Bernard Rancillac, Pilules capsules conciliabules, 1966, DACS

Pop art is generally considered an Anglo-American phenomenon associated with such artists as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. This story is contradicted by The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern curated by Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation and Flavia Frigeri, Curator,Tate Modern, with Elsa Coustou, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.

The EY Exhibition reveals the alternative stories of Pop, highlighting key figures of the era who have often been left out of mainstream art history. The exhibition revealing how artists around the world engaged with the spirit of Pop, from Latin America to Asia, and from Europe to the Middle East. 160 works from the 1960s and 1970s are brought together at Tate Modern exploding the traditional story of Pop art and showing how different cultures contributed, re- thought and responded to the movement. It also reveals how Pop was never just a celebration of Western consumerism, but was often a subversive international language for criticism and public protest across the globe. It’s an overtly political, destabilising force. The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop shows how artists used this visual language to critique its capitalist origins while benefiting from its mass appeal and graphic power.

Cornel Brudascu, Guitarist, 1970, Museum of Visual Arts Galati, Romania
Cornel Brudascu, Guitarist, 1970, Museum of Visual Arts Galati, Romania

“Often seen as a western, mainly American phenomenon, this extraordinary exhibition triumphantly proves Pop art was a global movement. It highlights key figures, ignored by art history as they use Pop to express their own cultures with a conscious use of commercial symbols” said Martin Cook, Managing Partner Commercial, UK & Ireland at EY.

The exhibition shows many such variations from across the globe, from Judy Chicago’s decorated car hoods to Beatriz Gonzalez’s painted Colombian dining table to Ushio Shinohara’s ‘popped’ versions of 19th century Japanese prints.

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop includes the Austrian Kiki Kogelnik’s anti-war sculpture Bombs in Love 1962, and the subverted commercial logos of Boris Bucan in Croatia. It also showcases many other women artists who played key roles in the movement, including Evelyne Axell, Eulàlia Grau, Nicola L, Marta Minujin and Martha Rosler.

Delia Cancela, Corazon destrozado 1964, Private collection
Delia Cancela, Corazon destrozado 1964, Private collection

Icelandic artist Erró’s American Interiors 1968 showed throngs of Chinese workers invading domestic Western scenes, while Brazilian Claudio Tozzi’s Multitude 1968 and Spanish-based Equipo Crónica’s Concentration or Quantity Becomes Quality 1966 showed the modern energy and antagonism of crowds, in sharp contrast to American Pop’s remote icons like Marilyn and Elvis.

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop

17 September 2015 – 24 January 2016 Tate Modern, The Eyal Ofer Galleries

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