Another Work From Andy Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” Series Heads to Auction

"White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times)" will be sold next month

Andy Warhol
1966: Singer Keith Relf and guitarist Jimmy Page of the rock band The Yardbirds chat with Andy Warhol in 1966.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

If you’ve wanted to see Andy Warhol’s massive 1963 work White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times) at some point in the last 15 years, it’s fair to say that you probably haven’t had much luck doing so. As a recent article in The Guardian points out, the painting’s current owner has kept the work out of the public eye for the last decade and a half.

That’s a shame, as the way that Warhol repeats an image of a car crash across a 12 foot by six foot canvas is both stunning and feels like an eerie anticipation of present-day voyeurism and surveillance. But the work is about to change hands — it’s being put up for sale as part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction on Nov. 16, along with works by the likes of Keith Haring, Barbara Kruger and Josef Albers.

Sotheby’s listing for the work notes that it “reveals the concerns which lie at the very heart of Warhol’s legendary artistic oeuvre: an unprecedented confrontation of life, death, and celebrity within our mass-media world, and the harrowing necessity of navigating a present in between.”

It’s also part of Warhol’s Death and Disaster series, one of which sold for $104.5 million in 2013. According to The Guardian‘s article, White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times) “is expected to sell for at least $80m in New York next month.”

Earlier this year, Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn was sold at auction, where its sale price of $195 million set a new record for 20th century art. We’ll see what next month has in store for White Disaster.

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