CAMPBELL'S SOUP 1969
Screenprint in colors, on smooth wove paper,
from the edition of 250
(there were also 26 artist's proofs lettered A-Z),
published by Factory Additions, New York,
with full margins,
88.9 x 58.4 cm. (35 x 23 inches)
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The Story behind Andy warhol Campbell's Soup Cans :
When Warhol first exhibited these Campbell’s Soup Cans in 1962, they were displayed together on shelves, like products in a grocery aisle. At the time, the Campbell’s Soup Company sold 32 soup varieties; each canvas corresponds to a different flavor. Warhol did not indicate how the canvases should be installed. At MoMA, they are arranged in rows that reflect the chronological order in which the soups were introduced. The first flavor introduced by the company was tomato, in 1897.
Though Campbell’s Soup Cans resembles the mass-produced, printed advertisements by which Warhol was inspired, it is hand-painted, while the fleur de lys pattern ringing each can’s bottom edge is hand-stamped. In this work, he mimicked the repetition and uniformity of advertising by carefully reproducing the same image across each individual canvas. He varied only the label on the front of each can, distinguishing them by their variety. Warhol said of Campbell’s Soup, “I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for 20 years, I guess, the same thing over and over again.”
Towards the end of 1962, shortly after he completed Campbell’s Soup Cans, Warhol turned to the photo-silkscreen process. A printmaking technique originally invented for commercial use, it would become his signature medium and link his art making methods more closely to those of advertisements.