Wolfgang Beltracchi painting of Andy Warhol silkscreen

Le Verdict, 2019

The unique series Le Verdict deals with the punishment of execution in Western culture.

Based on a photo reference by Alberto Venzago from 1984, Wolfgang Beltracchi created 12 works on paper, in which he reflects on the content of the images in a differentiated way using various materials, drawings, underpaintings, and overpaintings. Beltracchi dedicates himself to the person and statement of one of the greatest pop art artists, establishing a connection to the then and now highly relevant theme.

In his New York studio, Andy Warhol stands in front of his work "Electric Chair" from 1963. In that year, the last execution on the electric chair at the New York Sing Sing prison took place. With his "Death and Disaster" paintings, Warhol engaged with these themes in the 1960s.

Even in 2019, the death penalty is still applied in 93 countries worldwide. In Europe, Belarus continues to use the death penalty. The last execution on German soil took place in Leipzig in 1981.

With the 12 works, Wolfgang Beltracchi aims at the ongoing history of this form of blood revenge. Culturally embedded in our society, the demand for blood revenge, according to the Old Testament law (Genesis 9.6), continues in successor religions to this day. In 2018, Pope Francis declared the death penalty inadmissible.