Pop Art

The Bright Side of Life

Until 3 November 2024

Andy Warhol | Mercedes-Benz Formel Rennwagen W125, 1987 | ALBERTINA, Wien © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, inc./Licensed by Bildrecht, Vienna, 2024
Andy Warhol | Mercedes-Benz Formel Rennwagen W125, 1987 | ALBERTINA, Wien © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, inc./Licensed by Bildrecht, Vienna, 2024

It was around 1960 that pop art began to supplant abstract painting. In terms of worldview, pop art embodied a reaction to the post-World War Two economic boom, the commercialization of all areas of life, and the rise of consumer and leisure culture as well as the celebrity cult fueled by film, television, and illustrated magazines.

From an art-historical perspective, pop art represents a backlash against abstraction as the supposed endpoint of painting’s developmental history. With Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Ramos, and Alex Katz, representation made a powerful return to art—not as “mimesis” (the imitation of nature), but as the “appropriation” of pre-existing images. Whether it was photographs or other pictorial matter from newspapers, comics, illustrated magazines, or advertisements: every person and every thing became a product, a fetish, a celebrity, a consumer object.

Fang Lijun | 2004.9.30, 2004 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection | © Fang Lijun
Fang Lijun | 2004.9.30, 2004 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection | © Fang Lijun
Mel Ramos | Elephant Seal, 1970 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Leihgabe Andreas Brinkmann
Mel Ramos | Elephant Seal, 1970 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Leihgabe Andreas Brinkmann

Austrian pop art grew out of similar circumstances but set out on a path all its own that was independent of the original US version and characterized by abundant wit and playful (self-)irony.

The garish and lurid chromatic qualities of pop art’s pictorial cosmos reflect not the eruption of the proverbial volcano, but the dance thereupon: this movement’s 1960s and ’70s heyday was marked by deep political and societal crises, with the assassinations of political figures from John F. Kennedy to Martin Luther King, the Cold War and Vietnam War, the Oil Crisis, galloping inflation, and the German Autumn leading to this era becoming known as the “troubled decades” both in Europe and in the United States.

On view from 10 April until 3 November at the ALBERTINA KLOSTERNEUBURG museum in Klosterneuburg.

EXHIBITION PROGRAM 

Public guided tours (in German)
Learn about highlights and backgrounds of the exhibition in a one-hour guided tour of the exhibition.
Dates & tickets

For private or school tours, please contact our Art Education Department on weekdays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm at +43 1 534 83 540 or 

 

 

Video: Film about the exhibition
Alex Katz: Beach Stop, 2001

Alex Katz | Beach Stop, 2001 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection

Andy Warhol: Mercedes-Benz Formel Rennwagen W125, 1987

Andy Warhol | Mercedes-Benz Formel Rennwagen W125, 1987 | ALBERTINA, Wien © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, inc./Licensed by Bildrecht, Vienna, 2024

Mel Ramos: Elephant Seal, 1970

Mel Ramos | Elephant Seal, 1970 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Leihgabe Andreas Brinkmann

Fang Lijun: 2004.9.30, 2004

Fang Lijun | 2004.9.30, 2004 | ALBERTINA, Wien – The ESSL Collection | © Fang Lijun

Robert Klemmer: Laufender Klemmer, 1969

Robert Klemmer | Laufender Klemmer, 1969 | ALBERTINA, Wien

Andy Warhol: Daimler Motorkutsche (1886) und Benz Patent-Motorwagen (1886), 1987

Andy Warhol | Daimler Motorkutsche (1886) und Benz Patent-Motorwagen (1886), 1987 | ALBERTINA Wien – Leihgabe aus der MIURA Hotel Art Collection

Jannis Varelas: Untitled, 2022

Jannis Varelas | Untitled, 2022 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Schenkung Galerie Krinzinger

Kiki Kogelnik: O.T., 1962

Kiki Kogelnik | O.T., 1962 | ALBERTINA, Wien – Familiensammlung Haselsteiner | © Kiki Kogelnik Foundation. All rights reserved.

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THE EXHIBITION CATALOGUE

Editor: Constanze Johanna Malissa und Klaus Albrecht Schröder
German / English | 768 pages
24 x 17 cm | Softcover
EUR 29,90

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