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Fever & Flash

Pop in the 1970s

When Pop art exploded into the American consciousness, it had an almost immediate effect on the artworld. Fever & Flash presents works from the 1970s by some of the artists associated with Pop. Collectively, these works demonstrate changes that Pop had undergone a decade into the movement, as well as the 1970s’s distinctive mix of patriotism, unrest, glamor, and fame.

For Americans, the 1970s was a decade of Cold War, global combat, domestic turbulence, and economic recession. Such conflicts are conveyed in many of the works in the exhibition. Robert Rauschenberg, Saul Steinberg, and others used their art to call for an end to war. Claes Oldenburg pokes fun at American Imperialism. Eduardo Paolozzi fashions a disturbing dystopia. Larry Rivers addresses racial tensions. Marisol and Fritz Scholder reference the ongoing struggles for equal rights for women and Native Americans.

A highlight of the exhibition is an album of Polaroid photographs by Andy Warhol, recently gifted to Philbrook’s permanent collection by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. These images from 1972 document a social gathering of a group of friends, including the artist himself. While Warhol celebrated the glamorous set, his chosen title for the series, Little Red Book, was an ambiguous reference to Communism. Silkscreened portraits of Mick Jagger and Mao Tse-tung reinforce Warhol’s simultaneous interest in fame and politics in this time.

Curated by Lauren Ross.

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