ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
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ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
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ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)

Campbell's Soup I

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
Campbell's Soup I
each: signed 'Andy Warhol' in ball point pen and stamped with the number '203⁄250' (on the reverse)
screenprint in colours on smooth wove paper, in ten parts
each: 35 x 23in. (89 x 58.5cm.)
Executed in 1968, this work is number two hundred and three from an edition of two hundred and fifty plus twenty-six artist’s proofs. Published by Factory Additions, New York.
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.
F. Feldman and J. Schellmann (eds.), Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York 1985, pp. 16 and 113, no. II.44-53 (illustrated in colour, p.42).
R. Castleman (ed.), American Prints 1960-1985 In the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York 1986 (another from the edition, p. 414).
F. Feldman and J. Schellmann (eds.), Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York 1989, pp. 16 and 134, no. II.44-53 (illustrated in colour, p. 46).
F. Feldman and J. Schellmann (eds.), Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1987, New York 1997, pp. 21-22, 267 and 276-277, no. II.44-53 (illustrated in colour, pp. 68-69).
F. Feldman and J. Schellmann (eds.), Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné 1962-1987, New York 2003, pp. 24-25, 213 and 350-351, no. II.44-53 (illustrated in colour, pp. 72-73).
K. Honnef, Andy Warhol 1928-1987 Commerce into Art, Cologne 2007 (details of another from the edition illustrated in colour, pp, 32-33).
Milan, Triennale di Milano, The Andy Warhol Show, 2004-2005, no. 46 (another from the edition exhibited, illustrated in colour, pp. 124-125).
Billings, Yellowstone Art Museum, Andy Warhol's Dream America. Screenprints from the Collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, 2004-2006, pp. 29-30 and 36, no. 12-21, (another from the edition exhibited; illustrated in colour, pp. 10-11). This exhibition later travelled to Casper, Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center; Eugene, Museum of Art, University of Oregon; El Paso, Museum of Art, University of Texas; Colarado Springs, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; Scottsdale, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art.
Palma, Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Andy Warhol, 2006-2007 (another from the edition exhibited).
Cologne, Museum Ludwig, Ludwig Goes Pop, 2014-2015, p. 348 (another from the edition exhibited; illustrated in colour, p. 326). This exhibited later travelled to Vienna, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung.
Further Details
Other works from the edition are held in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena and Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario.

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Lot Essay

An extraordinary ten-part hymn to Andy Warhol’s most iconic subject, Campbell’s Soup I is a complete portfolio from his celebrated 1968 print edition of the same name. Each of its images, from ‘Black Bean’ to ‘Cream of Mushroom’, depicts a different flavoured soup from the pantheon that launched the artist’s career in the early 1960s. Elevating the humble American grocery staple to the realm of fine art, Warhol took his daily lunch as his first true muse. These works held a mirror up to contemporary consumer culture, aping its mechanisms of mass reproduction and circulation. In the latter part of the decade, under the name ‘Factory Additions’, the artist published a number of print suites based on his best paintings, thereby intensifying their conceptual interrogations of authorship and originality. While many of the ten-part sets from Campbell’s Soup I have been disassembled over the years, the present work is offered here in its entirety: other complete portfolios from the edition are held in institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Pursued with obsessive fervour between 1961 and 1962, Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup paintings were among the first icons of American Pop Art. As commercial advertising swept throughout the United States, the artist depicted the products whose images flooded the national consciousness, asking at what point art and life became indistinguishable. Coca Cola, Brillo Boxes and the American dollar bill took their place in his hall of fame. Other living ‘commodities’, from Marilyn Monroe to Elvis Presley, found themselves immortalised forever in his silkscreens. Campbell’s Soup, however, held a particular fascination for Warhol. It was the lunch he claimed to have eaten ‘every day for twenty years’ (A. Warhol, quoted in Art News, November 1963). It had first graced American grocery shelves in the nineteenth century, and its appearance had remained unchanged for over half a century. Inspired by the suggestion of his friend Muriel Latow, who implored him to paint something that ‘everybody sees everyday’, Warhol promptly sent his mother out to buy every flavour of Campbell’s Soup she could find (M. Latow, quoted in V. Bockris, The Life and Death of Andy Warhol, London 1998, p. 143).

Warhol’s initial Campbell’s Soup works drew upon his background as an illustrator, based on printed images that were projected, traced and painted onto canvas. As he began to serialise his work, he used a stencil derived from a photograph by Edward Wallowitch, creating his first ever repetitive structures. The series caught the attention of West Coast dealer Irving Blum, who came to visit Warhol’s studio in 1962, and immediately offered to mount the artist’s solo debut at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles that summer. For the exhibition, Warhol presented thirty-two individual small soup can paintings showing each of the Campbell’s flavours—a landmark group of works later acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The paintings were laid out in uniform sequence on shelves, like products in a supermarket. ‘Warhol captured the imagination of the media and the public, as had no other artist of his generation,’ recalled the critic and curator Henry Geldzahler. From that moment on, ‘Andy was pop and pop was Andy’ (H. Geldzahler, quoted in V. Bockris, ibid., pp. 159-60).

Like Jasper Johns before him, Warhol worked in the legacy of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘readymades’, which had famously asserted that restating common objects could transform their meaning and function. Geldzahler, notably, described the soup cans as ‘the Nude Descending a Staircase of Pop Art’, referencing the French artist’s 1912 painting. Eventually, Warhol’s works would come to the attention of Duchamp himself, who observed that ‘If you take a Campbell’s Soup can and repeat it fifty times, you are not interested in the retinal image. What interests you is the concept that wants to put fifty Campbell’s soup cans on a canvas’ (M. Duchamp, quoted in D. Bourdon, Warhol, New York 1995, p. 88). That concept itself was a thorny one. While Warhol, in his deliberately poker-faced manner, claimed that his serial repetition of the soup can simply reflected its ubiquity as an everyday product, it also intentionally blurred the line between high art and mass produced goods. His print editions—including Campbell’s Soup I and its counterpart Campbell’s Soup II—would purposefully muddy these waters further. Through a motif synonymous with American tradition, Warhol posed powerful questions about the nature and purpose of image-making in a rapidly changing contemporary world.

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