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Pop art takes over the Gallery this summer

Opens 1 November 2014

Roy Lichtenstein In the car 1963, oil and magna on canvas, 172 × 203.5 cm, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, purchased 1980 © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney

13 June 2014

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, Assistant Minister for Tourism and Major Events Katrina Hodgkinson and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant announced today.

Pop to popism will grace the walls of the Art Gallery of NSW from 1 November 2014 as part of the Sydney International Art Series – a signature event on the Sydney and NSW Events calendar now it its fifth year.

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, celebrity, 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.

Ms Hodgkinson said the Sydney International Art Series is a major drawcard for visitors to Sydney during summer.

'The event has delivered more than $80 million in visitor spend to NSW economy, with around 100,000 interstate and overseas visitors coming to Sydney specifically to see exhibitions,’ Ms Hodgkinson, said.

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.

Mr Grant said '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.

'Pop art was the ultimate mix of advertising, film, television, music and everyday household items,’ said Mr Grant.

'Artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Brett Whiteley made art that was exciting and that people could understand. The pop art movement broke down the barriers between high culture and popular taste, changing art forever.

'Pop to popism is a great example of the NSW Government’s support to delivering world-class exhibitions exclusively for Sydney,’ Mr Grant 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 20 November 2014 to 8 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.

On view
1 Nov 2014 – 1 Mar 2015
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney


$20 adult
$16 concession
$14 member
$10 child (5-17 years)
$50 family (2 adults + up to 3 children)
$30/$24 season pass
$7 student (booked school group)
Free for children under 5

Also available
Audio guides • Art Pass •
Dining and other packages

Media contact

Lisa Catt
Tel 02 9225 1791
Mob 0431 509 978

See also

9 October 2014:
Sydney goes pop on 1 November

4 August 2014:
Sydney goes pop