Monday, December 21, 2015

Tate exhibition shows Pop art from around the world

Tuesday morning found us at the Tate Modern to see the EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop. This was a groundbreaking exhibition revealing how artists around the world engaged with the spirit of Pop, from Latin America to Asia, and from Europe to the Middle East. Around 160 works from the 1960s and 1970s were brought together at Tate exploding the traditional story of Pop art and showing how different cultures contributed, re-thought and responded to the movement.

Pop art is generally considered an Anglo-American phenomenon, associated with such artists as Andy Warhol. This exhibition reveals the alternative stories of Pop, highlighting key figures of the era who have often been left out of mainstream art history. It also reveals how Pop was never just a celebration of Western consumerism, but was often a subversive international language for criticism and public protest across the globe. I found this really interesting as the pop art from behind the Iron Curtain took up the same causes as western pop art.

Reacting to the market and media dominance of post-war America, Pop art arose in many countries and communities as an overtly political, destabilising force. The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop shows how artists used this visual language to critique its capitalist origins while benefiting from its mass appeal and graphic power.

Pop’s comic-book blondes and advertising models have become familiar images of the idealised female body, but this exhibition also reveals the many women artists who presented alternative visions. It was a really colourful and interesting.

We also explored the regular exhibitions at the Tate. One of my favourite pictures was The Weeping Woman by Picasso expressing the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. The other picture I really liked was a Miro called Message from a Friend.

After a simple lunch of fish and chips and two lovely Fenteman's colas we were lighter in our pockets by $85.00 CAD. And I scrape the batter off my fish. We set off across the Thames on the pedestrian bridge walking along the Embankment to the Temple.

The Temple is one of the main legal districts of the capital and a notable centre for English law, both historically and in the present day. The Temple area of the City of London consists of the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple, which are two of the four Inns of Court and act as local authorities in place of the City of London Corporation within their areas. Although it had started to drizzle it was a lovely walk through the buildings housing the barrister's and solicitor's offices. We didn't go in to the Temple Church but stood outside for awhile listening to a choir practicing.

We had a quiet smile as we walked past a shop called Timson's on our way to the Old Bailey. For those of you who are Rumpole fans you will remember that the Timson's family were a great source of income for Rumpole. The Royal Courts of Justice or Old Bailey was finished for the day and we couldn't get access. Another time we will make more time for this visit.

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