In spring 2015, EMMA will be mounting an extensive showing of Pop art and design. The exhibition, Pop Art Design, is from the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany. EMMA’s production also incorporates Pop Art and contemporary design from Finland.
Pop Art started off in the USA and UK in the 1950s, and reflects the radical cultural transformation that took place in society as affluence and consumerism increasingly permeated people’s everyday lives. Pop Art particularly depicts life in big cities, taking its themes from technology, media consumption and popular culture.
Artists’ interest in their surroundings is reflected in the attention they pay to everyday phenomena and objects. Pop Art was given a major boost by the This is Tomorrow exhibition in London in 1956, with British artist Richard Hamilton’s Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes so Different, so Appealing? on the exhibition poster. The EMMA exhibition includes a giant print enlargement of this work.
Another principal feature of Pop Art is its linking of design and visual art. The artists and designers aims included: using industrial production processes; exploring the function of the object via everyday items; stylization; quotation and borrowing; and a bright colour palette. Of the new materials, designers were particularly interested in plastic.
The EMMA exhibition mainly focuses on the 1960s. It shows a broad selection of design objects from the Vitra Design Museum’s collection, along with lots of photographs and other documentation. Highlights include: the famous but rarely seen Leonardo sofa from Studio 65; Eduardo Paolozzi’s sculpture Diana as an Engine; and Allen Jones’sChair. The Finnish Pop Art on display includes pieces by Harro Koskinen, Mikko Jalavisto, Paul Osipow, Leo Lindsten and Risto Vilhunen.
The exhibition, Pop Art Design, was prepared by the Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein) in cooperation with Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebaek) and Modern Museet (Stockholm). EMMA’s production also incorporates Pop Art and contemporary design from Finland.