Pop art is the relatively modern form of artistry that takes its inspiration from cultural icons such as Marilyn Monroe and commercial items like tins of soup. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is celebrating the unique impact of pop art in an exhibition stretching for five months, starting this November, and will present over 200 examples of the genre, taking up an entire floor of the gallery. By hiring a vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals, you can browse, at your own leisure, the whole of the exhibition and the rest of the gallery, as well as exploring the dynamic city of Sydney and other parts of New South Wales.  

Art Attack

Works sourced from 45 owners and galleries from around the world will be on display for the entirety of the exhibition, so attending ‘Pop to Popism’ is a fine opportunity to view a multitude of masterpieces in the same sitting. Internationally renowned institutions, such as the Andy Warhol Museum, the Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art have lent their works to the Art Gallery of NSW and iconic masterpieces now adorn the walls. ‘Hey Mickey’, the influential painting of comic styling by Roy Lichtenstein, will be on display alongside ‘Triple Elvis’ by pop art purveyor Andy Warhol as well as David Hockney’s ‘Portrait Of An Artist’. Additionally, Australian artists including Howard Arkley, Maria Kozik, Martin Sharp and Brett Whitely will be exhibited alongside these illustrious names of the movement for the first time.

Take part in art

The ‘Pop to Popism’ exhibition isn’t just for red wine-swilling art buffs, however. Families, especially those with young children, are especially well catered for. Keen to introduce new generations to the pop art movement, the Art Gallery of NSW has included a creative, lively and playful family area designed to encourage people of all ages to interact with works in different, intriguing ways. Andy Warhol’s famous ‘Marilyn Diptych’ has been faithfully recreated as a fun face-in-the-hole and a large-scale game of pop twister.

You can even create your own masterpiece in the kid’s studio, before embarking on a children’s trail. This is created to intrigue young minds with fascinating objects and images throughout the exhibition and encourage simple interpretation ideas. Drawing and writing activities are available in front of specially chosen works with idea that children will take their sparked creativity away from the Gallery and foster a fledgling appreciation of art. There are even free performances that can give pop art an even greater vibrancy to children, as mime, magic and illusion are used to introduce many pop art concepts.

Pop Idol

The Art Gallery of NSW is also staging several related events in conjunction with the ‘Pop to Popism’ exhibition. On Saturday, 6 December, the ‘Icons of Pop‘ party takes place, where you’ll meet legends such as Elvis Presley, John Wayne and Jimi Hendrix and rub shoulders with Superman and The Joker. Music from the 1960s, the decade that pop art really delved into the popular psyche, will set the scene – The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane will fill your ears as you peruse the exhibition.

Everybody talk about Pop Muzik

On 19 November, as well as 3 and 10 December and starting at 7:30 PM, you can enjoy a cacophony of classic and modern pop tunes at the Gallery. These aren’t just shabby pre-recordings, though – some of Sydney’s most celebrated musicians and new talent will take to the microphone in the After Hours Bar, making it the perfect conclusion to an afternoon perusing the good and the great of the pop art genre.