Playful, colourful, conspicuous and not too serious, pop art is an artistic genre designed for the spirited. Introduced by experimental artists like Andy Warhol, Peter Blake and Judy Chicago in the 50s and 60s, this vibrant type of art became a popular embellishment of student bed sits when it was fashionable for music bands to decorate their album sleeves in the zany art styles.
Many of these images are etched indelibly into the minds of today’s 50, 60 and 70 year olds who are likely to have had furniture in the pop art style.
During these eras clothing was also heavily influenced by the pop art movement. With the cult of the celebrity, commodity fetishism and the explosion of the media permeating culture during the 50s and 60s, it was up to the pop artists to comment on this unprecedented popular scene through their playful art.
Pop Art Design exhibition
In celebration of this alternative and playful artistic style the Barbican Centre is hosting a Pop Art Design exhibition, aimed at exploring the exciting exchange of ideas between artists and designers in the ‘pop’ age.
More than 200 pieces from seventy different artists will be on display, ranging from the pop art magnates such as Andy Warhol to less well-known but influential figures to have emerged during an artistic era that explored the relationship between art, celebrity culture and advertisement. This thoroughly unique event will present a wealth of graphic material, including album covers, magazines, posters and photography. Pop Art Design will also show film and documentation of pop interiors and architecture.
Although the pop art period ended some time during the early seventies it gets sporadically resurrected. The retro brigade of the 90’s Britpop era was one such revival with the likes of Oasis, Kula Shaker and Blur marking a return to catchy pop-based hooks and commercially friendly sounds of the pop art era.
This fascinating exhibition will run until 9 February 2014. For more information, prices and opening hours visit the Barbican Centre website at barbican.org.uk.