Monday, July 9, 1962: Andy Warhol's soup cans

The first one-man exhibition for artist Andy Warhol opens at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, consisting of 32 silk-screened portraits of Campbell's soup cans.

From the September 1962 issue of Artforum magazine -- what's said to be the first published review of the exhibition (by Henry T. Hopkins):

Andy Warhol, Ferus Gallery: To those of us who grew up during the cream-colored thirties with "Big-Little Books," "Comic Books," and a "Johnson and Smith Catalogue" as constant companions, when "good, hot soup" sustained us between digging caves in the vacant lot and having "clod" fights without fear of being tabbed as juvenile delinquents; when the Campbell Soup Kids romped gaily in four colors on the overleaf from the Post Script page in The Saturday Evening Post, this show has particular significance. Though, as many have said, it may make a neat, negative point about standardization it also has a positive point to make. To a tenderloin oriented society it is a nostalgic call for a return to nature. Warhol obviously doesn't want to give us much to cling to in the way of sweet handling, preferring instead the hard commercial surface of his philosophical cronies. But then house fetishes rarely compete with Rembrandt in esthetic significance. However, based on formal arrangements, intellectual and emotional response, one finds favorites. Mine is Onion.

Photos: The top photo, taken by Seymour Rosen, shows how the works were arranged at the 1962 show: like cans on a supermarket shelf. The bottom photo shows how they have been more typically displayed over the years, most recently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where the set is part of the permanent collection.

* "Campbell's Soup Cans" (from Museum of Modern Art): @
* Warhol's 32 Soup Flavors" (from Smithsonian Libraries, Washington): @
* "The Origin of Andy Warhol's Soup Cans or the Synthesis of Nothingness" (from www.warholstars.org): @
* Abstract Expressionism, 1962 timeline (from www.warholstars.org): @
* www.warhol.org (Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh): @
* www.warhola.com (The Andy Warhol Family Album): @
* "Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol" (book by Tony Scherman and David Dalton, 2010): @
* "Andy Warhol and the Can That Sold the World" (book by Gary Indiana, 2010): @
* Announcement for exhibition opening: @
* Essays for 2002 show at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles: @


  1. Thank you. You answered one of the questions on my Warhol quiz/

  2. Happy to help. Which quesion?


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