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Modern & Contemporary Gallery

All the Pop

January 25 – July 07, 2019
Alex Katz, Late July (detail), 1971. Lithograph on paper, 22.25 x 28.5 inches (56.5 x 72.4 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dorsky, 1973.15.1. © Alex Katz / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, New York. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.


Pop art originated in the 1950s and spread around the world in the 1960s. Inspired by mass media and popular culture, artists implemented vivid colors, graphic designs and text both to appeal broadly to viewers and to address significant issues of the day. This installation included international Pop art from the Nasher Museum’s collection, as well as later works influenced by Pop and its wry critiques of politics and material consumption. As a complement to Pop América, 1965 – 1975, on view at February 21– July 21, 2019, this installation reflected several of the same themes: politics, fashion, the environment, signs and symbols and identity.

Pop art took many different forms around the globe, but uniting the movement was the prevalent use of imagery and production methods that referenced the ever-growing influence of the media and commercial consumption on daily life. Everyday objects, scenes and symbols were prevalent in Pop art, here demonstrated by Allan D’Arcangelo, Jasper Johns and Alex Katz. Although much Pop art depicted shiny new modern products, some artists, including Parviz Tanavoli, opted to combine traditional stories and symbols with the movement’s bright colors and bold forms to produce original work. Prints on paper, created in multiples and easily disseminated, replicated advertising tactics by using repetitive imagery and commercial logos. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Sots artists, such as Alexander Kosolapov, borrowed these popular logos to criticize both Russian propaganda and the United States’ capitalist systems. Pop artists also often referenced current political issues, including the war in Vietnam and the civil rights movement, as seen in the work of May Stevens, Carol Summers and Andy Warhol. Roy Lichtenstein, a prolific Pop painter, printer and sculptor, even experimented with his famous designs on clothing—an example of Pop’s frequently ironic reinsertion back into daily life.

All the Pop was organized by Molly Boarati, Assistant Curator at the Nasher Museum.

Featured Featured exhibition

Pop América, 1965-1975

February 21 – July 21, 2019

Despite the wide appeal of Pop art’s engaging imagery, the broader public remains unaware of the participation and significant contribution of Latin American and Latino/a artists working at the same time and alongside thei...

Featured Featured Event

Curator Conversation: Pop América

Exhibition curator and Duke Professor Esther Gabara talks with artist Rupert García, born in California in 1941, whose work is part of Pop América, 1...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 68 PM
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