An original screenprint on Strathmore Drawing paper by American artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) titled "Birmingham Race Riot", 1964. This is the third published limited edition print Warhol ever made. Issued unsigned. Limited edition: 500, plus 10 AP's. Comes from the 'Ten Works by Ten Painters' portfolio. Printed by Ives-Sillman, Inc. & Sirocco Screenprints both in New Haven, CT and published by Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT in 1964. Ives-Sillman chopmark/blindstamp lower right. Each entire portfolio was numbered on the colophon page. The other 9 artists, selected by Samuel Wagstaff, who contributed to this portfolio were George Ortman, Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, Stuart Davis, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Poons, Robert Indiana, and Ad Reinhardt. Other examples of this work are in many permanent museum collections including The MET, MoMA, Tate, Whitney Museum of American Art and others. Provenance: private collection - Boston, MA. Reference: Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1987, Feldman and Schellmann, (FS II.3), pg. 59, 212. Sheet size: 20" x 24". Some light handling wear at corners and scuffing to surface, all typical light signs of wear associated with age. In overall very good condition.
Andy Warhol made very few alterations to the source material for this screenprint—a photograph from Life magazine by Charles Moore (in fact, the photographer would later sue the artist for unauthorized use of his work). Warhol simply enlarged and reversed the original image, which was published in a May 1963 photo essay about police dogs attacking civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama. Although several of Warhol’s series of the early 1960s touched on current events, the subject of "Birmingham Race Riot" (and thirteen related silkscreen paintings, made subsequently) is uncommonly political for him. Yet despite the photograph’s disturbing depiction of an African American man besieged by police dogs, Warhol’s deadpan presentation of the appropriated photograph makes the tone of his work ambiguous and difficult to gauge.
The 1964 screenprint "Birmingham Race Riot" (FS II.3), signaled the future direction of his prints in its combined use of photography and silkscreen. The image first appeared as part of the 'Disaster' series, paintings of race riots, car crashes, suicides, and negative takes on the American dream begun in 1963. Warhol possessed an uncanny ability for selecting imagery, largely derived from existing news and publicity photographs, capable of conveying extraordinary content.
The riots at Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963 were notorious across America, and with this wide publicity the event was one of the climaxes of the Civil Rights Movement. Supporters of Martin Luther King, protesting at segregation at lunch counters, were attacked by the police with dogs and water hoses, and King himself was arrested. Warhol contributed this small print to a portfolio of work by ten artists, published the year after the riot. The image is changed only in size and status from a newspaper photograph. In the form of a print in this portfolio it commemorates the tensions in American popular life at the time, and forcefully illustrates the distance of the arts from such events.
Andy Warhol ( born Andrew Warhola; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.
Warhol's art used many types of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death. He founded Interview magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He managed and produced The Velvet Underground, a rock band which had a strong influence on the evolution of punk rock music. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a well known gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.
Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression "15 minutes of fame". Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is US$105 million for a 1963 canvas titled "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)". A 2009 article in The Economist described Warhol as the "bellwether of the art market". Warhol's works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.