Modern and Contemporary Art

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Val Vita Tomatoes with Puree, c.1975

Andy Warhol

American, 1928-1987
Colored pencil and charcoal on paper
28-1/2 x 20-1/2 in.
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon

Not on view

Marcia Simon Weisman and her then husband Frederick Weisman commissioned Andy Warhol to create this birthday card to commemorate her brother Norton Simon’s 70th birthday. It depicts a can of Val Vita Tomatoes with Puree. Val Vita Food Products, a company acquired by Mr. Simon in 1931, was later incorporated into Hunt Foods and Industries, Inc. Warhol’s drawing belongs squarely in the context of the artist’s “brand image” artworks, which include soup cans and detergent boxes, among other consumer items. Warhol used these to comment on the ubiquity of comestibles created for and advertised to the working class. However, unlike the mass-produced objects that were his subjects, this drawing is unique by virtue of its origin and its medium.

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