Warhol’s art of plenty

In: Uncategorized

6 Dec 2009

Andy Warhol’s paintings of Campbell soup cans are among the most widely recognised images of American pop art. But I had not thought about their symbolic value until a read a review in yesterday’s Financial Times by Jackie Wullschlager of several books on him. She makes the point that:

“His Campbell soup cans and Coke bottles speak a vernacular language anyone can understand; like Joseph Beuys’ fat and felt, they resonated too with widespread memories of cold and hunger for a postwar generation. Their repetition, and Warhol’s obsession with working in series, are not just formal devices – though they were a slap against the individualism of abstract expressionism – but emblems of political equality. As a child, face pressed to the windows of downtown stores packed with desirable, unaffordable products, Warhol had known real want: here were his dreams of assembly-line plenty and security.”

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