Wikipedia:Today's featured article/May 10, 2007

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Campbell's Soup Cans is the title of a work of art produced in 1962 by Andy Warhol (pictured). It consists of thirty-two canvases, each measuring 20 inches in height × 16 inches in width (50.8 × 40.6 cm) and each consisting of a painting of a Campbell's Soup can—one of each of the canned soup varieties the company offered at the time. The individual paintings were produced with a semi-mechanised silkscreen process, using a non-painterly style. Campbell's Soup Cans' reliance on themes from popular culture helped to usher in pop art as a major art movement. For Warhol, a commercial illustrator who became a successful author, painter and film director, the work was his first one-man gallery exhibition as a fine artist. This exhibition marked the West Coast debut of pop art. The combination of the semi-mechanized process, the non-painterly style, and the commercial subject initially caused offense, as the work's blatantly mundane commercialism represented a direct affront to the technique and philosophy of abstract expressionism. The public commotion helped transition Warhol from being an accomplished 1950s commercial illustrator to a notable fine artist, and it helped distinguish him from other rising pop artists. (more...)

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