This autumn is the season for Andy Warhol, thanks to an extraordinary selection of his key works which is heading to auction, including at Christie's New York.
Christie's will sell Warhol's hand-painted masterpiece, Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) from 1962.
An icon of Pop Art, it is one of the largest examples of Warhol's most famous and beloved image of a Campbell's Soup Can — a subject matter that helped shape the course of art history in the 1960s.
At 72 x 52 inches, Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable) is the first in a series of very rare large scale Campbell's Soup Cans produced by Warhol.
Of the 11 large scale Campbell's Soup Can paintings, eight now reside in museums, foundations or are promised to museums.
These include the Menil Collection in Houston, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and The Kunsthalle in Zurich.
According to Christie's, the present lot is the most important example to come on the market in over a decade.
"Warhol's soup cans challenge the traditional boundaries of art and life as well as art and business," said the auction house in a statement.
"Warhol believed anything could be touched by art: from the mundane, such as the humble Campbell's soup can and Brillo boxes, to ubiquitous public figures and celebrities such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe."
"The Campbell's Soup can is the ultimate everyman consumer product. It is completely accessible and recognisable, making it a key icon of Pop Art."
In this work, Warhol's eponymous static soup can has been pierced by a can opener against a seamless background.
The piece was conceived and executed in Warhol's storied New York factory. What's more, this work has only ever been in the hands of three esteemed private collections.
New York collectors Burton and Emily Tremaine purchased the work directly from the artist in 1962, and it was shown in a summer '62 exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford,
That makes it Warhol's first-ever painting to have been shown in an American museum.
It then moved into the hands of Ted Ashley, the then chairman of Warner Brothers in 1972. Its current owner, Barney Ebsworth, acquired the painting in 1986.
The proceeds from the painting's sale will reportedly finance a church designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
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