Nigel Henderson, 4 Mural Panels (Screen), 1949-52 and 1960, collage, photography, mixed media and oil on board, Pallant House Gallery (Wilson Gift through The Art Fund, 2006) © The Estate of Nigel Henderson
A vivid exploration of how artists in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s responded to rapid social change, as Pop Art emerged as a means of addressing the rise of mass media, the cult of celebrity, questions of identity and prevalent political concerns, issues that still resonate today.
A generation of artists led by Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake and Patrick Caulfield radically challenged thinking about art and mass media, democratising art by questioning the traditional division between high and low art. They took their cue from advertising, comics, science fiction and contemporary music, embracing non-traditional materials and techniques.
The exhibition celebrates Pallant House Gallery’s significant collection of British Pop Art, including major paintings, sculpture and its extensive holding of Pop prints. It includes seminal works such as Peter Blake’s ‘The Beatles, 1962’ (1963-68), Richard Hamilton’s ‘Swingeing London’ (1968), Jann Haworth’s ‘Cowboy’ (1964) and an early example of Pop printmaking, Eduardo Paolozzi’s ‘As Is When’ (1965).