Andy Warhol, an American visual artist who was a leading figure in the pop art movement, is best known for his silkscreen paintings including Campbell’s Soup Cans And Marilyn Diptych. Next month, however, a rather “haunting” artwork of Warhol – White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times) – will go under the hammer in New York. The 1963 painting is expected to sell for at least $80 million dollars at Sotheby’s on November 16.
It is part of the artist‘s 1960s Death and Disaster series and is 12 feet tall. According to The Guardian, it has not been on public view for more than 15 years.
A post shared by Sotheby’s (@sothebys) 
Calling it “a monumental masterpiece”, Sotheby’s noted, “Andy Warhol’s White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times) from 1963 stands amongst the most radical and haunting artistic achievements of the twentieth century. Soaring above the viewer, Warhol’s towering canvas draws the viewer inward with an irresistible magnetism, while the white canvas emits a faintly miraculous glow, as if illuminated from within or perhaps above.”
It added that the dark row of images in the painting “draw our gaze ever upward in an experience of ascension”. According to the auction house, the painting reveals the concerns which lie at the heart of Warhol’s 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.”
In White Disaster, Warhol duplicated a single image of an automobile accident 19 times in black and white. It is the largest of his car crash works. The last large Death and Disaster painting sold at auction – Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) – fetched $105 million in 2013.
Sotheby’s noted that the White Disaster “captures the dual promise and perils of the modern age, where constant motion can become eternal stillness in a moment”.
The artwork will feature in Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction on November 16, where the auction house will put it on sale on behalf of a private owner.
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