“100 Cans” Artwork by Andy Warhol Essay (Critical Writing)
The introduction: the fundamentals of 100 Cans by Andy Warhol
While analyzing the work of art written by Andy Warhol, I would like to learn some basic knowledge concerning the painting. Thus, first of all, I would like to describe some technical characteristics of the picture. 100 Cans was written in the early sixties. The type of work of art is oil on canvas. The dimension of the book is 72 in x 52 in. They say that the work reflects the pop art of the USA. I would like to clarify that the type of an art movement appeared in the early fifties in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the USA, an art movement appeared a little later.
The thesis statement
Generally, an art movement encompasses many spheres of life. Thus, it includes advertising, news, humorous productions, etc. Andy Warhol’s work is also associated with the minimalist movement. Therefore, when looking at Warhol’s work, one can make a conclusion that it reflects the simplicity of forms. Taking into account the elements of the painting, people can disclose numerous hidden things the work of art reflects.
The body: the history of the work of art
I would like to point out the fact that famous production is based on monochromatic palettes of primary colors. The author didn’t want to emphasize the emotional content of the work. As far as we know, the above-mentioned qualities are recognized to be specific elements for pop art and minimalism movement. Movement in art and music I described also appeared in the early fifties. Warhol’s work of art appeared in 1962, and minimalism as an art movement was trendy in 1960-1970.
“The Minimalists believed that a work of art should be entirely self-referential; personal elements were stripped away to reveal the objective, purely visual elements” (Minimalism 1). Although two art movements are closely connected with each other, I suppose that Andy Warhol mostly supported pop art. Thus, the action is associated with various familiar things, including newspaper advertisements, supermarket products, etc. The work of art 100 Cans reflects precisely supermarket products, i.e., it depicts Campbell’s Soup Cans.
Once Andy was asked about the work he created. So, when asked why, he said: “Because I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for 20 years, I guess, the same thing over and over again. Someone said my life had dominated me; I liked that idea” (100 Cans, 1962 1).
Generally, Andy wanted people around to see the commercial world as well as its importance. The artist of the pop culture wanted to show the meaning of advertising. So, he used the things around him; numerous aspects of pop art-inspired him to create the works. The author of the painting says that people are to pay more attention to the products they buy in the supermarket. In other words, the things which seem to be usual are to be analyzed deeper.
I would like to point out that the painting is really unusual. The cans Warhol depicted are not identical. “The bottom row is cut off, suggesting that they continue beyond the confines of the canvas, which leads to another aspect of the work—Warhol’s interest in machine-like processes such as mass production” (100 Cans, 1962 1). This aspect is recognized to be impersonal, and its process impacted the culture of the country.
On the other hand, one is to keep in mind that mass production also has numerous advantages. For instance, it is considered to be effective. There is a need to remember that effectiveness is one of the most essential characteristics contemporary people appreciate. The author of the work of art liked its efficacy. He wanted everybody could understand it.
Generally, Warhol’s paintings of cans were his first pop art productions. However, I would like to point out that the artist was also engaged in the production of comic strip characters. When Roy Lichtenstein became his opponent, he decided that some new items had to be described. For this reason, soup cans arouse his interest. It was Ted Carey, who informed Andy about the works his opponent created. Carey saw the productions of his friend’s opponent at the Leo Castelli Gallery. At that time, Warhol was sure that Lichtenstein stole his ideas. “There’s no hard evidence that Lichtenstein copied Warhol’s idea, as Warhol apparently believed” (Comments 1).
They say that Warhol was too depressed; however, he realized that his most important aim was to create something dissimilar to the works written by Lichtenstein and Rosenquist. On the other hand, he wanted to create something famous and recognizable. Thus, Campbell’s soup appeared.
So, nobody can deny the fact that the work of art 100 Cans written by Andy Warhol has a really very interesting history. It reflects not only pop art but also the importance of advertising. The artist contributed to a better understanding of the modern culture of the USA.
Comments, Gary. The Origin of Andy Warhol’s Soup Cans or The Synthesis of Nothingness, 2010. Web.
Minimalism n.d. Web.
‘100 Cans, 1962’, n.d., Albrightknox.org, Web.
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