Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pop Art at Princeton: Permanent and Promised Opens

Pop Art at Princeton: Permanent and Promised Opens


Andy Warhol, Blue Marilyn, 1962, Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas, 50.5 x 40.3 cm, plexi wall vitrine: 23 x 19 x 23 3/4 in. Gift of Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Class of 1922, and Mrs. Barr. Photo credit: Bruce M. White.

PRINCETON, NJ.- This March the Princeton University Art Museum will present the exhibition Pop Art at Princeton: Permanent and Promised, a celebration of the museum’s comprehensive collection––acquired over the last thirty years through purchases, bequests, and gifts, past and promised––of paintings, prints, drawings, and sculpture by leading figures of the American Pop art movement. The exhibition also includes examples of seldom seen later works by Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann, providing a broad historical overview of Pop art as it has been practiced from the movement’s origins to the present day. The exhibition and associated programming have been made possible by Merrill Lynch.

On view through August 12, 2007, the exhibition has been organized to coincide with the publication in March 2007 of Pop Art: Contemporary Perspectives, the first in a new series of Princeton University Art Museum Monographs that will offer in-depth explorations of the Princeton University Art Museum’s rich collections.

“Over the last thirty years, the Princeton University Art Museum has steadily augmented, by gift and purchase, its collection of Pop material,” notes Museum Director Susan M. Taylor. “These generous promised gifts highlight the significance of Pop art and mark an important addition to the museum’s collections in contemporary art. The pairing of the exhibition and the new museum publication series represents a singular opportunity for the museum to fulfill two fundamental, interrelated aspects of our mission: building the collection and advancing scholarship.” Ms. Taylor added that Princeton has a long tradition of interest in modern and contemporary art. “Since the early twentieth century, the university’s alumni and faculty have included important historians of modern art who also have been influential critics of contemporary practice—Alfred Barr, William Seitz, Sam Hunter, Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss, Thomas Crow, and Hal Foster, among others.”

“Merrill Lynch is proud to sponsor Pop Art at Princeton: Permanent and Promised, an impressive collection of Pop art," said Jason Wright, Merrill Lynch senior vice president, communications and public affairs. "As a long-time patron of innovative arts and educational programs, we support the Princeton University Art Museum in its commitment to showcasing important exhibitions to the communities where our clients and employees work and live."

Pop Art at Princeton: Permanent and Promised presents more than eighty works of art by American Pop-era artists acquired by the Princeton University Art Museum over the last thirty years, including examples of seldom seen later works.

Designed by CoDe, New York, Inc., Calvin Brown, and Michael Jacobs, and installed in two special exhibition galleries, the exhibition will be organized around the works of individual artists.

The first gallery will feature the prints and sculpture of Indiana, a witty wall piece by Allan D’Arcangelo, and cut-out portraits by Katz, all pointing toward historical traditions in American art that have been imaginatively reinterpreted by these Pop artists. The works in this gallery also will introduce some of the subjects, cultural issues, and revolutionary techniques of the Pop era, through major prints by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jim Dine, as well as Dine’s five-paneled construction The Art of Painting (1972).

The second gallery will concentrate on promised gifts of work by Wesselmann, Oldenburg and Van Bruggen, Warhol, and Lichtenstein, and selected works from the museum’s permanent collection by George Segal, James Rosenquist, and Edward Ruscha. The exhibition will compare several artists’ early and later treatments of a single subject, pairing Wesselmann’s molded plastic Still Life #54 of 1965, for example, with his laser-cut steel Still Life with Orange and Tulip of 1986–92. The group of promised gifts is particularly strong in the rarely discussed late sculpture of these artists, and the exhibition will provide a number of opportunities to examine drawings and maquettes along with the finished pieces.

Pop Art at Princeton also will feature representations of the iconic motifs that became signature images for these artists in the Pop era––Johns’s targets, Dine’s bathrobes and paintbrushes, Warhol’s soup can and portrait of Marilyn––while the darker side of American culture will be presented in Rauschenberg’s layered illustrations appropriated from the news media, and in Warhol’s screenprinted images of social disaster.

With the addition of the promised gifts, the collections of the Princeton University Art Museum will be expanded to include a vision of Pop art that goes well beyond the boundaries of a historically defined period, pointing to the ways in which these artists, with distinctly individual styles, pursued their unrelenting dedication to a contemporary view of American life and the practice of art throughout their careers.


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12:39 PM  

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