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Acrylic Paintings

Acrylic is new in comparison to oil or tempera paint. With acrylic, the pigment is suspended in a natural or synthetic polymer – basically, plastic – instead of in linseed oil or egg yolk.

Acrylic paint dries fast and works well for achieving crisp, sharp edges and a finish that has an industrial look. Once the acrylic is dry, it is waterproof and cannot be re-worked. Acrylic paint can be diluted in water before it is applied so it is semi-transparent like watercolor, or can be left thick and heavy.

David Hockney, the Californian painter, used acrylics in the 1960s in his works, such as "A Bigger Splash," 1960. Acrylic is suited to Hockney’s sun-drenched California pool scenes. Andy Warhol also worked with acrylic, including in his "Oxidation Painting (in 12 parts)," 1978. In these, Warhol primed canvases with an acrylic containing a copper pigment, and a studio assistant, Ronnie Cutrone, urinated on them. A chemical reaction took place, leaving a dark center with copper-color around it.


Quick Facts

  • Andy Warhol’s "Big Electric Chair," 1967-68 is an acrylic work that sold for $20.4 million at Sotheby’s in May 2014
  • Damien Hirst uses acrylics, as in "Daptomycin," 2010. In Hirst’s “dot paintings,” acrylic gives a minimalist finish absent of a sign of the artist’s hand
  • Chris Ofili’s "The Holy Virgin Mary," 1996, criticized as “sick” by Rudolph Giuliani, includes acrylic in its materials list and sold for £2.9 million at Christie’s London in June 2015

Recommended Items at Auction

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Unknown Artist 20th Century
Apr 23, 10:00 AM CEST
Unknown Artist 20th Century
by Deutsch Auktionen
Est: €80- €160
€801 Bid
Jochen Gerz (1940 Berlin – lebt in Irland)
May 04, 2:00 PM CEST
Jochen Gerz (1940 Berlin – lebt in Irland)
by AaG Auktionshaus am Grunewald
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Acrylic Paintings


Deutsch Auktionen

Deutsch Auktionen

AaG Auktionshaus am Grunewald

AaG Auktionshaus am Grunewald