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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Post Pop: East meets West









Post Pop: East meets West at the Saatchi Gallery 'brings together 250 works by 110 artists from China, the Former Soviet Union, Taiwan, the UK and the USA in a comprehensive survey celebrating Pop Art's legacy. Post Pop: East Meets West examines why of all the twentieth century's art movements, Pop Art has had such a powerful influence over artists from world regions that have had very different and sometimes opposing ideologies.

The exhibition celebrates the art being produced in these four distinct regions since the heyday of Pop, and presents them in relation to each other through the framework of six themes: Habitat; Advertising and Consumerism; Celebrity and Mass Media; Art History; Religion and Ideology; Sex and the Body.

Although from fundamentally different cultures and ideological backgrounds, the artists in this exhibition play with imagery from commercial advertising, propaganda posters, pictures of the famous as well as monetary and patriotic motifs in wry and provocative works that unmistakably reference the Pop Art movement which emerged in America and Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. In the Soviet Union region these works draw attention to state control, conformity, ceremony, pomp and the fa├žade of unanimity amongst the people; in America and the UK they serve as a critique of commodity fetishism, the cult of celebrity and our mass-produced, status-driven man-made world; and in Greater China as commentary on the social dislocation created by a new super power's fascination with wealth and luxury following a period of extreme austerity.'

Wallpaper says, 'You'd think a generation of artists raised in the relative absence of religion would have escaped the pull of iconography. But therein lies the conflict in 'Ideology & Religion', perhaps the show's strongest section. If you're not scared straight by 'Die Harder', a screaming steel crucifix spiked with coat hangers by Turner Prize-nominee David Mach, you will be by the 12 shrouded figures worshipping at the altar of carved-wood toast slices by Anatoly Osmolovsky.'

Patricia Manos highlights, 'Moscow-based Irina Korina’s Chapel (2013), a structure of what looks like stained glass emerging from behind a thicket and a corrugated metal fence, and which deals with the idea of Socialist utopia as dol’gostroi, a construction project abandoned for lack of funds. Chapel is luminous and puzzling, with a touch of the seductive sadness that draws people to ruin-porn in the first place. It also shows a persistent optimism about the revolutionary potential of beauty, something that makes ‘Habitat’ probably the most conceptually cohesive part of the whole exhibition ...'

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Rhiannon Giddens and Lalenja Giddens Harrington - I Know I've Been Changed.

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