Pop Art is: Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short term solution), Expendable (easily-forgotten), Low cost, Mass produced, Young, Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big Business. . .
This is just the beginning. . .
—Richard Hamilton, 1957
Gagosian is pleased to present a major exhibition to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Richard Hamilton’s visionary definition of Pop art. Hamilton’s seminal role in this movement has been widely acknowledged, and this exhibition includes artists of his generation as well as many others who have contributed to the development and dissemination of Pop over the last fifty years.
Pop art crossed all boundaries between high and low culture to produce many of the twentieth century’s iconic images. Artists around the world radically transformed painting and sculpture, according the same importance to the everyday and the mass-produced that had previously been the reserve of the epic and the unique. Andy Warhol’s vision of the role of art in modern society and the democratization of art production were set in motion as artists took images from advertising, Hollywood, comic books, and industrially designed products to address issues such as class, political change, and consumer culture. Whether they borrowed in a celebratory or critical spirit, Pop artists encouraged a new contemporary sensibility through their fresh perception of visual, cultural, and commercial icons. Pop represented a sudden and dramatic expansion of often-contradictory possibilities, which has been one of the main reasons for its continued influence on subsequent generations of artists.
This exhibition allows us to consider the ways in which artists, past and present, respond to constantly changing ideas about what Pop art is. It presents the rise of Pop art, and its establishment as a major force in contemporary art, through works by more than forty artists, from the first generation of Pop artists—including Hamilton, Jasper Johns, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, and Warhol—to subsequent generations of artists who have traced and extended Pop art’s varied legacies, including Rachel Harrison, Damien Hirst, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Nate Lowman, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and others. In this highly engaging artistic dialogue, methods of seriality and repetition, the use of synthetic materials as well as media images, and references to mass production are visible proof that the concept of Pop is still vital in contemporary art.
Pop Art Is… coincides with two major exhibitions in London: The Painting of Modern Life at the Hayward Gallery (October 4–December 30, 2007) and Pop Art Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery (October 11, 2007–January 20, 2008).
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany this exhibition, with a text by Greil Marcus and a visual essay by Louise Lawler illustrating the development of this movement over the last fifty years.
Tim Noble and Sue Webster
Murakami on Ceramics
Takashi Murakami writes about his commitment to the work of Japanese ceramic artists associated with the seikatsu kōgei, or lifestyle crafts, movement.
Takashi Murakami and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews the artist on the occasion of his 2012 exhibition Takashi Murakami: Flowers & Skulls at Gagosian, Hong Kong.
Gerhard Richter: Young Gerd
Richard Calvocoressi reflects on the monochrome world of Gerhard Richter’s early photo paintings.
The Art History of Presidential Campaign Posters
Against the backdrop of the 2020 US presidential election, historian Hal Wert takes us through the artistic and political evolution of American campaign posters, from their origin in 1844 to the present. In an interview with Quarterly editor Gillian Jakab, Wert highlights an array of landmark posters and the artists who made them.
Lauren Mahony and Michael Tcheyan pay homage to the founder of the New York Studio School.
The Generative Surface
Eileen Costello explores the oft-overlooked importance of paper choice to the mediums of drawing and printmaking, from the Renaissance through the present day.