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Andy Warhol

Green Coca-Cola Bottles
1962

Not on view

Date
1962

Classification
Paintings

Medium
Acrylic, screenprint, and graphite pencil on canvas

Dimensions
Overall: 82 3/4 × 57 1/8in. (210.2 × 145.1 cm)

Accession number
68.25

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Rights and reproductions
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Green Coca-Cola Bottles was created the year that Andy Warhol developed his pioneering silkscreen technique, which allowed him to produce his paintings through a mechanical process that paralleled his use of mass culture subjects. Here, the image of a single Coca-Cola bottle is repeated in regular rows, seven high by sixteen across, above the company’s logo. The repetitive imagery and standardized format evokes the look of mechanical reproduction, but the black outlines were probably stamped by hand from a single carved woodblock onto green areas printed in a grid pattern. This engenders subtle differences in the work’s pattern; each of the bottles differs in both the evenness of the green underpainting and in the clarity of its stamped profile. The bottles are also often slightly askew, disturbing the overall regularity of the grid and making them appear simultaneously handmade and individualized, streamlined and mass-produced. In his deadpan and ironic way, Warhol at once criticized and glorified the consumerist idols and surface values of America’s media-saturated postwar culture. “A Coke is a Coke,” he explained, “and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.”    





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