Throwback Thursday: Pop to Popism

Roy Lichtenstein     In the car (detail) 1963     oil and magna on canvas, 172 x 203.5 cm     Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art     Purchased 1980     © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein In the car (detail) 1963, oil and magna on canvas, 172 x 203.5 cm
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Purchased 1980, © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

You don’t have to be a culture vulture to appreciate the new exhibition at The Art Gallery of NSW. Pop to popism is one for the people.

Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s soup cans, vacuum cleaners, basketballs, even punching bags are just a few of the familiar icons you’ll see inside this special exhibition celebrating the Pop Art Movement.

The 200 artworks document the shift in the art world, when the divide between high culture and pop culture was broken. These artists brought film, sex and advertising into their works, along with war, drugs and the rise of big business.

This is old school graphic art featuring the images you’ve seen many times before on posters, bags, coasters, on your friend’s walls and in the media.

Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, the iconic 10 screen printed portraits, are recogniseable worldwide not just because of the famous screen siren, but because Warhol’s depiction of her has become almost as famous as the face itself.

Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe 1967 Silkscreen on paper 1 of suite of 10: 91.5 x 91.5cm (each) Frederick R Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles © Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe, 1967, Silkscreen on paper, 1 of suite of 10: 91.5 x 91.5cm (each)
Frederick R Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, © Andy Warhol

Roy Lichtenstein’s In the Car is a manga comic/high art masterpiece that’s been reproduced everywhere, from storage centre signage to coffee cups.

Along with the international heavyweights, there’s a strong Australian presence. Aussie artists such as Brett Whiteley and Jenny Watson played a big part in the movement too. Whiteley’s 22 metre The American Dream is a show stopper.

Once you’ve visited the exhibition, save time to peruse the gift shop – from baby pop socks to giant cheeseburger bean bags, there’s plenty of cool kitsch to take home.

And stick to the theme with a scoop of Gelato Messina’s Candy Warhol, created especially to coincide with the exhibition. What flavours sum up Andy’s pop persona? Vanilla gelato and creaming soda sorbet with raspberry jellies, passionfruit meringue and violet crystals. Natch.

Photo by Adam St John

Photo by Adam St John

Pop to popism
Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Sydney 2000
Until 1st March 2015 
Tickets: $20 adults, $16 concession, $10 child (5-17 years), $50 family (2 adults and up to 3 children)

About the author

Lisa used to use Sydney as a base to drop off souvenirs before heading off on the next adventure but these days she’s got her feet almost on the ground, with a desire to try every high tea in Sydney, and a cute cavoodle puppy at home. Travel writer, photographer and Kitchen Aid freak, she loves to eat, bake and write.


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