ROBERT INDIANA and AMERICAN POP on display this Fall

                                                               Contact:
ChrisPotash                                                                                                                                          (610) 432-4333 extension 125
cpotash [at] allentownartmuseum [dot] org

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                      

For Immediate Release--September 2014

 

AMERICAN POP PUTS ROBERT INDIANA IN CONTEXT

Fall exhibitions announced at Allentown Art Museum 

Allentown, Pa—In anticipation of hosting the special exhibition Robert Indiana from A to Zthis fall, curators at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley went into the vault to select a medley of complementary Pop hits from the Museum’s permanent collection. American Pop: The Prints features works on paper by some of the most recognizable names in Pop Art, including Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, Larry Rivers, Mel Ramos, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Rauschenberg. Two additional Pop works are on loan from the Martin Art Gallery at nearby Muhlenberg College. American Pop will be on display in Trexler Hall and Fowler Gallery during the same period as Indiana: from October 12, 2014, to January 25, 2015.

Pop artists, inspired by the look of advertisements, cartoons, road signs, and other overly familiar objects, were interested in the mass-produced, the disposable, and the widely popular—hallmarks of American culture. Printmaking was a natural medium for these artists, as prints can be produced both mechanically and as multiples. (Andy Warhol is quoted as saying, “I want to be a machine.”) Challenging prevailing notions of fine art, Pop artists experimented with commercial techniques and helped elevate the status of printmaking in the art world. Americans Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns began to use images from the mass-media in their art in the 1950s. By the early 1960s, American Pop Art had fully emerged.

While Pop Art might be commonly associated with Americans such as Robert Indiana and Roy Lichtenstein, it was actually a British invention dating to 1956, when a group of young English artists grew fascinated with America’s consumerism. An exhibition in Allentown this spring at the Museum, titled British Pop Prints, illustrated how artists such as Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton first incorporated images from popular culture into their works using graphic designs. Also included in that exhibition were works by seminal Pop artists David Hockney, Peter Phillips, Patrick Caulfield, and Eduardo Paolozzi.

A highlight of American Pop: The Prints is the Souper Dress, a screenprinted cellulose A-line dress designed by Andy Warhol for the Campbell’s Soup Company in 1966–1967 and recently acquired by the Museum. Paper dresses became a fashion fad after the American Scott Paper Company began offering dresses made of disposable cellulose fabric for a single dollar in 1966 as a marketing tool. Pop artists, such as Warhol, who appropriated commercial imagery, soon began designing paper dresses—the perfect Pop fusion of art, fashion, industry, and ideology. 

 

American Pop: The Printsand Robert Indiana from A to Z continue at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, 31 North Fifth Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania, through January 25, 2015. For more information: AllentownArtMuseum.org.

 

Robert Indiana from A to Zis organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions.

 

EXHIBITION SPONSORS

Presenting Sponsor

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Major Sponsors

The Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment
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Sustaining Sponsors

The Audrey and Bernard Berman Endowment Fund
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