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In Depth: Andy Warhol

May 21, 2019

Learn more about our recently acquired vintage Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup Can, Hand Initialed and Dated by Andy Warhol. The work was purchased by the original owner in 1964 from the Bianchini Gallery in New York, during "American Supermarket," the gallery's landmark exhibition of Pop Art work.
In July of 1962, at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) exhibited his now-iconic Campbell's Soup Cans. The work's 32 canvases, each one featuring a variety of the company's 32 soups, were lined up in a single row on a ledge that wrapped around the gallery. "Cans sit on shelves," the gallery director, Irving Blum, later said of the installation. "Why not?" The paintings marked a breakthrough for Warhol, who had previously worked as a commercial illustrator: they were among his first works based on consumer goods, and among the first to embrace serial repetition. Although he hand-painted each canvas, they were made to seem mechanically produced.

By 1971, New York Magazine had dubbed Warhol "the Zeitgeist incarnate," declaring, "The images he leaves will be the permanent record of America in the sixties." He had launched his own magazine, Interview, in 1969, and in the years that followed he circulated in the world of celebrity he had long represented in his art. In the 1980s, he returned to painting works.

Since his death in 1987, Warhol's stature has only grown, as the influence of his work - in its merging of pop culture and fine art, its exploitation of the serial logic of the print, and his own canny media manipulation and self-fashioning - continues to reverberate.
  - excerpt from Museum of Modern Art, New York
 

Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup Can

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1978)
Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup Can
Hand Initialed and Dated by the Artist, Vintage Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup Can
Purchased in 1964 from Bianchini Gallery, New York
"American Supermarket" Exhibition
4 inches tall, 2.625 inches in diameter
Hand Initialed "AW" and Dated "64"
Available for Purchase
 

About American Supermarket, 1964

By the mid-1960s, Pop artists had become superstars, and many collaborated on an exhibition called The American Supermarket held at the Bianchini Gallery in New York from October 6 to November 7, 1964.

The exhibition featured everything from chrome cabbages, wax tomatoes, and plaster leaves of pumpernickel bread by Robert Watts; cakes, cookies, and candies by Claes Oldenburg; a 3-D turkey by Tom Wesselmann; and an entire case of handpainted wax "meats." Roy Lichtenstein's image of a turkey ad Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup can image were silkscreened on shopping bags which sold for $2 - a true "American Pop Art Store."

Warhol's painting of a can of Campbell's soup cost $1,500 while each autographed can sold for $6. The exhibit was one of the first mass events that directly confronted the general public with both pop art and the perennial question of what art is (or of what is art and what is not).
  - excerpt from The World History Project
 

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