Andy Warhol, ‘Soup Can Bag [Feldman & Schellmann II.4a]’, 1966, Caviar20

In 1962 Andy Warhol debuted his (soon to be infamous) Soup Can paintings as the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. While it was a commercial flop, in a short period of time the work would become an icon for the entire Pop Art movement and the artist himself.

Later that year Warhol would begin working with screenprinting which both mechanized and revolutionized his practice.

During this period Warhol transitioned from painting soup cans by hand using stencils (or not) to printing directly on canvas.

In 1965 Warhol begins to create soup cans in neon colors. In conjunction for an exhibit at the Institute of Fine Arts, Boston he produced a limited number of silkscreen shopping bags with his beloved Campbell's soup in bold neon anchored by the company logo in royal blue and grape purple. The shopping bag becomes the perfect symbol of the intersection between high culture and pop art, between consumerism and connoisseurship, and between scarcity and ubiquity.

It can't be emphasized enough how vital and ground-breaking the mid-sixties were for Warhol. In addition to the Soup Cans, Warhol also introduced images of (a recently deceased) Marilyn Monroe (reviving the genre of portraiture) he began producing films and promoting the Velvet Underground. Needless to say this era was his creative zenith.

This work can be found in numerous public collections including the MoMA (NYC) and the Norton Simon Museum (California) amongst others.

About Andy Warhol

Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.

American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York