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Whole Lotta POP!

PRESS RELEASE

Whole Lotta POP!
Feb 9 – Apr 22, 2007

CLEVELAND – The Contessa Gallery at Legacy Village launches the new year with an exhibition featuring one of the major art movements of the twentieth century.

The Pop artists took their imagery literally from the world of popular entertainment and from commercial sources and brought it to a broader audience.  Pop Art made its dramatic public debut in 1962 with the individual exhibitions of Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol and other artists. An offending shock was experienced by many artists and almost all critics confronted by an imagery that scarcely seemed to transform its sources in the newspaper comic strip,  the billboard, repeating or isolated commercial brand symbols, montage in strong relief of food products.

With the passage of time, however, it has become clear that the Pop artists were genuine and powerful innovators. Roy Lichtenstein was the most popular and one of the most consistent pop art practitioners using stencil-like dots to represent comics or later the simplification/parody of fine art from the vivid pop art perspective. Andy Warhol became the most famous American pop artist using a pseudo-industrial silkscreen process for depicting commercial objects such as Campbell’s Soup Cans, Coca-Cola bottles, for portraying raging celebrity such as Liz Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe and for portraying the deadpan and banal. Warhol extended his artistic contribution to film direction yet managed to avoid social commentary in his art. James Rosenquist brought pop art to enormous billboard painting.  Robert Rauschenberg found his signature mode by embracing materials traditionally outside of the artist’s reach. He would cover a canvas with house paint, or experiment with prints on aluminum, clothes and other surfaces. Jasper Johns' early work combined a serious concern for the craft of painting with an everyday, almost absurd, subject matter.

Experience the instant nostalgia of the 60s, banality and bliss of popular culture through the eyes of the extraordinary artists of the 20th century at The Contessa Gallery.