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Alexandra Bircken: A–Z

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Andy Warhol

Mustard Race Riot

  • Year1963
  • Material2 parts; acryllic and silkscreen ink on canvas
  • Dimensions416.6 x 289.3 cm
  • Year of acquisition2004
  • Inventory numberUAB 642
  • On viewGround floor
  • Copyright© 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

More about the artwork

Andy Warhol’s “Mustard Race Riot” is an outstanding example from his “Death and Disaster” series. With this series, Warhol documented drastic events that dominated the American news and media coverage at the time: electric chairs, fatal car accidents and plane crashes, but also reports of food poisoning. The photographs used for “Mustard Race Riot” show the violent assault by police officers—armed with sticks and dogs—on peacefully demonstrating Black civil rights activists in a park in Birmingham, Alabama. With this motif, Warhol once again succeeded in channeling the mood of the country. Not least because of the publication of Charles Moore’s photographs in “Life” magazine in May 1963, the assault suddenly became widely known. The civil rights movement could no longer be regarded as just a “problem” of the South, but had exposed itself as an issue that affected the entire country. Warhol’s choice of the word “riot”, a term associated with violence, to describe the protests, reflects the parlance of that time. It meant however that he, as a White artist, repeated a term that gave the peaceful civil rights movement a negative, even illegal image. In truth, the violence was and still is committed by the US state and its structure of institutional racism.

The fact that Warhol juxtaposes a densely printed panel with a monochrome one, emphasizes his interest in how the media operate: images are replaced at ever faster intervals, they fade, even disappear from our memories. The media’s banality and arbitrariness – which was often also inhuman – fascinated Warhol.

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Further collection artworks

Arthur Jafa, Monster (2018), UAB \
Arthur Jafa Monster, 1988/2019
Cy Twombly, Untitled (Lexington), 2002, UAB 651aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Untitled (Lexington), 2002
Christopher Wool *1955, Untitled, 1991, UAB617aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Christopher Wool Untitled, 1991
Andy Warhol, Shadows, ca. 1978, UAB 557aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Andy Warhol Shadows, ca. 1978
Alexandra Bircken„Fruit Sticker I”, 2021 Edition für das Museum Brandhorst, Tuch mit buntem Digitaldruck auf Seide
Alexandra Bircken Fruit Sticker I, 2021