Campbell’s Soup Can (Tomato) 4A by Andy Warhol includes imagery that is highly iconic and widely recognizable in the Pop Art movement. Warhol takes the ever-present American pantry staple and transforms it into high art. Warhol, originally a commercial graphic artist, found the imagery of the Campbell’s soup label a powerful visual tool. The soup cans could represent the role of mass consumerism in postwar American society. This particular work is a special addition to Warhol’s Campbell’s suite, as it is printed onto a shopping bag, adding another layer of irony to the work in its use.
Campbell’s Soup Can (Tomato) 4A as Part of Andy Warhol’s Larger Body of Work
Campbell’s tomato soup was considered an important subject as a modern still life during the postwar American society, as it was an omnipresent piece in pantries across the country. First shown at the Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles) in 1962, the exhibit started as a series of paintings, which led to Warhol’s eventual fame and success. This print was created in 1966 for an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts. Warhol’s soup cans helped to usher in the Pop Art movement that still endures today, renewed and rediscovered by artists such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.