Warhol is known for his Marilyns and Campbell’s Soup Cans, but his most disturbing and profound effort was undoubtedly the “Death and Disaster” series of the 1960s. Created in the wake of JFK’s murder, and coinciding with collective descent into mayhem and madness that followed in both the streets and on television, these works captured the zeitgeist of what was undoubtedly the most divided period in the country’s history since the Civil War.
Vietnam, urban riots and political assassinations were symptomatic of a rot at the core of the American experience that if anything has grown even worse over time. Warhol summed the inherent violence of American society with tabloid images of electric chairs, car crashes and other talismans of catastrophe silkscreened onto canvas. Some 18 works from the series produced between 1964 and 1965 are presented here, powerful as ever.