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“Pop Culture” Exhibition of Pop Art Classics Closes December 2 at the Weisman Museum
The three-month exhibition, “Pop Culture: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation,” will come to the end of its run at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, Sunday, Dec. 2.
The exhibition celebrates the museum's 20th anniversary, exploring the roots and effects of the Pop Art movement that emerged in the 1960s, when artists began to draw inspiration from the new mass media that was transforming the world.
The 1960s are represented by vintage and iconic works by founding Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Tom Wesselmann. The complete set of Warhol's silkscreens titled Marilyn Monroe in 10 different color combinations captures the era's fascination with glamour and celebrity. In Rosenquist's Sketch for "Fire Pole" Expo 67 Mural Montreal Canada, the artist shows us only the shoes and lower legs of a man and a metal pole. He could be either a firefighter rushing to save a life or a dancer at a discotheque.
The pioneering Pop artists provided an example for younger artists to draw inspiration from the world around them. Art produced in the 1970s and after reflects a myriad of complex influences, ranging from comic books and graffiti to video games and cell phones.
Wit, irony, and humor are recurrent themes. Jose Luis Quinones' Crushed Orange is an immense photorealist canvas of a crushed can of Orange Crush soda. In his hands, a brand name becomes a physical object, rendered with painstaking, meticulous realism. Joel Morrison's bronze Alligator Shoes depicts a pair of shoes made of reptile leather, complete with menacing alligator teeth.
While some artists were content with borrowing imagery from television, the pioneering video artist Nam June Paik went so far as to create a sculpture made from assembled televisions. His Michelin Man Laser Robot combines television sets from different eras, blending obsolete and current technology. His work reminds us that television is an inescapable experience in the modern world.
Works are on view at the Weisman Museum in the Gregg G. Juarez Gallery, West Gallery, and Ron Wilson-Designer Gallery until 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. The upcoming exhibition, Illustrating Modern Life: The Golden Age of American Illustration from the Kelly Collection, will open January 12.
For more information, call (310) 506-4851 or visit the Weisman Museum website.