Campbell’s Soup II: Chicken ‘N Dumplings 58 by Andy Warhol is a print included in the artist’s Campbell’s Soup II series from 1969. In Warhol’s second Campbell’s series from 1969, each can contains different flavors and names. This new portfolio came shortly after his first series from 1968, and six years after his original Campbell’s Soup Cans from 1962. Warhol’s signature pop-art soup cans shocked the art world. The work exhibits his signature design techniques and philosophy of consumerism, advertisement, and mechanical production. Additionally, the Campbell’s Soup II portfolio ranks amongst Warhol’s top 10 most valuable portfolios of all time.
This new collection of prints showcased the same traditional Campbell’s Soup Can design, but with the addition of new flavors and graphics. Although Warhol’s new series still contains the same bold red and white artwork, Campbell’s Soup II showcases ten additional Campbell’s Soup types, highlighting the more unusual flavors the brand created. Not only does this series contain a different flavor profile, but Warhol also added new illustrations.
Instead of the traditional Campbell’s golden seal, each can shows unique labels. The Chicken ‘N Dumplings Soup shows a banner which reads “Stout Hearted Soup”, held up by two Queen’s Guard soldiers. This fun new design fits well into the portfolio, and stays true to the repetitive appearance that Warhol loved.
At first, Warhol hand painted the cans for his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans piece in 1962. But the adoption of silkscreen technique revolutionized his work, which Warhol used for its precise results. This new development allowed Warhol to mass produce detailed images in a more convenient way. By using this new technique, Warhol could achieve a nearly identical and accurate outcome.
The Campbell’s Soup Can is one of the most iconic pop art images of the century, serving as a symbol of consumer culture and marketing. In the series, Warhol transforms mundane objects and images into works of fine art. These Campbell’s Soup Cans challenged what could be deemed socially and artistically acceptable. Not only did consumer products fascinate Andy, he also expressed his personal connection to the company. “I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for twenty years, I guess. The same thing over and over again.”
Warhol’s love for mass production, advertisement and Campbell’s soup all combined to create these works. Although the Campbell’s soup cans are some of his most notable series, the artist received some backlash after showcasing the original 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans. Due to the strange subject matter of Warhol’s Soup Cans, some people questioned the significance of his work. Fifty-nine years after their debut, the value of the soup cans may be debated to this day. Ultimately, they are among some of the most important works of modern art.
Campbell’s Soup II: Chicken ‘N Dumplings 58 soon became an iconic item of pop-art culture. Warhol’s original design was revolutionary, and vital to the emergence of pop-art. Still to this day, Warhol’s soup cans rule the pop-art world.