Pop Art @ Barbican

The first art that I ever engaged with as a child was Pop Art. I loved the cartoon colours, the vibrant energy and the overall aesthetic of it. If it weren’t for Pop Art I may never have widened my horizons into other kinds of art at all. The current Pop Art Design exhibition at Barbican would have had the ten year old inside of me jumping for joy, however the adult side of my brain reminded myself to remain cool and collected as I explored the show.

It would be impossible for anyone to go into detail of the whole show as their is simply so much on offer. The Barbican boasts such names as Richard Hamilton, Ed Ruscha, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol among an impressive list of artists adorning its walls. There are 200 works covering two floors in a set designed by AOC Architecture and Village Green Studio. Included are film, collage, design pieces and more.

We see how post-war art is influenced by consumerism, eroticism and new technology. The show is mainly dominated by British and American artists whose works converse with each other in a dialogue across the gallery. The artists zone in on celebrity, television, fashion and magazines. No aspect of life is left untouched.

This exhibition is fantastic and my only regret is that I didn’t visit sooner.

Pop Art Design is on display at Barbican Art Gallery until 9 February

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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