No. 6 from Campbell’s Soup 1 1968 (detail) a series of ten colour screenprints 156/250 Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth

Andy Warhol (United States of America 1928–1987)

No. 6 from Campbell’s Soup 1 1968 (detail)
a series of ten colour screenprints
impression 156 from an edition of 250
91.8 x 61.3 x 3.8 cm
Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth, Australia

Frustrated by his rejection in the art world, a distraught Warhol turned to Campbell’s Soup cans as a suitable subject for his art. This had been at the suggestion of the gallery owner, Muriel Latow, when Warhol lamented that ‘It’s too late for the cartoons. I’ve got to do something that will have a lot of impact, that will be different from Lichtenstein and Rosenquist’, two other artists associated with the Pop Art movement in America. Warhol asked Latow what subject he should choose (as he often did with friends and colleagues) and she proposed that, along with money, Warhol should choose a subject ‘that everybody sees every day, that everybody recognises … like a can of soup’.

In late 1961 Warhol began his images of Campbell’s Soup cans. As with other images he made before, he projected enlarged soup can images from photographs and then traced these in pencil onto the canvas. Warhol gained instant notoriety and an offer of an exhibition in Los Angeles. Warhol continued to develop this theme in his paintings and later in two series of prints produced during 1968 that featured different soup flavours.