Andy Warhol’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) to star New York’s upcoming Auctions

Saturday, April 15, 2017
Andy Warhol’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) to star New York’s upcoming Auctions

Andy Warhol’s Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable), 1962 will star in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 17 May.

Andy Warhol’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) to star New York’s upcoming Auctions

Andy Warhol’s Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable), 1962 (estimate on request) will star in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 17 May. One of the 20th-century’s most iconic images, Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ quite literally changed the course of art in the post-war period. The property of the Cingillioglu Family Collection, the present work was originally part of the legendary collection of Pop Art assembled by Emily and Burton Tremaine, who acquired the painting after a visit to Warhol’s studio in the year of its execution.  It was last sold as part of the renowned collection of Barney A. Ebsworth at Christie’s New York in 2010. 

Big Campbell’s Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) directly predates the birth of the silkscreen, prefiguring the means of painting that came to define Warhol’s practice. Looking at the lack of shadow and the treatment of the reflected light on the metal of the tin and of the opener, it becomes clear that Warhol is considering a way to bridge the handmade with the mechanical. The evidence, on close inspection, of traces of pencil on the surface and the rather lush red brushstrokes on the label shows Warhol working through the ideas that would become the focus of his entire career.

When Warhol was asked, in a 1977 interview by Glenn O’Brien, what his favorite work was, he said, ‘I guess the soup can’.* Warhol’s ‘Campbell Soup Can’ paintings draw attention to the world of mass production that had become a fundamental part of modern existence in the 1960s. By co-opting the visual tropes of commercial art, in which he had been trained, Warhol was able to speak to a contemporary audience that was fully conversant in the same language. Recalling the tactics of Marcel Duchamp’s readymade Warhol was able to capture the attention of the media and public like no other artist of our time.   

(G. O'Brien, 'Interview: Andy Warhol", High Times, August 1977, in K. Goldsmith, ed., I’ll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews: 1962-1987, New York, 2004, p. 242).

 

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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