15-03-2017

The American Dream: pop to the present, British Museum

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London's British Museum is holding the UK's first major exhibition to chart modern and contemporary American printmaking.



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The American Dream: pop to the present, British Museum London's British Museum is holding the UK's first major exhibition to chart modern and contemporary American printmaking. A unique opportunity to see works by important names from the pop culture through to now, spanning six decades of cultural history.


“The American Dream: pop to the present” is the name of the exhibition that explores the creativity of the print medium, which flourished through some of the most dynamic and turbulent years in US history, at a time when it was at the peak of its wealth, power and cultural influence.
More than 200 works by 70 artists, on loan from institutions such as New York's MoMA and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC in addition to the British Museum's extensive collection of prints trace the creative momentum of American from the early '60s, through the rise of minimalism, conceptual art and photorealism in the 1970s, to the practices of living artists working today.
The exhibition features masterpieces by artists including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Chuck Close, Louise Bourgeois, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol alongside artists of other genres who took the opportunities offered by the revolutionary technique of prints, like Donald Judd and Claes Oldenburg.
Because the pop culture and the popularity of art would not have been possible at this level without the enthusiasm with which this post-war generation of artists embraced printmaking, an economically sustainable medium that ended up on an equal footing with painting and sculpture.
“The American Dream: pop to the present” is running at the British Museum until 18 June and explores the concept of the American dream through the art of printmaking as the vital and expressive potential of the aesthetic of American artists and its extraordinary ability to reach a broader audience and address wider social and political issues.
An exhibition that is turning into one of the musts of Spring 2017, raising plenty of interest with critics and the public at large at a very particular time in history with a vaguely "Amarcord" feel to it.

Christiane Bürklein

Exhibition “The American Dream: pop to the present” 
from 4 March to 18 June 2017
Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery, British Museum, London, UK
Sponsored by Morgan Stanley
Supported by the Terra Foundation of American Art
Credits: 
1) Edward Ruscha (b. 1937), Standard Station. Colour screenprint, 1966. The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence. © Ed Ruscha. Reproduced by permission of the artist. 
2) Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Flags I. Colour screenprint, 1973. Gift of Johanna and Leslie Garfield, on loan from the American Friends of the British Museum. © Jasper Johns/VAGA, New York/DACS, London 2016. © Tom Powel Imaging. 
3) Andy Warhol (1928–1987), Vote McGovern. Colour screenprint, 1972. © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London. 
4) Wayne Thiebaud (b.1920), Gumball Machine. Colour linocut, 1970. © Wayne Thiebaud/DACS, London/VAGA, New York 2016. 
5) Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), Sky Garden from Stoned Moon. Colour lithograph and screenprint, 1969. © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/DACS, London/VAGA, New York. 
6) May Stevens (b. 1924), Big Daddy with Hats. Colour screenprint, 1971. © May Stevens. Reproduced by permission of the artist and Mary Ryan Gallery, New York 
7) Kara Walker (b. 1969), no world from An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters. Aquatint, 2010. © Kara Walker. Reproduced by permission of the artist 
8) Willie Cole (b. 1955), Stowage. Woodcut on Japanese paper, 1997. © Willie Cole. Reproduced by permission of the artist courtesy of Alexander and Bonin Publishing, New York 
9) Edward Ruscha (b. 1937), Made in California. Colour lithograph, 1971. © Ed Ruscha. Reproduced by permission of the artist.
10) Andy Warhol, Jackie II (Jacqueline Kennedy II), from 11 Pop Artists, vol. II, 1965, published 1966, colour screenprint © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London. 
Find out more: http://americandreamexhibition.org/

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