For Andy Warhol (and Target), soup is good food


If you’re planning on stocking up on tomato soup in the next few weeks, you’ll be able to bring home a little bit of Andy Warhol to your pantry.

Campbell’s said Wednesday that a new limited-edition line of Warhol-themed condensed tomato soup cans will go on sale starting Sept. 2 at most Target stores across the country. The cans, priced at 75 cents each, are intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the pop artist’s first paintings of the familiar soup cans.

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The soup will come in a variety of intensely colored cans meant to mimic Warhol’s pop-art style. The artist exhibited his soup-can paintings at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1962, and they became one of his signature works.

Campbell’s said the new cans are being sold in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation, which controls the licensing of the artist’s name and images.

Warhol’s fixation on Campbell’s soup is widely known, but its origins are less understood. As Times art critic Christopher Knight noted last year, the paintings may have been inspired by an unlikely source -- Abstract Expressionist artist Willem de Kooning.

The L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art organized an exhibition of Warhol’s soup paintings in 2011. This year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is mounting a show to honor the artist, “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years.”

Campbell’s said it is sponsoring some of the education, lectures and other programming surrounding the Met exhibition.



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