Published on November 18, 2013 | by Kate Jackson


Back to the 60s with Pop Art Exhibition

Allen Jones' 1969 Fetish Chair

Allen Jones’ 1969 Fetish Chair [Gar Powell-Evans]


Bright colours, bold prints and polka dots spring to mind when somebody mentions Pop Art, and the Barbican’s art and design exhibition won’t disappoint if that is what you’re after.

This exhibition, which is the first of its kind, shows both art and design works.

It takes you back to the 1960s in full swing, showcasing more than 200 pieces of work by more than 70 artists and designers, including Peter Blake and Pauline Boty.

It is an amazing opportunity to explore the exciting and explosively colourful world of the Pop Art movement and learn more about the way it transformed the world by challenging convention.

Pop Art explores the fascination and obsession with celebrity, commodities and the magnitude of mass culture and the media; all topics which we can all still relate to today.

The trend began in Britain and America in the mid 1950s and came to prominence in the 60s with works such as Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and Lichtenstein’s prints.

These challenged the conventional, traditional forms of fine art by employing the use of ordinary and mundane materials and by combining art with design, helping to lead the way to the movement which is known today as ‘Postmodern art.’

The Barbican exhibition gives a fresh and fascinating insight into the story of the development and the rise of Pop Art.

The paintings and sculptures featured will blow you away with their boldness and colour; Evelyne Axell’s Ice Cream is a mesmerising image.

The fact that design pieces are included is a definite plus; there are some seriously cool pieces of furniture to gaze at.

Works such as the 1970s Bocca sofa (which is shaped like a huge glowing pair of red lips) and Panton’s Heart Shaped Cone Chair help to highlight and express the playful and fun nature of the era.

This exhibition will overwhelm you in the best possible way; it is a treat for the senses and a chance to see the world through kaleidoscope eyes.

The Pop Art Design Exhibition runs from October 22 – February 9. Admission is £12, £8 with a student card.

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