Pop Art Exhibition at UWM Jan. 24-Feb. 21

Return to the 1960s and ’70s in an exhibition at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art History Gallery Jan. 24-Feb. 21.

The gallery, located in Mitchell Hall, room 154, 3203 N. Downer Ave., is featuring the Pop Art of Andy Warhol and contemporaries in “Warhol, Et Al.”  Kenneth Bendiner, chair of UWM’s Art History Department, will give a gallery talk on the works during an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 5-7 p.m.

While the political and social upheaval of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the war in Vietnam and the struggle for civil and women’s rights marked the decades of the ’60s and ’70s, it also was an economic boom time.

As the exhibition’s background materials explain, artists responded to rampant consumerism by adapting the techniques of commercial art, blurring the distinctions between fine and commercial art.

The term “Pop Art” was coined by critic Lawrence Alloway, who explained, “…Pop Art deals with material that already exists as signs, photographs, brand goods, comics – that is to say, with precoded material. Pop Art took as its subjects consumer products, mass media and banal images, and transformed them into commodified art objects through mechanized processes such as the silkscreen.”

The American audience readily embraced the engaging and recognizably common imagery of Pop Art, and ignored the works’ social criticism.

In addition to Warhol, artists included in the exhibition include Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, Jim Dine and Claes Oldenburg.

Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.