Commissioned by Feldman Fine Arts in New York, Andy Warhol’s Ads complete portfolio was printed in 1985 by Rupert Jasen Smith, one of Warhol’s main printers and collaborators. The portfolio is comprised of ten screenprints on Lenox Museum Board that are all signed and numbered in pencil by Warhol. Warhol began his career as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, and since that time, his fascination with the commercial world can be seen throughout this works. This background is particularly evident in the Ads suite, which is based on popular advertising campaigns and logos in contemporary American culture.
The Ads complete portfolio epitomizes Warhol’s brand through his use of pop art to both celebrate and subtly criticize the ubiquitous nature of advertisement. The works includes imagery representative of the 80s, with logos such Paramount, Apple and Mobilgas, as well as the iconic Chanel no.5 perfume bottle. The series takes commonplace, yet iconic advertisements and elevates them to the status of art. It is the essence of modern art’s theme: “I could do that, but I didn’t,” a theme prevalent throughout Warhol’s career. While others were focused on Warhol’s choice of Campbell’s soup, he moved on to Mick Jagger. When they questioned Reigning Queens, he moved on to Ads.
The Ads complete portfolio includes FS II.350-359.