Pop Goes the Art: National Gallery of Canada Musee Des Beaux-Arts Du Canada

By Jenkins, Kristin | Anglican Journal, May 2010 | Go to article overview

Pop Goes the Art: National Gallery of Canada Musee Des Beaux-Arts Du Canada


Jenkins, Kristin, Anglican Journal


IF YOU'RE PLANNING a visit to our nation's capital this summer, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) has simply got to be on your to-do list. The spectacular new exhibition Pop Life: Art in a Material World features hundreds of exciting works from the superstars of modern art, including Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons and Pruitt-Early.

Organized in conjunction with the Tate Modern in London, the exhibition was six years in the making. "This art blurred and twisted the boundaries between art, culture and the marketplace," said Jonathan Shaughnessy at a special 2010 exhibition program preview in Toronto. Shaughnessy is assistant curator of contemporary art at NGC and coordinating curator of Pop Life.

Featuring more than 250 paintings, drawing, prints, sculptures, videos, installations and "other ephemera produced over the past three decades," the exhibition looks at a culture of media-savvy artists who embraced celebrity and commerce as the foundation of their work.

The exhibition begins with the work of American pop art legend Andy Warhol (1928-1987), who contended that "good business is the best art." By carefully crafting his artistic persona as a partygoer, model, television personality, paparazzo and publisher, Warhol harnessed the power of celebrity (some would say notoriety) to create "art" with the sole purpose of making money. …

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