Once again we find ourselves at the Barbican Art Gallery. More than fifty years after Pop Art exploded onto the art scene, Pop Art Design is the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the exchange of ideas between artists and designers in the Pop age. Pop artists commented on the cult of celebrity, commodity fetishism and the proliferation of media that permeated everyday life in America and the United Kingdom after the Second World War. Radically departing from all that had gone before, artists delighted in adopting the design language of advertising, television and commerce to create work that was playful but often also intentionally irreverent and provocative. In turn, designers routinely looked to Pop Art as a constant source of inspiration. Pop Art Design paints a new picture of Pop – one that recognises the central role played by design.
Bringing together more than 200 works, by over 70 artists and designers, the exhibition includes iconic and lesser known works by such artists as Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, Judy Chicago, Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Elaine Sturtevant, Joe Tilson and Andy Warhol and shown alongside objects by Achille Castiglioni, Charles and Ray Eames, Peter Murdoch, Allen Jones, George Nelson, Gaetano Pesce and Ettore Sottsass. Pop Art Design also presents a wealth of graphic material from posters and magazines to album sleeves, as well as film, photography and documentation of Pop interiors and architecture.
Make sure you catch these various events held in line with the exhibition...
Gaetano Pesce and Tony Chambers In Conversation - Wednesday 27 November, 7pm
Gaetano Pesce, Italian architect and designer of iconic works such as La Mamma/Donna armchair and footrest, 1969 and the Moloch lamp, 1970, 1971 in conversation with Wallpaper* Editor-in-Chief Tony Chambers.
Alex Seago and Nigel Waymouth In Conversation - Friday 13 December, 7pm
Cultural historian Alex Seago in conversation with Nigel Waymouth, graphic designer, artist and one half of influential design partnership, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, to talk graphic design in the age of Pop and its ongoing influence.
TOURS & WALKS
Pop Buildings – Walks by Twentieth Century Society - Saturday 23 November, 11am & 2.30pm
Centre Point has been called ‘London's first Pop Art skyscraper’. A true London landmark, its design symbolised the bold aesthetic of the 1960s. It was produced by Richard Seifert’s practice, whose well-known love of strong forms inspires this walk devised and led by the Twentieth Century Society. Other Seifert buildings covered will include the cylindrical Space House, built for the Civil Aviation Authority. We will also look at sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi’s energetic mosaics at Tottenham Court Road Underground station, reflecting the music and entertainment industry in the streets above. The walks, identical and each of about an hour and a half duration, will start at the entrance to Barbican Art Gallery (Level 3) and finish at Tottenham Court Road.
Exhibition Tour with Anne Massey - Friday 6 December, 7pm
Anne Massey is Professor of Design at Middlesex University and leading expert on the interdisciplinary significance of the Independent Group. Her book, Out of the Ivory Tower: the Independent Group and Popular Culture is published by Manchester University Press in November, 2013. She is the founding editor of ‘Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture’ and Associate Researcher: ICA History.
Exhibition Tour with Sophie Persson - Friday 10 January, 7pm
Sophie Persson joined Barbican Art Gallery as Assistant Curator in November 2012, having previously worked on exhibitions with organisations such as Green Cardamom, Asia House and The Wapping Project. She has also worked on a variety of projects as a freelance curator.
Exhibition Tour with Simon Andrews - Friday 24 January, 7pm
Simon Andrews works at Christie's as International Specialist for the Department of Twentieth Century Decorative Art and Design. Areas of interest include Twentieth Century Italian design, with a special emphasis on the work of Carlo Mollino, Post-War British and American furniture and textiles, and modern Nordic design.
Exhibition Tour with Catherine Ince - Friday 31 January, 7pm
Curator at Barbican Art Gallery, Catherine Ince organised Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion, a major retrospective of contemporary high-fashion from Japan and the Curve installation Junya Ishigami: Architecture as Air. Catherine co-curated the critically acclaimed Bauhaus: Art as Life in 2012. Prior to joining Barbican Art gallery she was curator of Architecture and Design at the British Council, where she organised the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2006 and 2008, and, previously, Contemporary Programmes curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Pop Art Design - 22 October 2013 – 9 February 2014
Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y; barbican.org.uk