Calendar
Happenings

POP Power from Warhol to Koons: Masterworks from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

September 28, 2019 - March 8, 2020

From Campbell’s Soup to Mickey Mouse, and from comic strips to balloon dogs, POP Power celebrates a perennial movement that revels in the new and the now, the celebrity and the commodity, and art made accessible for the masses. Seminal works from the original Pop Art masters such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist are paired alongside today’s leading Neo-Pop provocateurs such as Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami, providing a fun, irreverent look at the low brow, high art of our popular culture.

  • Takashi Murakami (Japanese (b. 1962))

    Takashi Murakami (Japanese, born 1962), Homage to Francis Bacon (George Dyer), edition 19/300, 2004, lithograph, 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 in., 2005.190

  • Keith Haring (American (1958-1990))

    Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), Pop Shop Quad II, edition HC 5/20, 1988, screenprint, 12 x 15 in., © Keith Haring Foundation

  • Jeff Koons (American (b. 1955))

    Jeff Koons, Gazing Ball (da Vinci Mona Lisa), 2016, edition 38/40, archival pigment print on Innova rag paper with acrylic disk, 41 7/8 x 28 7/8 x 2 1/16 in., © Jeff Koons

  • Roy Lichtenstein (American (1923-1997))

    Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997), Sweet Dreams Baby!, plate 1 from the Portfolio 11 Pop Artists, Vol. III, edition 54/200, 1965, screenprint, 37 7/8 x 27 5/8 in., 2008.242e, © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

With the creations of American Neo-Pop artist Jeff Koons and his English counterpart Damien Hirst fetching some of the world’s highest auction prices for a living artist, the aesthetics and approaches of Pop art have demonstrated a unique staying power, in contrast to other major post-World War II movements like Abstract Expressionism or Minimalism.

POP Power from Warhol to Koons: Masterworks from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation explores the continuing relevance of Pop art by featuring select works from the nation’s largest private collection of prints and multiples, which now numbers over 13,000 works and comprises one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of prints by Pop legend Andy Warhol.

POP Power focuses on leading contemporary figures such as Koons, Hirst, and the Japanese master of the Neo-Pop Superflat style, Takashi Murakami, yet includes a number of key pieces by seminal American Pop leaders Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana, as well as the French-American and Swedish-American Pop sculptors Niki de Saint Phalle and Claes Oldenburg, who is still actively working. 

Likewise, counted among the principal group of Neo-Pop artists is Keith Haring, who befriended Warhol in the 1980s and popularized graffiti art before dying at the young age of thirty-one.

Other Neo-Pop artists at the center of the exhibition are Julian Opie from England and the Americans Donald Baechler, Donald Sultan, and Richard Prince.

The inclusion of works from the original period of Pop art, which came into its own in America in the 1960s, provides meaningful context for the contemporary Neo-Pop expressions that constitute the core of the exhibition.

For instance, Warhol’s forays into the realms of artistic celebrity and art-cum-commodity lie at the heart of the success strategies of Koons, Hirst, and Murakami.

On another level, Lichtenstein’s hallmark style derived from comic strips holds analogies with both Opie’s characteristic simplifications produced by computer-software manipulation of photographs and Murakami’s Superflat aesthetic associated with Japanese manga and anime.

A special feature of POP Power will be the juxtaposition of individual Pop and Neo-Pop works, which not only contextualizes the latter but also encourages fresh understandings of the former. In this regard, Warhol’s ghostly screenprint of Marilyn Monroe in reversed black-and-white, created about 1978, takes on enhanced meaning next to Hirst’s photogravure etching of a bejeweled skull, the 2008 Memento: Victory over Death.

Curated by the Taubman Museum of Art’s Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Education Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable, this major ticketed exhibition provides new insight into contemporary Neo-Pop art, its diverse manifestations, and its grounding in and evolution from original Pop art.

The exhibition includes many new acquisitions by collector Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Schnitzer Family Foundation of the work of Koons and other artists.

In addition to regularly sharing works with institutions across the country, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation is committed to sponsoring innovative art educational programs, which the Taubman will be planning around POP Power.