If you’ve never been to Wolverhampton Art Gallery to see their excellent collection of Pop Art, fear not – it’s come to you.
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry has created, in partnership with the Wolverhampton gallery, Pop! British and American Art 1960-1975, a lavish explosion of colour in its largest gallery space.
There are also a few additions from Birmingham’s collection too, including the lovely Big Red Bus, a 1962 work by Allen Jones, which features the colours and sloping shape of a speeding vehicle rushing past you.
There is one work by Pauline Boty, recently rediscovered and celebrated for her contribution to the male-dominated world of pop art, Colour Her Gone, a gorgeous 1962 painting of Marilyn Monroe in which the actress is depicted as if smiling happily towards the artist, backed by flowers, and framed between two painted panels. It’s a shame there’s not a few more in the show.
However there are works by major artists including Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton. There’s a work by David Hockney, a man in the shower, and quite daring for the time it was painted. There are lots of collages and prints by Eduardo Paolozzi, plus a metallic sculpture Greek Hero II, loaned from the Birmingham collection.
Several Patrick Caulfields are great additions, including a 1964 representation of modern ruins, and a fantastic and very large 1971 work Tandoori Restaurant, with all the familiar items reduced to their outline shapes.
The exhibition has some lengthy and very useful captions to each work to explain the artist’s background and influences, and the evolution and ideas of Pop Art, which greatly enhance the exhibition. Definitely one not to miss – and on until June 3.