Walking past all the glaringly obtrusive "SOLD OUT" signs outside London's renowned Olyvia Fine Art Gallery, you'd think there was no more reason for you to go in.
Step closer with Crane.tv's video and you'll recognize a significant sculpture by the artist whose minimalistic works impacted the entire genre of American Pop Art: Frank Stella. The perceptive exhibition illustrates the evolution of Pop Art; focusing on the artwork of prominent creatives of the era: Warhol, Rauschenberg, Haring - spanning over two decades.
Not only did these artists try to represent and comment on mass culture, explains curator Laetitia Lina, the diversity of styles and techniques evident in this show demonstrates how those contributing to the movement participated in commercialism and found increasingly innovative ways to reach and sell to a wider audience. From the start the show questions the status of traditional painting and sculpture, provides you with voyeuristic opportunities to experience the confusing sensations and imagery characteristic of modern street life, as well as giving you a heavy dose of reproduced mass media, appropriated language, commercial labels, incessant branding, you name it.
Andy Warhol once claimed that "Big time art is big time money", he was certainly not the only artist interested in the art of selling out.
Sold Out: American Pop Art from the 1970s and the 1980s
22 September - 20 November 2010
Olyvia Fine Art
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Text by Carmen Ho for Crane.tv