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ALBRIGHT-KNOX ART GALLERY

Exhibition Detail
Sweet Dreams, Baby! Life of Pop, London to Warhol
1285 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222-1096


May 31st, 2013 - September 8th, 2013
Opening: 
May 31st, 2013 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 
 Sweet Dreams, Baby from the portfolio “Eleven Pop Artists, Vol. III, Roy LichtensteinRoy Lichtenstein,
Sweet Dreams, Baby from the portfolio “Eleven Pop Artists, Vol. III,
1965, Screen print, from an edition of 200, 37 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches (95.3 x 69.9 cm)
© Courtesy of ALBRIGHT-KNOX ART GALLERY
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From the late 1950s to the late 1960s, a small, yet influential, group of American artists rejected the expressive canvases of Abstract Expressionism in favor of imagery taken from the world around them. Pop artists were influenced by the mass media and other increasingly commercial aspects of American society, and used a wide range of techniques, mediums, and subjects often excluded from the realm of fine art. Often transforming widely familiar photographs, icons, and styles into ironic visual artifacts, Pop art—with an emphasis on literalism, recognizable imagery, and mechanical methods of production—had a tremendous impact on the art world.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery was at the forefront of these developments, collecting a core group of works by Pop art’s pioneers—Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997), Claes Oldenburg (American, born Sweden, 1929), James Rosenquist (American, born 1933), Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), and Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931–2004). Many of these works were acquired by the Gallery during the height of the movement, between 1962 and 1965, and are now considered icons of the Collection.

Life of Pop is the first comprehensive survey of the Gallery’s expansive holdings by this important group of artists. This exhibition offers an in-depth look at rarely seen works from the Gallery’s Pop art collection, while providing a historical analysis of the movement’s influences, key contributors, techniques, themes, trends, and legacy. Beginning with select works by artists associated with the British Independent Group, a 1950s precursor to Pop art, the exhibition also traces the bridge from Abstract Expressionism to Pop’s explosive, colorful, and witty portrayals of the modern world. Transitional works by the painters Jasper Johns (American, born 1930) and Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008)—who incorporated elements of everyday life with a more gestural, painterly approach, and included found materials on their canvases—are also featured. Their influence paved the way for Pop art’s reconceptualization of ephemeral objects and recognizable symbols. In total, this exhibition will feature more than fifty works in all media.


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