Andy Warhol - Artworks and Paintings Collection

Andy Warhol | Andrew Warhola Jr (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American visual artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Warhol initially pursued a successful career as a commercial illustrator. After exhibiting his work in several galleries in the late 1950s, he began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist. 

Self-Portrait - Andy Warhol

His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. 

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. His works include some of the most expensive paintings ever sold. In 2022, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $195 million, which is the most expensive work of art sold at auction by an American artist.

1. Campbell's Soup Cans (1962)

Andy Warhol famously appropriated familiar images from consumer culture and mass media, among them celebrity and tabloid news photographs, comic strips, and, in this work, the widely consumed canned soup made by the Campbell’s Soup Company. When he first exhibited Campbell’s Soup Cans in 1962, the canvases were displayed together on shelves, like products in a grocery aisle. At the time, Campbell’s sold 32 soup varieties; each one of Warhol’s 32 canvases corresponds to a different flavor. (The first flavor the company introduced, in 1897, was tomato).

2. Marilyn Diptych (1962)

Widely considered one of his best paintings, Warhol created the 1962 Marilyn Diptych in tribute to the late Marilyn Monroe who died after overdosing on barbiturates that same year. Comprising 50 different takes on the actress’s publicity photograph for her movie Niagara, the left side of the painting is in color, while the right is in an intentionally blurry black and white.

Marilyn Diptych fuses two of Warhol’s most consistent themes: death, and the cult of celebrity. The repetition of the image of Monroe represents her ubiquitous media presence, with the contrast of vivid colours with black and white evocative of her mortality.

3. Mao (1973)

Warhol created his Mao paintings in 1973 in response to US president Richard Nixon’s meeting with the Chinese leader the year before. This event ended decades of diplomatic tension between the two countries and captured the artist’s imagination, prompting him to design hundreds of canvases of Mao — some as large as 15 ft x 10 ft.

However, this painting certainly isn’t a celebration of Mao, with the graffiti-like splashes of color and blue eyeshadow actually defacing his image. Indeed, many critics believe this reflects the freedom of self-expression available to artists in the West, in stark contrast to the communist propaganda the original image represented.

4. Coca Cola (3) (1962)

A symbol of modern mass consumerism, the Coca Cola bottle is an iconic American object which caught the fancy of Warhol. In fact one of his most famous quotes revolves around it. Warhol created several works on the Coke bottle. Coca Cola (3) is a hand painted work unlike his later silkscreens. 

5. Banana (1967)

As well as being the manager of rock band The Velvet Underground, Warhol also painted the cover of their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. The banana that featured on early editions was accompanied by the words “Peel Slowly and See” and covered by a banana skin sticker that viewers could pull back to reveal a flesh-colored fruit underneath — an intentionally phallic image. The album cover became one of the most iconic of all time, and those early versions (with the sticker intact) are now rare collector’s items. Speaking about the legacy of the image, the band’s lead singer Lou Reed has said: “Members of the public, particularly those who listen to rock music, immediately recognize the banana design as the symbol of The Velvet Underground.”

6. Dollar Sign (Series) (1981-1982)

In 1961 Andy Warhol started to experiment with money creating a work of art out of the one-dollar bill. This piece recently sold for $32.8 million dollars.

In 1981 and 1982 he revisited the theme as he did with so much of his work. It was the Regan years and culturally commercialism was being celebrated in a way that was indicative of the early eighties go-go mentality. He produced the dollar sign’s on a number of mediums often times giving them out as gifts to friends and colleagues. The theme was truly perfect for the era and he did many variations in many mediums.

7. Big Electric Chair (1967)

In 1963, the last two executions by electric chair in New York State took place. The same year Andy Warhol obtained a photograph of the empty execution chamber. He used it to create a series of paintings depicting the electric chair as a metaphor of death and thereby commenting on the controversy surrounding the death penalty in the 1960s. Big Electric Chair is the most famous painting of the series.

8. Flowers (Series) (1964)

A significant departure from Warhol’s usual themes of celebrity and consumerism, the Flowers series was inspired by photographs taken by Patricia Caulfield, published in 1964. Warhol experimented with different colors for the flowers, from vibrant pink and orange in one print to all white in another. In some prints, he departs from the original template entirely, producing shadows of multiple flowers. Caulfield actually went on to file a lawsuit against Warhol for the unauthorized use of her image, which is almost comical when you consider how many years he spent replicating copyrighted product labels. The case was eventually settled out of court.

9. Gun (1982-1982)

Death emerged as a distinctive theme in Warhol’s work in the 1960s, with his Marilyn Monroe portraits and the 'Death and Disaster' series. His fears about dying were heightened in 1968 when he was shot and critically injured by Valerie Solanas. The gun depicted here is similar to the .22 snub-nosed pistol that she used. At around the same time as he was painting guns Warhol was also doing a series of knife pictures. Indeed, the first idea was to show them together, along with some dollar-sign paintings, at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in January 1982.

10. Camouflage (Series) (1986)

Warhol’s Camouflage series was released a few months before his death in 1987, making it his last ever print portfolio. The inspiration was provided by his studio assistant Jay Shriver, who was experimenting with pushing paint through military cloth. Camouflage may have appealed to Warhol’s obsession with brands and logos, while the representational pattern also spoke to his interest in Abstract Expressionist art.

Warhol merged this imagery with psychedelic colors to fundamentally alter the concept of camouflage as a disguise, and its utilitarian and military connotations. In its intended form, Camouflage was only exhibited once, at a group show in New York in 1986, and is now on display in the ARTIST ROOMS at National Galleries of Scotland, a touring programme in collaboration with Tate.