Campbell’s Soup Cans
32 Campbell’s Soup Cans is a work of art produced between November 1961 and March or April 1962 by Andy Warhol. It consists of thirty-two canvases, each measuring 20 inches in height and 16 inches in width and each consisting of a painting of a canned soup can. The pieces were made from stencils made from photographs made from silkscreens until after Warhol did not begin to convert photographs into color.
About Campbell’s Soup Cans in brief
32 Campbell’s Soup Cans is a work of art produced between November 1961 and March or April 1962 by Andy Warhol. It consists of thirty-two canvases, each measuring 20 inches in height and 16 inches in width and each consisting of a painting of a canned soup can. Warhol, a commercial illustrator who became a successful author, publisher, painter, and film director, showed the work on July 9, 1962, in his first one-man gallery exhibition as a fine artist in the Ferus Gallery of Los Angeles, California. The exhibition marked the West Coast debut of pop art. Today, the Campbell’s soup cans theme is generally used in reference to the original set of paintings as well as the later Warhol drawings and paintings depicting the canned soup cans. The combination of the semi-mechanized process, the non-painterly style, and the commercial subject initially caused offense, as the work’s blatantly mundane commercialism represented a direct affront to the technique and philosophy of abstract expressionism. The controversy led to a great deal of debate about the merits and ethics of such work, and they continue to be topical to this day. Because of the eventual popularity of the entire series of similarly themed works, Warhol’s reputation grew to the point where he was not only the most-renowned American pop art artist, but also the highest-priced living American artist. The pieces were made from stencils made from photographs made from silkscreens until after Warhol did not begin to convert photographs into color.
Although Warhol had produced the original series of silks of comic strips and other pop art, he supposedly relegated himself to soup as a subject at the time to avoid competing with the more finished style of comics by Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist, that will be different from what they’re doing. He once said: “I’ve got to do something that really will have a lot of impact that won’t look exactly like what I’m doing. I’m not doing what I used to do.” Warhol subsequently produced a wide variety of art works depicting Campbell’s soups during three distinct phases of his career, and he produced other works using a variety of images from the world of commerce and mass media. In late 1961, he learned the process ofsilkscreening from Floriano Vecchi, who had run the Tiber Press since 1953. He did not start making silkscreened paintings until after after he had made the original silks, which he based on comic strip subjects. In the 1950s, he had regular showings of his drawings, and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1960, he began producing his first canvases,. In 1952, he. had his first art gallery show at the Bodley Gallery with a display of Truman Capote-inspired works. By 1955, he was tracing photographs borrowed from the New York Public Library’s photo collection with the hired assistance of Nathan Gluck, and reproducing them with a process he had developed earlier as a collegian.