Fantasy Pop presents a selection of vibrant artworks from Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s renowned Pop Art collection, exploring elements of fantasy portrayed throughout the paintings, works on paper and sculpture exhibited.
The Art Gallery is home to one of the country’s largest Pop Art collections and Fantasy Pop displays works by leading artists of the British Pop Art movement including Peter Blake, Derek Boshier and Eduardo Paolozzi.
Emerging in the 1950s, Pop Art took inspiration from consumer society and popular culture using the bold imagery of commercial art and other mass media sources. Pop Art frequently referenced celebrity culture, beauty ideals, advertisements for iconic brands, TV, film, and comic strips. Consequently, fantasy – the promise of a new world, a new image, a new ‘you’ – was a recurrent theme of Pop Art.
Fantasy can be defined as the act of imagining impossible or improbable things, a notion which is explored throughout this exhibition. Some of the works examine and celebrate the obsessive nature of popular culture, celebrity and technological advancements of the 1960s. They comment on the impact of the ‘American’ lifestyle in Britain, in addition to reflecting upon the seductive American Dream and the concept of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. Inspired by the space race of the 1950s and 60s, other works depict elements of the impossible and unexplained, as well as ethereal and futuristic utopias powered by other-worldly technology.