Pop to Popism: Artists On Screen & Pop Cinema

Art Life , Exhibitions Nov 01, 2014 No Comments

From Andrew Frost

The Art Gallery of NSW summer blockbuster Pop to Popism features all the delights of a large-scale art extravaganza, from the iconic to lesser-known works, big catalogue, a themed cafe and a well-stocked exhibition shop. Perhaps offering a more enduring and perhaps educational spin on the show is the AGNSW’s accompanying film program curated by Robert Herbert.


The program comes in two halves. The first is a series of documentaries under the title Artists on Screen. Covering the work and careers of artists including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Hamilton and Ed Ruscha, the documentaries range from the late 1960s to the late ’70s focusing on both US and UK artists, all period pieces that concentrate on observational investigation of their subjects and their work, and includes a few classics of the genre such as Christian Blackwood‘s David Hockney’s Diaries [1978] and Lana Jokel‘s Andy Warhol [1973], the film in which critic Harold Rosenberg makes the observation that “…the primary creation of Andy Warhol is Andy Warhol himself”. Also in the program are Australian experimental shorts and documentaries by UBU Films’ David Perry, Garry Shead and Albie Thoms.

The influence and effect of the feature film on pop art – and Pop’s influence on cinema – is showcased in Pop Cinema, a program that runs until March 1 2015. Putting together some inspired cartoon and feature film combinations – including Chuck Jones‘s trippy classic Duck Amuck [1953] with Jean-Luc Godard‘s Breathless [1959] and Walt Disney‘s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice [1940] with Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey – the program charts the evolution of pop iconography through the films of Richard Lester [A Hard day’s Night], Michelangelo Antonioni [Blow Up] to more recent directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson [Boogie Nights].

Until March 1
Art Gallery of NSW, The Domain
Pic: Chuck Jones, Duck Amuck, 1953. Film, 6:56. Warner Bros.

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Andrew Frost

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