Pop Art at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet

I decided to go and see the exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier’s creations today at Stockholm’s Arkitektur- & designcentrum entitled “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”. A wonderful exhibition that no one should miss, with amazing clothes that blur the standard ideas of gender. No women as underordered obejcts, but rather amazon-like strong characters demanding respect. Nice!

When buying the ticket for the show, I was offered a combination ticket with entry to Moderna Museum as well. “What’s on there?” was my ingenuous question. “Oh, the Pop Art Design exhibition opens today” was the reply, Well, I couldn’t miss that, could I?

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…And WOW! what an exhibition! Organised in conjunction with Vitra Degign Muesu, Weil am Rhein, Germany and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, The poster advertising the exhibition showed the cover to “Velvet Underground & Nico” (note: it’s the MONO cover.)

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You can imagine my excitement! Unfortunately, photography was forbidden so I have no pictures from the show, but there were classic pieces by Andy Warhol (9 “Flowers”, a beautiful folding screen, Coca-Cola bottles and petrol pump, Brillo boxes), James Rosenquist’s “I Love You With My Ford”, Peter Blake’s “La Vern Baker”, his ex-wife Jann Haworth’s “Cowboy”, Roy Lichtenstein’s “Yellow Brushstroke II”, Richard Hamilton’s “Just What Makes Modern Homes So Different, So Appealing?” and loads of other classic Pop Art pieces by the likes of Jasper Johns and Ed Ruscha.

Richard Hamiltons's "Just What Is It That Makes Modern Homes So Different, So Appealing?"
Richard Hamiltons’s “Just What Is It That Makes Modern Homes So Different, So Appealing?”Brillo boxes, 4 Marlon Brandos), Peter Blake (La Vern Baker), Richard Hamilton (Just What Is It That Makes Modern Homes So Different, So Appealing?), James Rosenquist (I Love You With My Ford), several Claes Oldenbergs and Jann Haworth’s “Cowboy”. There were even a couple of posters; Milton Glaser’s “Dylan” that was included in the US version of “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits” album in 1967, Victor Moscoso’s poster for the Chamber Brothers concert – and the cover for “The Velvet Underground & Nico” LP (stereo version). You can tell the difference by how near the top of the cover the “Peel slowly and see” text appears. It is neared the top on the mono cover. The only other record cover was, not surprisingly, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. For once credited to Peter Blake, Robert Fraser, Michael Cooper and Jann Haworth, rather than solely to Peter Blake. However, I would suggest a more correct order: Peter Blake, Jann Haworth, Michael Cooper and Robert Fraser. After all, Robert Fraser’s input was only to suggest to Paul McCartney that “a proper artist” should do the cover rather than the psychedelic group “The Fool” if the cover was to stand the test of time – 48 years on he has been proved right.

There were two record covers on show. Obvious choices, both. “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (stereo version in the show) and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Both albums from coincidentaly from 1967. The latter for once given full credit, viz Peter Blake, Robert Fraser, Michael Cooper, Jann Haworth. I would have listed them i a different order: Peter Blake, Jann Haworth, Michael Cooper (who photographed the album cover picture) and Robert Fraser, who’s contribution was to recommend to Paul McCartney that a “proper artist” do the cover rather than the psychedelic group “The Fool” so that the image would have lasting value. He was right. After 46 years the cover is still regarded as a classic of record cover design. There were also a couple of posters; Milton Glaser’s “Dylan”, which was originally issued as an insert to Bob Dylan’s “Greatest Hits” Album in 1967 and a Victor Moscoso San Fransisco poster for (I think) The Chambers Brothers.

The exhibition also included a variety of pop art furniture from the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein. All in all a splendid time is guaranteed for all!

So, if you have the chance, go and see both exhibitions they run until 22nd September.

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