Tag Archive | Pop Art

Claes Oldenburg’s Monumental Paint Brush Sculpture in Downtown Philadelphia!

Claes Oldenburg Paint Torch Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

Philadelphia has no shortage of impressive public artworks and engaging street art scattered all over the city, and it’s fun to spend a day just wandering the different neighborhoods and checking it all out if you happen be visiting. Most notably, the city is also home to four large-scale public sculptures by legendary Pop artist Claes Oldenburg  — more than any other city in the world. I happened to walk by one of those iconic Oldenburg works — a 51-foot high Paint Brush sculpture entitled Paint Torch, and its accompanying 6-foot Red Paint Blob located just below it on the sidewalk — when was in Philly on a recent weekend. Paint Torch was installed on the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) Lenfest Plaza on August 20th, 2011.

Claes Oldenburg Paint Torch Sculpture

Paint Torch Can be Viewed Up Close at 118-128 N. Broad Street, just across the Street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Claes Oldenburg Paint Torch Sculpture

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Custom Print 1 By Peter Phillips

Custom Print 1
Photo By Gail

Before attending the Royal College of Art in London, Peter Phillips (b. 1939) studied graphic design and technical draftsmanship. He applied his skills to establish a style marked by the juxtaposition of images, like the Pinup Model and Car Part in Custom Print I (1965), which were sourced from magazines and other mass media in montage-like compositions. The title of this print —  the first in a series three — refers to custom auto-body shops where a polished enamel sheen is appleid to cars. Phillips worked with Chiron Press, a screenprinting studio that produced posters and greeting cards. The press encouraged him experiment with nontraditional materials such as silver foil and glossy inks, which complement the artist’s brash and vibrant style.

 Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Kay Kurt, Hallelujah

Hallelujah 1995 - 2016
Photo By Gail

Kay Kurt (b. 1944) is a New Realist painter of large-scale confections. Her candies lay the foundation of her compositions, structuring her canvases abstractly, and freeing her to meditate on content. As Richard Hamilton, Robert Watts and Claes Oldenburg also used candies as subject matter — and she often enlarges the scale tenfold, like a billboard — Kurt’s work became associated with Pop Art early on. The scale of the Pop Art movement opened Kurt’s eyes to the possibility of a new vision based on objects instead of landscape.

Typical candies featured in her body of work include Licorice, Bon Bons, Jordan Almonds, Jujubes and Gummi Bears. She chooses and collects these candies from various countries, being specifically interested in those of German origin, which reflect the values, attitudes, and cultures associated with the people who produce them. She does not used mediated or advertising images like the Pop Artists, nor photographs like the Photorealists. These paintings are developed through observation. Kurt prefers painting generic-looking candy, as the luxurious ones are too refined for her taste. The sole instance of exquisite candy in her oeuvre is a Godiva chocolate box painting that she made for a friend. Her choice of subject reflects her interest in mass production and consumer culture around the world.

Compulsive and exacting to an extreme, Kurt can take years to complete a canvas. As the 1980s progressed, Kurt gradually found herself excluded from the New York art world where she had found acclaim for over a decade. Although never giving up on her painting practice, she almost completely withdrew from the public eye and it was not until her inclusion in the 2010 traveling exhibition, Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968 presented at the Brooklyn Museum, that her work was re-introduced.

Hallelujah (1995-2016) is part of the exhibit Kay Kurt: For All Her Innocent Airs, She Knew Exactly Where She Was Going, on view through February 16th, 2017 at Albertz Benda Gallery, Located at 515 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Gee, Merrie Shoes from Bonwit Teller Window Display By Andy Warhol

Gee Merrie Shoes
Photo By Gail

The catalyst for Andy Warhol’s transformation from commercial to fine artist was a 1961 display window that he created for the Bonwit Teller Department Store at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street. The window displayed five of Warhol’s newest paintings  as a backdrop to mannequins wearing Bonwit’s fashions. Representing Warhol’s first foray into what would become Pop Art, these paintings depicted commercial imagery from ads and comics, overlaid with gestural drips and blotches of Abstract Expressionism. The Bonwit window introduced Warhol’s characteristic practice of elevating pop culture into fine art that he continued to explore for the rest of his career.

Photographed as part of the Gay Gotham Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.

Comic Book Soup Cans T-Shirt

comic-book-soup-cans

Fans of Andy Warhol, Comics, or Soup can get this colorful, rad design on a T-Shirt for just $19.95, or on other swag priced accordingly, at This Link!

Eye On Design: Pillola Lamps By C. Emanuele Ponzio

Pillola Lamps at Cooper Hewitt
All Photos By Gail

In the 1960s, youth culture asserted itself, changing society’s rhythms of mass production and consumption, and generating a sense of upheaval and freedom. The Pop Art movement emerged, taking inspiration from mass media and the everyday. Bold colors, new material and radical forms characterized the work of artists and designers whose appropriation of the ordinary made brash or ironic statements.

Pillola Lamps at Cooper Hewitt
Note: Tongue Chair in the Background

Italy’s anti-design movement of the mid-1960s and 1970s is fully expressed in the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the Pillola Lamps (1968, designed by C. Emanuele Ponzio, b, 1923). Challenging notices of “good design,” the anti-design movement took its visual cues from pop art’s use of bold colors and banal subject matter. Conceived as a group, the lamps look like oversized pills poured from a giant medicine bottle.

Pillola Lamps at MOMA
Illuminated Pillola Lamps Photographed at MOMA. Non-Illuminated Lamps Photographed at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.

Tom Wesselmann Retrospective at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

Volkswagon
All Photos By Gail

Mitchell-Innes & Nash is currently hosting the first major painting retrospective of Tom Wesselmann in New York since the artist’s death in 2004. Organized in partnership with the Tom Wesselmann Estate, the exhibition examines Wesselmann’s role as the great innovator of the American Pop generation and includes a dozen significant works spanning the artist’s career from 1961-2004. Gallery owner Lucy Mitchell-Innes explains that with this exhibition, they hope to show how Wesselmann has filtered the canonical subjects of art — still life, the nude and the landscape — through a unique and personal lens using the media and technical innovation of the sixties, seventies and eighties, offering new possibilities for painting.

Leg

Nude Smile

Tom Wesselmann is one of the leading figures of Pop Art who used collage, assemblage and shaped canvases to usher in a new vocabulary of painting. He is best known for his career-spanning series, Great American Nude, which featured female figures in intensely saturated interiors.

Nude Reclining

The works in the exhibition highlight a number of techniques that Wesselmann pioneered, and which are largely unseen among his Pop contemporaries. In an interior still life from 1964, Wesselmann incorporates a functional fan and a clock into the canvas, (see image below) pushing the boundaries of collage and assemblage in a sly nod to the notion of the ‘represented’ object.

Installation View

Mayo and Tomato

Collages from the 1960s feature cut-outs from advertising billboards. Also included in the show are Wesselmann’s steel-cut works (a technique he helped develop), molded plastic paintings (a technique borrowed from commercial signage and used here in the context of fine art for the first time), and his iconic shaped canvases.

Radio and Apple

Collage

Being a fantastic introduction to Tom Wesselmann (should you not already be familiar with his work) this is a very cool and worthwhile exhibit to add to your next art crawl during the month of May.

The Tom Wesselmann Retrospective will be on view through May 28, 2016 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Located at 534 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Signage

Mouth and Smoke