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Warhol and the World of Pop Art

The artwork of Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) will take centre stage in a unique exhibition at The Lightbox gallery and museum which will showcase the colourful highlights of international Pop art. From 25 July – 1 November 2015 ‘Warhol and the World of Pop Art’ will bring together some of the finest examples of both fine and applied Pop art pieces from America and mainland Europe.
The exhibition will have a section dedicated to Warhol which will sit alongside other significant American Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist and Jasper Johns. From Europe notable works by ‘new realist’ artists will include Claude Gille, Erró and Nikki de Saint Phalle.

Pop art emerged as a movement in the late 1950s as a response to the post-war boom in popular culture which led in turn to the rise of advertising, mass production, pop music and Hollywood movies. Young artists felt at that time that traditional art techniques and subjects did not reflect the commercialised new world in which they lived and so they began to take influence from the imagery around them. Warhol was at the forefront of this movement, working originally in the 1950s as a commercial illustrator, he used this inspiration and experience to make the transition to successful Pop artist. By the mid-1960s Warhol’s work was highly sought after and the American media had christened him the ‘Pope of Pop’.  

The exhibition ‘Warhol and the World of Pop’ will for the first time present a comprehensive overview of how Pop art was adopted by America and Europe, not just as a form of fine art, but across all applied mediums such as packaging, pop music, fashion and furniture.

One of the focal points of the exhibition will be the highly-recognisable series of ten multi-coloured screen print portraits of Marilyn Monroe, created by Andy Warhol in 1967. To complement this, earlier Warhol pieces, some never before exhibited in Britain, will be on show such as textile designs, a drawing entitled ‘Shoe’ and two dresses from the late 1950s. Examples of later rare applied artworks by Warhol will also feature in the exhibition such as a ‘Campbell’s Soup Can’ paper tote bag (1966) and an LP record sleeve for the Velvet Underground featuring the famous Pop art banana motif (1967).  

Significant works by other American Pop artists will include prints and applied pieces by Roy Lichtenstein (1923 – 1997) such as ‘Crak! Now Mes Petits...Pour La France’ (1964) and ‘Crying Woman’ (1963). An iconic ‘Mickey Mouse’ piece by Claus Oldenburg will feature along with ‘Silo’, an oil on canvas by James Rosenquist (b. 1933), and a detailed graphite on paper drawing ‘Three Flags’ by Jasper Johns (b. 1930).  

European Pop art, referred to in France as ‘new realism’, will include a mixed media piece by Claude Gilli    (b. 1938), collages by Erró (b. 1932), and a brightly-coloured sculpture ‘Nana Acrobat’ by Nikki de Saint Phalle (1930 – 2002). Applied art high points will include Pop art ‘disposable’ paper dresses by Harry Gordon which will be showcased on a specially installed runway alongside the other fashion pieces. Outside the gallery will be a collection of fun Pop ephemera from the 1960s such as comic books, American pop and rock posters and iconic imagery such as the Coca-Cola bottle – also a favourite of Warhol.  

‘Warhol and the World of Pop Art’ will be on show at The Lightbox, from the 25 July – 1 November 2015.

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