New York – “The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art” at Acquavella Galleries, through May 24th 2013

May 7th, 2013

James Rosenquist, “Orange Field”, 1964, all images courtesy Acquavella Galleries

On view from April 10th through May 24th, 2013 at Acquavella Galleries is the exhibition “The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art,” providing an overview of the Pop art movement as it developed in the United States, and focusing particularly on the role of the still life as a mode of illustrating themes surrounding post-war consumerism.

Tom Wesselmann, “Still Life #34″, 1963

For this exhibition, 75 important works were drawn from a variety of private collections and major U.S. art institutions, as well as from several of the artists’ personal collections. Highly respected art historian and Princeton University’s Sarofim Professor of American Art, Emeritus John Wilmerding, curator of the exhibition, has included work from around 20 of the most important artists of the movement, notably Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann. He has decided to explore two major ideas: first, the still life’s expansion into sculptural form; and second, the variety of new media pioneered as innovative modes of expression within the Pop movement.

Roy Lichtenstein, “Still Life with Palette”, 1972

Even though it was not a conscious collective decision of Pop artists to utilize the still life so consistently – and though at the time there was not even a collective awareness that these works would be a part of any unified movement at all – curator John Wilmerding remarked that “Still life…turned out to be the occasion for some of Pop’s most innovative and witty expressions.” The exhibition is organized into 4 major themes: food and drink, the garden, body parts, and clothing and housewares. Expert on Pop Art, Wilmerding has written more than 20 books about American art and artists, including monographs and catalogues on several of the exhibited artists.

Tom Wesselmann, “Smoker #3 (Mouth #17),” 1968

John Wesley, “Suitcase”, 1964-65

The fully-illustrated accompanying catalogue includes an essay by John Wilmerding and a forward by William R. Acquavella.


-E. Baker


Related Links:

Exhibition Page [Acquavella Galleries]