’s in London on 12 October before heading to New York for an exhibition on 1 November. The auction, which will feature further Warhol works including ‘Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz)’ (1963), is scheduled for November 30.

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