Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again

Solo en Inglès

“Andy's work really goes to the heart of the matter of what it means to be a human being and what our potential is…It's the real deal.” —Jeff Koons

Hear from a range of contemporary artists, curators, and scholars speaking about iconic works on view. Contributors include Jeff Koons, Hank Willis Thomas, Deborah Kass, Peter Halley, Sasha Wortzel, and Richard Meyer.

Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962

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Donna De Salvo: One of the most recognizable of Warhol's works is his painting of the Campbell's soup can. 

Narrator: Donna De Salvo. 

Donna De Salvo: In fact, if you ask people about Andy Warhol, it's probably the work that is most recalled. But in fact, it was never one simple idea of a soup can, but a much more complex investigation of both painting and the properties of painting, as well as how certain products live in the culture.

Narrator: Throughout art history, painters have explored the idea of theme and variation—like Monet painting haystacks over and over again in different light. Here Warhol plays with that idea, but with a twist. Theme and variation has given way to mass production and varieties—thirty-two flavors, to be exact, each identified on the can. 

Jeff Koons: Andy's work is scary. And it looks, on the surface, that it's very friendly and open—and it is. 

Narrator: Artist Jeff Koons.

Jeff Koons: Andy's work really goes to the heart of the matter of what it means to be a human being and what our potential is, and how open we are to the moment that we live in, how much we can perceive of everything around us, and then how much we take advantage of the opportunity to make gesture in our time. And to try to transform what we can be. It's the real deal

A grid of individually framed Campbell's Soup paintings by Andy Warhol

Donna De Salvo: One of the most recognizable of Warhol's works is his painting of the Campbell's soup can. 

Narrator: Donna De Salvo. 

Donna De Salvo: In fact, if you ask people about Andy Warhol, it's probably the work that is most recalled. But in fact, it was never one simple idea of a soup can, but a much more complex investigation of both painting and the properties of painting, as well as how certain products live in the culture.

Narrator: Throughout art history, painters have explored the idea of theme and variation—like Monet painting haystacks over and over again in different light. Here Warhol plays with that idea, but with a twist. Theme and variation has given way to mass production and varieties—thirty-two flavors, to be exact, each identified on the can. 

Jeff Koons: Andy's work is scary. And it looks, on the surface, that it's very friendly and open—and it is. 

Narrator: Artist Jeff Koons.

Jeff Koons: Andy's work really goes to the heart of the matter of what it means to be a human being and what our potential is, and how open we are to the moment that we live in, how much we can perceive of everything around us, and then how much we take advantage of the opportunity to make gesture in our time. And to try to transform what we can be. It's the real deal


Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962. Casein, acrylic, and graphite on linen, thirty two panels: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm) each. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; partial gift of Irving Blum, additional funding provided by Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest, gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. M. Burden, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund, gift of Nina and Gordon Bunshaft in honor of Henry Moore, acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, Philip Johnson Fund, Frances R. Keech Bequest, gift of Mrs. Bliss Parkinson, and Florence B. Wesley Bequest (all by exchange) 476.1996.1–32. © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York