Campbell’s Soup II: New England Clam Chowder 57 comes from Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup II portfolio. This series from 1969 consisted of ten prints, each with different flavors and names. This collection was a continuation of his first Campbell’s Soup Can portfolio from 1968, with ten additional prints featuring the more uncommon flavors. Warhol’s bold soup cans initially shocked the art world when they were first featured in 1962. Now, they have remain as some of the most famous pieces of modern art history. Notably, the Campbell’s Soup II portfolio ranks amongst Warhol’s top 10 most valuable portfolios of all time.
Not only did this new series contain a different lineup of flavors, but the label also has additional illustrations. This new collection of prints has the same trademark design Americans know and love, but with the bonus of new graphics. In place of the traditional Campbell’s golden seal, the from of the can shows unique designs. The New England Clam Chowder golden seal is wrapped in a banner which reads: “Important! Add whole milk”. This new design fit well into Warhol’s already existing portfolios, with his traditional design style and repetitive appearance.
Some of the other unique illustrations from this series include Hot Dog Bean 59, Chicken N’ Dumplings 58 and Vegetarian Vegetable 56. These unusual soups which Warhol included in his second series are all real flavors of Campbell’s Soup.
The Campbell’s Soup Can is one of the most iconic modern art images. Warhol used the cans to express his view of consumerism culture and advertisement style art. He created these works of art by appropriating images of household products such as Campbell’s Soup Cans and Brillo Pads. Warhol’s use of repetition adds to the advertisement style, resembling the look of billboards and comic book pages.
This art style became even more accessible after Warhol began to utilize the silkscreen printing press machine. Although Andy originally hand painted the cans for his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962), the development of the silkscreen technique revolutionized his process.
This new creative development allowed Warhol to create multiple copies of a single work, mass producing images in a more convenient way. By using this new technique, Warhol was able to achieve a nearly identical and accurate outcome. Even the process in which he created these prints emulated the sense of industrial production and consumerism. Warhol’s love for mass-production, advertisement and Campbell’s soup all morphed together to create these portfolios.
Although his soup cans are arguably his most notable works, 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans received a bit of controversy in 1962. Some just could not understand what to make of his work, therefore critics ridiculed Warhol for his series. Although many didn’t understand why one would paint something as random as a soup can, Warhol simply loved the soup. In fact, Andy once said, “Pop art is about liking things”. Warhol’s soup cans and their relevance are still debated to this day, fifty-nine years after their original debut.
Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans soon became a quintessential item of pop-art culture. He created his original design for these soup cans at the dawn of the Pop Art movement, a perfect time to reveal his playful works. Still to this day, Warhol’s soup cans rule the pop-art world.