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Collection > Andy Warhol >

Telephone

1961

No image available
  • Medium

    Acrylic and pencil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    74 x 56 x 2 1/2 in. (188 x 142.2 x 6.4 cm)

  • Credit

    Purchased with funds provided by an anonymous donor 

  • Accession number

    91.39

  • Object label

    Andy Warhol’s Telephone is hand-painted, yet the cold, flat paint application removes any trace of the artist’s individuality or self-expression. The phone is at a remove, as well, since the image is based on a printed 1928 newspaper advertisement. Warhol would later say that painting by hand is “not the age we live in,” whereas “mechanical means are today.” In 1962 he named his New York studio the Factory, which suggests a modern, mass production approach to art making. It was there that he produced the repetitive silkscreen paintings of Campbell’s Soup cans that secured his fame as a pop artist. While Telephone predates Warhol’s Factory period, the painting anticipates it all the same by proposing an analogy between the outmoded technology of the antique “candlestick” phone and the one-of-a-kind, original, hand-painted artwork.