Sydney. Pop art takes over the Art Gallery NSW. The most extensive exhibition of pop art to be showcased in Australia, Pop to popism will be presented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the 2014-15 Sydney International Art Series.
The Sydney International Art Series, which is managed by the Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, is now in its sixth year and continues to be a signature event on the Sydney and NSW Major Events calendar.
Art Gallery of NSW Director, Dr Michael Brand said: ‘Pop to popism is among the most expansive and ambitious exhibitions ever undertaken by the Gallery and will consume an entire floor with over 200 works on display by 70 artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Martin Sharp and Brett Whiteley.
‘This will be the most comprehensive survey of pop art to be seen in Australia and reflects the decisive role played by pop in the development of contemporary art,’ Dr Brand said.
‘The exhibition will present Australian pop artists alongside their international peers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe and extends beyond the period of classic pop art into the eighties, giving audiences an insight into pop’s enduring legacy both here and abroad,’ he said.
Pop art was defined as ‘popular, witty, sexy, gimmicky and glamorous’. The movement exploded in the 1950s and 60s, exploring the pop culture world of advertising, film, television, music and mass-produced consumer goods. It irrevocably broke down the boundaries between high culture and popular taste, changing art forever.
The exhibition explores both classic pop art and the new wave of artists in the 1970s and 80s who built on the legacy of classic pop to both celebrate and critique consumer culture. These artists include Jeff Koons, Howard Arkley, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and Tracey Moffatt.
The works featured in Pop to popism have come from 35 lenders around the world and include such icons as Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis 1963, Roy Lichtenstein’s In the car 1963 and his first ever comic book painting Look Mickey 1961, David Hockney’s Portrait of an artist 1972, Robert Indiana’s Love cross 1968 and Howard Arkley’s Triple fronted 1987.
‘Pop to popism is a fine example of the Government’s commitment to generating world-class exhibitions exclusively for Sydney,’ said Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Andrew Stoner.
‘The Sydney International Art Series has attracted more than 1 million visitors to our exceptional art museums, the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, since its inception.
‘In addition to enriching the cultural fabric of the city, the Sydney International Art Series has delivered more than $80 million in visitor spend to the NSW economy with about 100,000 interstate and overseas visitors coming to Sydney specifically to see the exhibitions,’ he said.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the Sydney International Art Series continues to be a major drawcard for visitors to Sydney during summer.
‘The Sydney International Art Series is just one of the wonderful events the NSW Government supports through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. Our city hosts a spectacular summer season of events and celebrations, so it’s fantastic time to visit Sydney and take in some excellent exhibitions,’ Ms Chipchase said.
Pop to popism will run from 1 November 2014 to 1 March 2015 at the Art Gallery of NSW, and will be shown in conjunction with Chuck Close prints: process and collaboration at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia from 19 November 2014 to 9 March 2015, as part of the Sydney International Art Series.
Previous Sydney International Art Series exhibitions staged at the Art Gallery of NSW include The First Emperor: China’s entombed warriors in 2010-11; the record-breaking Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris in 2011-12, and more recently Francis Bacon: five decades in 2012-13 and America: painting a nation in 2013-14.
1 Nov 2014 – 1 Mar 2015
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney