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  • Provenance

    Collection of Agusto Bugarin (gifted by the artist in 1987)
    Taglialatella Galleries, New York
    Private Collection, Vienna (acquired from the above in 2013)

  • Exhibited

    Maine, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Andy Warhol: American Idol, 14 July - 1 September 2013

  • Literature

    Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Boxes, exh cat., Martin Lawrence Limited Editions, Los Angeles, 1986, no. 61, p. 31 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup Box, 1986, a variation on one of the most iconic images of 20th century art, is re-imagined here in the penultimate year of the artist’s life. Widely recognised as the most influential figure of the Pop Art movement, Warhol radically subverted the violently gestural abstraction of the Post-War period with his elevation of commercial imagery to the realms of fine art. Coming from a Private Collection, the present work is offered for the first time at auction and forms part of a series of silkscreen paintings begun in 1985 utilising the same source image, but rendered in contrasting tonal variations. Signifying the most inconsequential reality and simultaneously withdrawing from and transcending the real, Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup Box is presented at the centre of the canvas, faithfully incorporating the distinctive red brand logo and yellow shade of the pictured noodles contrasted here with acidic pale green and dark blue.

    In the early 1960s, Warhol transitioned from a commercial fashion illustrator to a revered, hugely successful artist. The spark to this meteoric rise to fame can be pinpointed to Warhol’s first west coast solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in 1962, where he exhibited Campbell’s Soup Cans: Warhol’s first pictorial series, at a time when its logo was emblazoned on every street corner and magazine in America. The work comprised of 32 individually painted canvases depicting differing varieties of canned soup is now housed in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The idea is said to have been born through a dinner conversation with friend and gallerist Muriel Latow, who suggested 'You should paint something that everybody sees every day, that everybody recognizes... like a can of soup' (Muriel Latow, quoted in Gary Indiana, Andy Warhol and the Can That Sold the World, New York, 2010, p. 82). Warhol allegedly proceeded to purchase every type of soup offered by the brand and meticulously recreated them. Initially strongly dividing his critics, Warhol’s exhibition is heralded as contributing to the birth of Pop Art in America. Arguably Warhol’s most recognisable subject, the Campbell’s brand is and one that the artist repeatedly returned to over the next two decades.

    In contrast to the earlier outrage caused by Warhol’s promotion of everyday household products to fine art objects, in 1985, Warhol was commissioned by Campbell’s to produce a series of paintings of their dry-mixed soups. Warhol’s methods of serial production and the naming of his studio ‘The Factory’ placed his artistic identity as firmly at odds with the historic and romantic notion of The Artist as a lonely creative individual defined by his or her rejection of socially established norms and conventions.

    Warhol’s serial technique is often hailed merely as triumphant reaction to mass-produced copy. However, the artist’s late works in particular demonstrate his visual variations as products of his individual strategy. Unlike commercial images, where image selection precedes its mass production, Warhol reproduces a series of unique variations on the same image, altering colours and also in his late works adding depth and additional outlines. The present Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup Box encompasses both the subject matter that launched Warhol’s career and also the stylistic elements central to his later creative oeuvre. Reflecting on his career, Warhol stated 'I should have done the Campbell’s Soups and kept doing them' (Andy Warhol, quoted in Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, ‘Andy Warhol’s One-Dimensional Art: 1956–1966’, Hal Foster and Gordon Hughes, eds., October Files, London, 2001, p. 30).

  • Artist Biography

    Andy Warhol

    American • 1928 - 1987

    Known as the “King of Pop,” Andy Warhol was the leading face of the Pop Art movement in the United States in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects like Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity, and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

    Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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150

Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup Box

indistinctly signed and inscribed '... Andy Warhol' on the reverse
acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
35.7 x 35.5 cm (14 x 13 7/8 in.)
Executed in 1986.

Estimate
£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £137,500

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova
Director, Specialist
Head of Day Sale
+44 20 7318 4065
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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 3 October 2019