Andy Warhol

United States of America  1928–1987

Andrew Warhola was born on 6 August 1928, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, in 1949, and moved to New York soon afterwards. There he began using his preferred name, Andy Warhol, and worked as a commercial artist. After abandoning a successful career as a commercial artist and illustrator in 1960, he began to make paintings based on the imagery of labels from commercial products. By 1962 he had suppressed painterly handling but continued to execute advertising images by hand in imitation of impersonal mass production. Shortly afterwards he turned to screenprinting photographs.

Warhol showed his Campbell soup can paintings at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, in 1962, and was also included in The New Realists exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery, New York. Also in 1962, in his first New York show at the Stable Gallery, he exhibited his Campbell soup cans and Coke bottles, and images of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. The exhibition created a scandal. Warhol began making films in 1963. By 1964 he was exhibiting his work abroad—in an exhibition at Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, and in various shows of Pop art which toured Europe in the early 1960s. In 1968 the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, staged a retrospective exhibition of his work. A number of museum exhibitions followed, notably at the Pasadena Museum of Art in 1970 which toured American and European cities, followed in 1976 by a retrospective organised by the Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, which toured other European centres. Warhol died in New York on 22 February 1987. In 2001–2002 a major retrospective was organised by the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, later travelling to the Tate Modern, London.

See more works by this artist in the NGA collection

Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup I 1968 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS. Licensed by Copyright Agency The Poynton Bequest 2006 Learn more

Andy Warhol Elvis 1963 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS. © Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. Licensed by Copyright Agency Purchased 1973 Learn more

Andy Warhol Electric chair 1967 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS. Licensed by Copyright Agency Purchased 1977 Learn more