First Look at… The World Goes Pop @Tate Modern

For Tate Modern’s latest EY Exhibition, the gallery examines how artists from across the globe managed to engage with the idea of Pop Art.

Featuring around 160 works from the 1960’s and 1970’s, The World Goes Pop brings together a collection of works that have never been shown in the UK before and examining the story of Pop art from Latin America to Asia as well as Europe.

Kiki Kogelnik ,Bombs in Love 1962, Kevin Ryan/Kiki Kogelnik Foundation Vienna/New York.

The World Goes Pop will reveal how different cultures interpreted, re-thought and responded to the movement of Pop art.

Over the years Pop art has been mainly considered to be an Angelo-American phenomenon that is a reflection on modern commercial culture that is most associated with artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

But this exhibition aims to go beyond that general view and reveal the alternative stories behind Pop art , as well as highlighting the key figures of the era who have been left out of mainstream art history.

Teresa Burga ,Cubes 1968,Private Collection Photo: Courtesy the artist and Galerie Barbara Thumm © Teresa Burga.

Through the work selected for display, Tate Modern’s exhibition also argues how Pop art was more than just a celebration of Western consumerism but also an international language to criticism and public protest across the world. By reacting to media dominance of post-war America, Pop art emerged as an overtly political and destabilising force.

The World Goes Pop examines how artists balanced their art to critique its capitalist origins but benefiting from its mass appeal and graphic power.

Pop art is known for its comic-book blondes, but this exhibition will also reveals the many female artists who presented alternative visions for the idealised female body. For example, Brazilian Anna Maria Maiolino’s brightly coloured sculpture of digestive organs Glu Glu Glu (1966) or the paintings of cut-up and isolated body parts by Slovakia’s  Jana Želibská and Argentina’s Delia Cancela.

The movement is best known for its association with hyper-individualised consumer and the distant icon, but this display will show how global pop artists often found that crowds of people to be more of a symbol for contemporary culture. But other artists found that they were able to unite a Pop aesthetic with their own folk traditions – bringing contemporary imagery together with local images.

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop opens at the Tate Modern on the 17th September and will be on display until the 24th January 2016. 

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