Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup II (F & S II.54 - 63)Facts | History | Meaning
Catalogue Title: Campbell’s Soup II Complete Portfolio (FS II.54-63) Year: 1969 Size:
35″ x 23″ Each
88.9 cm x 58.42 cm Each
Medium: Portfolio of ten screenprints on paper. Edition: Portfolio of 10. Edition of 250 signed in ball-point pen and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso. There are 26 AP signed and lettered A-Z in ball-point pen on verso.
Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup II (F & S II.54 - 63)Meaning & History
"It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Campbell Soup Can, a symbol synonymous with Modern Art, both in its concept and execution."
Campbell’s Soup II is the second portfolio in Warhol’s Campbell Soup series, produced in 1969. As with the earlier volume, it is comprised of ten screenprints, but distinctive for its decorative character. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Campbell Soup Can, a symbol synonymous with Modern Art, both in its concept and execution.
In the present portfolio, Warhol playfully turns to the graphic design of an array of soup flavours to give personality and form to each can. The first volume features identical soup cans only distinguishable by the text which bears the flavour. Here, Warhol ventures into semiotic experimentation: a Queen’s guard, spaghetti hoop and a speech bubble are whimsical in contrast with the classical white and red division of the can. Warhol’s familiarity with the soup can bordered on obsessive: he tasked an old boyfriend, Ed Wallowitch, had photographed Campbell’s soup cans for Warhol in ways – flat, closed, stacked. The idea was that the artist would bring the photographic representation as directly as possible to the paper or canvas. As the great masters had painstakingly painted still life paintings from observation, Warhol rebelled against the shackles of convention to do the same with the humble household object. In the words of Donna De Salvo, the artist ‘dissected the very mechanics of image production, and, through this unexpected commonplace vehicle, discovered a way to be original’. (‘God is in the Details: The Prints of Andy Warhol’, in Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonne).
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