Andy Warhol’s Space Fruit: Cantaloupes 201 is part of his Space Fruit: Still Lifes series that he created in 1979. During this series, Warhol focuses on his use of colorful shadows, giving the fruit more of a 3D perspective. In Cantaloupes 201, Warhol contrasts a familiar image and color of fruit with an impossible periwinkle-blocked background and turquoise shadows, bringing life and movement to the piece. In 1977, Andy Warhol met printer Rupert Jasen Smith who worked with him to create the series Space Fruit. These prints demonstrate Warhol’s experimentation with a centuries-old genre in painting—the still life. Still lifes by their very nature are choreographed compositions focusing on shape, color, space and oftentimes symbolism. Warhol was interested in the use of shadows as a compositional element. He first placed one or more pieces of fruit on a white back ground, lit it from an angled position so that shadows were cast onto the white paper, and then photographed these compositions. He also used collage and drawing to create the source imagery for the additional screens used in each print. Each color in these images represents a different silkscreened layer of the print. The printing process allowed Warhol endless color combinations within each composition.
Space Fruit: Cantaloupes 201 by Andy Warhol as Part of his Larger Body of Work
Cantaloupes 201 is part of the series’ shift of Warhol’s interest from commercial products to more typical subjects, namely everyday objects that are representative of the still life genre. Warhol takes the same approach to his Space Fruit series as he does to his Flowers and Skulls series, taking traditional props and isolating each element in some of his most famous portfolios.