Zwirner & Wirth is pleased to present an exhibition of American and German Pop Art. Scheduled to open on May 4 and close on July 1, 2005, this exhibition will examine some of the formal and conceptual concerns shared by the artists Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter.
Known mostly as an American phenomenon of the 1960s, Pop Art is characterized by a blurring of the boundaries between art and life in its exploration of such themes as consumerism, cultural icons, and mass-reproduced imagery. Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg (later known as the gallerist Konrad Fischer) traveled to Paris in 1963, where they declared themselves to be "German Pop artists" after visiting the galleries of Iris Clert and Ileana Sonnabend, who showed the leading American pop artists of the day. In the press release for the legendary 1963 Düsseldorf exhibition of the work of Lueg, Polke, Richter and Manfred Kuttner, organized by the artists and displayed in an empty butcher's shop, the artists wrote:
The value of the exhibition derives from the themes of the works on show. For the first time in Germany, these will include works that may be described as Pop Art, Imperialist or Capitalist Realism, New Sobriety, Naturalism, German Pop and the like. Pop Art recognizes the modern mass media as a genuine cultural phenomenon and draws, with artifice, on the attributes, formulations and contents of the modern mass media for its own artistic expression. Thus it is changing the face of modern painting, heralding an aesthetic revolution.