Tucson Museum of Art Exhibition

andy warhol with rolling stones picture
Andy Warhol once told an interviewer that he ate a sandwich and Campbell's condensed soup every day while he and his brothers were growing up in Pittsburgh.

Of course, he often made up stories and told outright lies when confronted by reporters, but this story was largely confirmed by one of his brothers.

Andy, the baby, always got to pick which flavor of soup it would be.

He painted every flavor for his first solo exhibition in 1962.

"Nobody can look at a Campbell's soup can, with that simple red and white label, and not have an emotional connection to it," said Julie Sasse, chief curator at the Tucson Museum of Art.

"Warhol made it very clear how images can trigger things in us, and for that reason he's a genius."

Sasse, whose specialty is modern and contemporary art, said Warhol and other pop artists sought to demystify art.

"They were saying that everyday culture, things that are around us, can be just as powerful, just as moving, as the imagery being produced by a select group of abstract expressionists at the time."

Sasse, now in her 10th year at the TMA, confirmed that there will be soup cans in the exhibition "Andy Warhol Portfolios: Life & Legends," which opens Saturday and runs through July 3.

Museum-goers will see a lot of work from the 1970s and 1980s, Sasse said. The soup cans, however, are from the "Soup Can 2" from 1968. Warhol died in February 1987.

"What you're going to see is all works on paper, primarily done in the 1980s," Sasse said. The subjects, which range from sunsets to Marilyn Monroe, hold a mirror up to our culture, she said.

The show, put together from Bank of America's collection, will run pretty much concurrently with shows devoted to David Tineo, the Tucson muralist; and Ed Mell, a Phoenix-area resident who paints desert images.

All three shows open Friday at the TMA, 140 N. Main Ave.

Admission is $8, with discounts available for seniors and students. It's free admission on the first Sunday of each month.