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Campbell’s soup features iconic art


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By Makenzie Holland



Stacked neatly on shelves at the end of the soup aisle in the College Mall Target, Campbell’s soup cans feature a limited-edition label.

Derived from iconic pop artist Andy Warhol’s original artwork, the cans commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first showing of Warhol’s paintings of the Campbell’s soup can. The cans also bear Warhol’s signature, face and quotes.

“He used the imagery from the Campbell’s soup can in his art,” said Nan Brewer, the Lucienne M. Glaubinger curator of works on paper at the IU Art Museum. “A lot of his work was derived from mass media. That’s where the term ‘pop,’ ‘popular,’ art comes from.”

The new cans were produced under license from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The foundation was created in 1987 shortly after Warhol’s death.

“Warhol and Campbell’s have had a very symbiotic relationship over the years,” said Liesl Hendreson, spokeswoman for Campbell’s North America, to the Associated Press. “He was able to establish a name for himself by painting Campbell’s soup, and we’ve been able to benefit with the growth of pop art. That’s what prompted us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first solo show.”

Warhol was an American artist and a leader of the pop art movement of the 1960s.
Graduating from Carnegie Institute for Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949, moved to New York to pursue a career as a commercial artist.
 
He dropped the “a” at the end of his last name, becoming Andy Warhol.

Warhol devoted his attention to painting in the 1960s. In 1962, he exhibited “32 Campbell’s Soup Cans.”

“He’s looking at consumer culture through these products,” Brewer said.

The IU Art Museum collection houses 150 Warhol photographs, one of which is a print of the Campbell’s soup can.

“The Campbell’s soup can image was based on a photograph one of his assistants took that he used to make his prints and posters,” Brewer said.

Cans were stocked exclusively at Target in Bloomington and Targets around the country earlier this week and are currently selling at 75 cents each.

“The 50th anniversary commemoration shows how iconic and popular the image has become,” Brewer said.

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