Kvarner newsletter / no 29

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Exhibition dedicated to pop-art icons

Visitors to the Rijeka Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art have the chance to enjoy the works of some of America's greatest pop-art icons such as Andy Warhol, John Chamberlain, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist and Robert Rauschenberg. The exhibition will run until the 24th of June.

Until the 24th of June, Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art will host the Splendid Pop exhibition displaying works by some of the most prominent representatives of the American pop-art: John Chamberlain, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist and Roberta Rauschenberga. However, the name that will probably attract most visitors is Andy Warhol.
All the works presented on this exhibition are owned by the Visconti Fine Art galery from Ljubljana in Slovenia. This opus includes works dating back to 1960s, when pop-artists reached the peak of their artistic expression, and some more recent works – the latest are from the first decade of the 21st century.
The audience will have the opportunity to see some of the pop-artists in a relatively unknown context – for example, Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist worked even in former Yugoslavia and made a series of graphics for the promotion of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Some of these works are displayed on this exhibition – Warhol's Speedskater and Rosenquist's Ice point and Balls.
Other works include four Rauschenberg's etchings, and the famous Wesselmann's series of nudes, which was done using a rare combined technique – steel and enamel. The controversial and always interesting Warhol is presented by a series of ten serigraphs representing the famous actress and pop-art symbol, Marilyn Monroe – the famous works with the stamp Sunday B. Morning and the Fill in your own signature title on the back. Apart from these works, Warhol is also represented with serigraphs entitled Flowers, Martha Graham, Space fruit: still life, and Ladies and gentlemen. These are all recognisable, par excellence motifs of the American pop that belong to some famous collections worldwide.
Pop-art is a unique phenomenon in the arts. It first appeared in mid-1950s in England, after which it was adopted by American artists in the 1960s, who mainly used this name for anything that was until then regarded as artistically unimportant, unnecessary, or banal. Their works included illustrations of fashion elements, posters, comic strips, and industrial design, which distinguished them from the renowned artists of that time. The aspiration to be different was achieved through aggressive relation, vulgarisation and satire. The result was a different type of audience, which stood for a new way of understanding life and the arts, and the emergence of some new pop-art icons.