The paper "20th-Century Sculpture" is a wonderful example of an assignment on performing arts. Andy Warhol´ s 1962 painting, “ One Hundred Cans, ” is a prime example of Warhol´ s pop art style, in which he portrayed common items ranging from celebrities to soup cans, easily recognized by an average American citizen. “ One Hundred Cans, ” is a colorful burst of 100 Campbell Soup cans, of varying flavors, in rows and columns that occupy the entire canvas. While I´ m not sure that I´ d like to hang this painting on my wall, I do like it.
It is cheery and even silly and, for me, evokes images as diverse as a supermarket isle to my grandma preparing my favorite lunch of grilled-cheese and tomato soup. While the painting alone leaves the viewer guessing about why Warhol would choose a soup-can motif, when placed in a series with Warhol´ s other soup-can paintings that followed, it inspires different ideas about what the painter might have been trying to communicate. For example, his later painting, “ Small Torn Campbell’ s Soup Can (Pepper Pot), ” depicts a dented can with its label torn and falling off.
This can is quite out of place when compared to the perfect, mass-produced rows of cheery cans in “ One Hundred Cans. ” When viewed together, I guess that Warhol was making strong social commentary about the flaws in American capitalism. Another soup can be painting, “ Crushed Campbells Soup Can (Beef Noodle), ” in which Warhol gives the can the form of a purse, also leads me to believe that he was commenting on the forces of commercialism in American society, in which even a crushed soup-can might be transformed and sold again as a purse.
I see a great deal of similarity between Warhol´ s style and that of his Pop Art contemporaries. Warhol and his contemporaries are similar in their bright colors, simple presentation, and a humorous, ironic and over-dramatized portrayal of popular objects. I will compare the minimalist work by Carl Andre entitled “ Lever, ” and Anish Kapoor´ s post-minimalist “ Cloud Gate. ” Both works are simple sculptures, made of a single material, but with very different forms. “ Lever, ” is a long, 400-foot row of fire bricks, while “ Cloud Gate” is a 50-foot tall rounded, metal, bean-shaped sculpture.
“ Lever, ” due to its medium, does not reflect light or images. “ Cloud Gate, ” on the other hand, being made of a shiny, metal medium, changes its appearance depending on the light around it. “ Cloud Gate, ” which is prominently displayed in Chicago´ s, Millenniums Park, allows passer-by´ s to view themselves and their surroundings in warped, distorted shapes, due to the rounded form of the metal, which acts as a mirror. What the two sculptures have in common is that they afford physical interaction in space with viewers.
In both cases, given their large sizes, viewers can walk around and, in the case of “ Cloud Gate, ” under and inside, the sculptures to view them from varying angles.