Get us in your inbox


There are so many pop art exhibitions next year, we think we're gonna burst

By Matt Breen

Get ready for an explosion of colour and consumer products – a whole heap of pop art shows are coming to London's galleries and museums next year. Here's a round-up of who and what you should expect. 

Robert Rauschenberg, Tate Modern

This opens in December, so we'll be kicking off the New Year on a poppy note. Rauschenberg started making art in the 1950s, and was never one for playing by the rules – he once erased a drawing by older artist Willem de Kooning, framed it and claimed it as his own artwork. This show will be a rollercoaster ride of his many experimental paintings, screen prints, sculptures and performances.

Robert Rauschenberg, 'Retroactive II', 1963. Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago

The American Dream: Pop to the Present, British Museum

This show opens in March, and looks at how artists have explored the twists, turns, highs and lows of the U.S. of A. There'll be lots of popsters on display. Expect glossy images of petrol stations and pinball machines from ice-cool artists like Ed Ruscha and Wayne Thiebaud – and works that peek into the darker side of the Land of Opportunity, like Warhol's picture of disgraced president Richard Nixon.

Ed Ruscha, 'Standard Station', 1966. © Ed Ruscha. Reproduced by permission of the artist.

Wayne Thiebaud, 'Gumball Machine', 1970. © Wayne Thiebaud/DACS, London/VAGA, New York 2016.

Andy Warhol, 'Vote McGovern', 1972. © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London.

Edward Paolozzi, Whitechapel Art Gallery

Scottish artist Paolozzi was one of big daddies of British pop art – it was his mosaics lining the walls at Tottenham Court Road tube station. He was one of the artists who exhibited in the Whitechapel's 'This is Tomorrow' show in 1956, which shocked audiences with its bold vision of what the art of modern world should look like. Seems only fair that his work is returning to the same gallery in this major springtime respective.

Eduardo Paolozzi, 'Allegro Moderato', 1974-76. Courtesy C L E A R I N G New York / Brussels © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, licensed by DACS.

Jasper Johns, Royal Academy of Arts

Robert Rauschenberg's collaborator, friend and lover was Jasper Johns – and at 86, he's one of the most important painters living today, hands down. Ever picked up a paintbrush? Then you've been influenced by him. His work is just as cheeky as Rauschenberg's, taking the splashiness of abstract expressionism and applying it to everyday symbols like numbers, targets and the American flag (which you'll see in the RA show). This hits the RA next September.  

Jasper Johns, '0 through 9', 1961. Tate, London 2016. © Jasper Johns / VAGA, New York / DACS, London 2016

Find more cool art in London


    Popular on Time Out

      Latest news