Thursday, September 20, 2007


I snapped this image of ANDY WARHOL's 32 CAMPBELL SOUP CANS when I visited the Museum of Modern Art recently.

Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Cans. Acrylic on canvas. 32 paintings each 20x16" (50.8x40.6cm). In the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

Warhol first exhibited his series of Campbell's soup can paintings in 1962, with the bottom of each painting resting on a shelf like a can would in a supermarket. There are 32 paintings in the series, the number of varieties of soup sold at the time by Campbell's.

If you'd imagined Warhold stocking his pantry with cans of soup, then eating a can as he'd finished a painting, well it seems not. According to Moma's website, Warhold used a product list from Campbell's to assign a different flavor to each painting.

Warhol also apparently didn't have an order he wanted the paintings displayed in. Moma displays the paintings "in rows that reflect the chronological order in which [the soups] were introduced, beginning with 'Tomato' in the upper left, which debuted in 1897." So if you paint a series and want them displayed in a particular order, make sure you make a note of this somewhere. The back edge of the canvases is probably the best as then it'll not get separated from the painting (though it may get hidden if the paintings are framed).

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