NEW YORK.- Andy Warhol’s Mustard Race Riot, 1963, an extremely rare, powerful and provocative image from the artist’s Death and Disaster series, will be a highlight of Christie’s evening sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art on November 10 at Rockefeller Center. The robust sale will also offer “a rare trove of Moderns” from Cy Twombly, Alexander Calder and Jasper Johns, from an Important American Collection; an extraordinary group of ‘minimalist’ art from Donald Judd to Jeff Koons; and important contemporary works by artists Maurizio Cattelan, John Currin and Marlene Dumas.
Property from a Private New York Collection - From Warhol’s Death and Disaster series—a series devoted to depicting uniquely American forms of violence and death—and the largest and finest of the extremely rare Race Riot paintings, Mustard Race Riot dramatically portrays the brutality and political oppression at the height of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama. This monumental two-paneled work pushes the boundaries between image and meaning further than any other of Warhol’s works. Warhol’s fascination with images of death and horror depicted in magazines and newspapers during the 1960s led to his Death and Disaster series, which is considered to be one of the greatest artistic contributions to the 20th century. The idea of Mustard Race Riot, 1963, which illustrates the brutal police attacks on civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama from May 3-5, 1963, was inspired by three photographs taken by Charles Moore that were subsequently reproduced as a double-spread in Life magazine on May 17, 1963. Warhol reconstituted these images in four largescale works and it is the only overt political issue that he tackled during his career. Pink Race Riot and Mauve Race Riot, are in the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and The Daros Collection, Switzerland, respectively. Mustard Riot Race is also one of only seven two-panel large-scale Disaster pictures by the artist.