acrylic and silkscreen on canvas
15,2 x 21,2 cm (6 x 8 in.)
Even before so-called "Appropriation Art" had its great breakthrough in the 1980s and received its philosophical legitimation from Roland Barthes and Michel Focault, who celebrated the "death of the author" and the "birth of the reader", Richard Pettibone began appropriating works by Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein, Johns, Stella, Duchamp and other great names of art history in the early 1960s and presenting miniature replicas of them. Almost simultaneously with the creation of the Campbell Soup Cans, he began to transfer them onto canvas in a smaller format, also using screen-printing techniques. His painted commentary on the claim to originality of Western art was thus ignited by an artist who himself was already playing subversive games with originality. When Pettibone visited Warhol in his factory in the 1960s, he showed him his miniature versions of various soup cans: "I just didn't know if he was going to sue me or what. But I wanted to be polite and show him the things first. I thought I should do it. It was the next logical step for me, and he totally got it. He liked the paintings." Richard Pettibone's first solo exhibitions were at Ferus Gallery in 1965 and Leo Castelli Gallery in 1969. The Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art (2005) and the Laguna Art Museum (2006) dedicated major retrospective exhibitions to him. His works are in the collections of numerous renowned institutions such as the MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the MoCA in Los Angeles.