News and Events
Weisman Exhibit "Robert Dowd: Pop Art Money" to Close April 5
Since January 17, the walls of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art have been covered with the whimsical and imaginative paintings of money and stamps done by pop artist, Robert Dowd. The first posthumous museum exhibition devoted to the late Dowd will culminate at the Malibu campus museum on April 5.
The enlargements of U.S. paper currency are large-scale, some 10 feet wide. They often feature humorous alterations, such as substituting portraits of famous artists for the presidents. In 1962, curator Walter Hopps included Dowd—along with Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Phillip Hefferton, Joe Goode, Ed Ruscha, and Wayne Thiebaud-in the landmark exhibition New Paintings of Common Objects at the Pasadena Museum of Art. This important, historic show was the first museum exhibition of Pop Art in the nation.
"Dowd was part of a generation that includes some of California's best known contemporary artists, such as Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, and Joe Goode, but his work has been unjustly overlooked in recent years," said Michael Zakian, director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art. "I hope that this exhibition fosters a positive reappraisal of his achievement and career."
Dowd's work was not without controversy. Despite the success of these paintings, the FBI accused him of counterfeiting and by 1970 he had shifted his attention to paintings exploring scientific atomic theory. This exhibition has been the first in-depth examination of the currency paintings and related work by this seminal Los Angeles modernist.
"When he died in 1995, he had been virtually forgotten by the art world," Zakian says. "I hope that this exhibition and accompanying catalog will give him the attention he deserves.
The Weisman is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and one hour prior to most performances through intermission. There is no admission charge and the museum is open to the public. For more information, call (310) 506-4851, or visit http://arts.pepperdine.edu/.