POP & BEYOND
The Pop Art movement, which began in the 1950s, represented a dramatic deviation from modernism’s abstract expressionist foundation. Started by the likes of Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist, identifiable images of the everyday gave voice to prosaic life, rather than the myths of the grandiose. Thirty-two cans of Campbell’s soup could turn the art world like a boiling pot of cream of mushroom. Four stacked letters like L-O-V-E could echo like the Beatles’ 1967 single. Chalk outlines could carry subways from Grand Central to Rockaway and beyond, through Columbus Circle where one day minimalist Sol LeWitt’s Whirls and Twirls (MTA) brought color to the lives of New York City’s subway riders. It was a time when these artists looked to what was in front of them, and at what happened to be nearby, in an effort to create a cherished picture of this modern existence, however mundane or fantastic.
The serigraphs, lithographs, etchings and gouaches of Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine, Sam Francis, Adolph Gottlieb, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Robert Motherwell, and Robert Rauschenberg hang alongside Sol LeWitt – a conceptual artist who once said, "only ideas can be works of art" – in the town where he spent the latter years of his life.
Also included in the exhibit are works by Irene Barberis, an Australian/British artist, who met Sol LeWitt in 1974 and remained friends for over 30 years. She is the first artist to have the privilege to make work in LeWitt's studio in Chester and has produced new bodies of artworks responding to the space and his processes.