acrylic and synthetic polymer silkscreen on canvas
35,5 x 35,5 cm (14 x 14 in.)
signed and dated twice on the overlap and numbered on the stretcher: 'PA90.049'
„Buying is more American than thinking and I’m as American as they come.“ (Andy Warhol)
The Campbell soup cans are not only among Andy Warhol's famous motifs, but also among the best-known emblems of Pop Art, since they symbolise American consumer and mass culture par excellence, as it has been taken up in art since the 1960s.
In addition to Coke-Cola bottles and dollar notes, Warhol created the first series of 32 Campbell soup can paintings in 1962, which he exhibited - arranged on shelves like groceries - at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. Since then, Warhol has repeatedly explored the tin can with its different product variants in various views and designs: from the classic soup can to packaging, as in the present work. Compared to the early versions, whose motifs are immediately recognisable in their striking design with clearly delineated areas of lettering and colour, this version of Warhol's "Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup Box" appears more vivid with its various shades of colour and its dense interplay of the different elements. Additional lines give the work more depth and emphasise the individual handwriting of the artist, who has supplemented the screen printing technique with acrylic here.
Warhol discovered screen printing as an adequate means to depict consumer goods in the same year when he depicted the Campbell soup cans for the first time: in 1962. This technique seemed predestined for both his choice of subject matter and the reproducibility of his work. However, due to variations and irregularities in the printing, the results were by no means necessarily identical. Moreover, Warhol also varied with different colour combinations in editions and constantly developed the technical possibilities of screen printing.