Life Savers, from Ads FS II.353
Screenprint on Lenox Museum Board
38 x 38 in.
Edition of 190
Pencil signed and numbered
ABOUT THIS WORK:
Although Pop Art began in Great Britain in the late 1950s, in America it was given its greatest impetus during the 1960s. The term “Pop Art” was officially introduced in December 1962: the occasion was a “Symposium on Pop Art” organized by the Museum of Modern Art.
As the British viewed American popular culture imagery from a somewhat removed perspective, their views were often instilled with romantic, sentimental and humorous overtones. By contrast, American artists, bombarded every day with the diversity of mass-produced imagery, produced work that was generally more bold and aggressive.
Pop Art presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular culture such as advertising and news. In pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, and/or combined with unrelated material. The concept of “popular art” refers not as much to the art itself as to the attitudes behind the art.
Pop Art employs aspects of mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects. One of its aims is to use images of popular culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any culture, most often through the use of irony. It is also associated with the use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques such as screenprints or silkscreens.
Among the early and most famous artists that shaped the Pop Art movement, the most iconic certainly is Andy Warhol. He has been the greatest pop artist and the one who best developed this concept in his work.
His beginnings as a product marketer heavily influenced his artistic career, in which he glamorized and transformed everyday objects, like soup cans and cleaning supplies, into works of art. So in the 1980’s when Feldman Fine Arts commissioned Warhol to create his “ADS” series, Warhol was in his element. The Ads Portfolio of prints by Andy Warhol is one of his most sought after and iconic sets of prints and it contains the “Life Savers”. This Andy Warhol portfolio includes images of James Dean and the Paramount Logo. The Ads portfolio is made up of ten screen prints on Lenox Museum Board by Andy Warhol. These images that make up Warhol’s ADS Series reflect Warhol’s fascination with American consumerism.
This is a particularly colorful original work of art by this legendary artist. The five flavors candies were first introduced in 1912, coming in different colors and flavors but same shape and size. These candies are still sold today. This screenprint is a summary of Pop Art: bright colors, use of advertising, screenprint technique, presence of slogans and everyday life goods, a transformation of something normal and banal in a high-quality artwork.
The essence of Andy Warhol’s art was to make no distinction between fine art and commercial art used in magazine illustrations, comic books, record albums or advertising campaigns. Warhol once expressed his thinking in one sentence: “When you think about it, department stores are kind of like museums”.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
He was one of the most enigmatic figures in American art. His work became the definitive expression of a culture obsessed with images. He was surrounded by a coterie of beautiful bohemians with names like Viva, Candy Darling, and Ultra Violet. He held endless drug- and sex-filled parties, through which he never stopped working. He single-handedly confounded the distinctions between high and low art. His films are pivotal in the formation of contemporary experimental art and pornography. He spent the final years of his life walking around the posh neighborhoods of New York with a plastic bag full of hundred dollar bills, buying jewelry and knick knacks. His name was Andy Warhol, and he changed the nature of art forever.
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh. He received his B.F.A. from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, in 1949. That same year, he moved to New York, where he soon became successful as a commercial artist and illustrator. During the 1950s, Warhol’s drawings were published in Glamour and other magazines and displayed in department stores. He became known for his illustrations of I. Miller shoes. In 1952, the Hugo Gallery in New York presented a show of Warhol’s illustrations for Truman Capote’s writings.
During this time, Warhol had also been working on a series of pictures separate from the advertisements and illustrations. It was this work that he considered his serious artistic endeavor. Though the paintings retained much of the style of popular advertising, their motivation was just the opposite. The most famous of the paintings of this time are the thirty-two paintings of Campbell soup cans. With these paintings, and other work that reproduced Coca-Cola bottles, Superman comics, and other immediately recognizable popular images, Warhol was mirroring society’s obsessions. Where the main concern of advertising was to slip into the unconscious and unrecognizably evoke a feeling of desire, Warhol’s work was meant to make the viewer actually stop and look at the images that had become invisible in their familiarity. These ideas were similarly being dealt with by artists such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg – and came to be known as Pop Art.
Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, Warhol produced work at an amazing rate. He embraced a mode of production similar to that taken on by the industries he was mimicking, and referred to his studio as “The Factory.” The Factory was not only a production center for Warhol’s paintings, silk-screens, and sculptures, but also a central point for the fast-paced high life of New York in the ’60s. Warhol’s obsession with fame, youth, and personality drew the most wild and interesting people to The Factory throughout the years. Among the regulars were Mick Jagger, Martha Graham, Lou Reed, and Truman Capote. For many, Warhol was a work of art in himself, reflecting back the basic desires of an consumerist American culture. He saw fame as the pinnacle of modern consumerism and reveled in it the way artists a hundred years before reveled in the western landscape. His oft-repeated statement that “every person will be world-famous for fifteen minutes” was an incredible insight into the growing commodification of everyday life.
By the mid-’60s, Warhol had become one of the most famous artists, in the world. He continued, however, to baffle the critics with his aggressively groundbreaking work. His paintings were primarily concerned with getting the viewer to look at something for longer than they otherwise would.
Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Warhol produced hundreds of portraits, mostly in silk screen. His images of Liza Minnelli, Jimmy Carter, Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Taylor, and Philip Johnson express a more subtle and expressionistic side of his work.
Following routine gall bladder surgery, Andy Warhol died February 22, 1987. After his burial in Pittsburgh, his friends and associates organized a memorial mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York that was attended by more than 2,000 people.