New York Pop Art: Works on Paper
1 Feb — 18 Apr 2017 at the Meyerovich Gallery in San Francisco, United States
Pop art is associated with the works of New York artists starting from the early 1960s and is based on modern popular culture and mass media.
“The Shadow” by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is a self-portrait with a glitter-laden shadowy halo. This screenprint (38 x 38 inches) with diamond dust is from Warhol’s 1981 famous Myths series that depicts several popular American fictional characters from 1950s television or Hollywood films such as Mickey Mouse, Santa Clause, Dracula among others. Warhol included himself in the series as “The Shadow” after a 1930s popular radio crime fighter.
“Reflections on The Scream” by Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), depicts a baby crying. This piece is inspired by an old comic strip along with the artist’s famous Benday dots. The title refers to, not only the central image but also jokingly, to the iconic painting “The Scream” (1895) by Edvard Munch. This mixed media artwork with metalized PVC collage and embossing (48 x 65 inches) is from Lichtenstein’s 1990 Reflections series that includes images of comic strips or newspaper cut-outs that are partly obscured as if behind a window or glass.
Robert Rauschenberg’s (1925-2008) “Equal Justice Under Law” from 1976 is a mixed media collage (30 x 22 inches) that combines a real world object, a paper bag, to images on paper of the judicial system and the concept of owning land with the American colors of red, white and blue. Rauschenberg invented the concept of Combines in his work when he combined 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional elements on a single composition. “Sara” by Alex Katz (b. 1927) is an example of the artist’s bold, hard-edged figurative portraits associated with the Pop art movement. Katz often uses his family and friends as his subjects and then distills them down to their essence with arresting simplicity of line, color, form and a powerful graphic punch. This screenprint (39 x 41 inches) is a bright yet seductively elegant, large female portrait from 2012.
James Rosenquist (b. 1933), a pioneer in the Pop Art movement, is known for using vibrant colors, depiction of shiny surfaces, and strong graphic details. This pressed paper lithograph collage “Caught One, Lost One, For the Fast Student” (54 x 38 inches) portrays a shiny cooking pot set against a background of the universe with cutouts of color and explosive white flecks.
Donald Sultan (b. 1951) is known for his contemporary approach to the conservative still-life tradition. “Blue Poppies,” 2015 (24 x 24 x 3 inches), an example of Sultan’s famous Poppies motif, is a sculpture of painted aluminum on polished aluminum base. This work is an example of the artist’s deconstruction of a flower to the basic elements making it both abstract and representational.