Yale Bulletin
and Calendar

March 22-29, 1999Volume 27, Number 25

Exhibits, symposium look back at the Pop art of the Sixties

What began as a teaching exhibition on the Pop art of the 1960s for use by Yale history of art classes has turned into a campus collaboration as multi-faceted as the art form it celebrates.

The kernel of the celebration is the exhibit "Stars and Stripes Forever: The Popular Urge in American Art 1955-1975," which will be on view March 26-May 2 at the Yale University Art Gallery.

A complementary exhibit, "The Geldzahler Portfolio and the Estate Project," which commemorates a Yale alumnus who helped promote the careers of several Pop artists, will run concurrently at the Jonathan Edwards College master's house.

In conjunction with these shows, there will be a scholarly symposium on "Popism" and master's teas focusing on the photographic work of School of Art Dean Richard Benson and actor Dennis Hopper.

All the events are sponsored by the Yale Art Gallery, Jonathan Edwards College, the Yale Center for British Art, the School of Art, the history of art department, and the Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies.

The collaboration of these organizations has resulted in "a comprehensive look at Pop art, Popism, and many of its myriad manifestations," writes Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale Art Gallery, in the catalogue for the two exhibitions. "In fact, the willingness of all involved to mutually enhance the respective projects suggests a new definition for the familiar term 'teaching exhibition.'"

"Stars and Stripes Forever"

Paintings, sculpture, photographs and works-on-paper by such artists as Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney will be featured in "Stars and Stripes Forever: The Popular Urge in American Art 1955-1975."

The exhibition augments the courses on 20th-century American art history taught by Jonathan Weinberg, associate professor of the history of art, and Sarah Rich, a lecturer and doctoral candidate in the history of art. The two scholars organized the exhibit, drawing works works from the Yale Art Gallery's permanent holdings, as well as loans from private collections and the Yale Center for British Art.

In their essay in the catalogue, Weinberg and Rich note that the exhibit's title evokes several aspects of the art of the 1960s -- such as Stella's stripes and Andy Warhol's "superstars." The American flag was also the frequent subject of paintings and photographs by Pop artists, they note.

While earlier postwar artists saw themselves in opposition to popular culture, note the scholars, "There was a popular urge that defined the art of the 60s. Popular suggests a number of things: an attempt to reach a wide audience, the appropriation of images and materials from mass culture; and the artist as celebrity.

"But," they add, "if much of the art of the 60s seemed in sync with a commodity culture, the popular also could be a means of resistance in the populist sense. ... As the civil rights and the anti-war movements grew, student groups in particular looked to Pop-practices as rich material for developing a poster art of revolution."

In addition to those named above, the artists represented in the exhibit include Diane Arbus, Romare Bearden, William Copley, Audrey Flack, Ray Johnson, Mel Ramos and Ed Ruscha.

The Yale University Art Gallery, located at 1111 Chapel St., is open to the public free of charge 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. There is an entrance for persons using wheelchairs at 201 York St., with an unmetered parking space nearby. For information on access, call 432-0606; for general information, call 432-0600.

"Geldzahler Portfolio"

While the Yale Art Gallery exhibit celebrates the Pop art of the 1960s, the exhibit at Jonathan Edwards College pays tribute to the late Yale alumnus who helped cultivate the careers of the artists of that era.

Titled "The Geldzahler Portfolio and the Estate Project," the exhibition honors the life work of Henry Geldzahler '57, founding curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's department of 20th-century art. Geldzahler was a friend and mentor to such Pop artists as Stella, Hockney and Warhol, among many others. Geldzahler, who died of liver cancer at age 59, was very active in The Estate Project for AIDS, a national organization to address the cultural impact of the disease, as well as other AIDS-related causes.

The Geldzahler Portfolio was published in the curator's honor by The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS. It consists of one print by each of 10 artists: Louise Bourgeois, Francesco Clemente, Dennis Hopper, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, James Rosenquist, David Salle, Hockney, Lichtenstein and Stella. A video copy of the 1964 Andy Warhol film "Henry Geldzahler" is also included.

The exhibition also includes a group of works by artists connected with the Estate Project for AIDS: William Cullen, John Dugdale, Marc Lida and Eric Rhein.

"Thus," writes Gary L. Haller, master of Jonathan Edwards College, in the exhibition catalogue, "our joint 'teaching' exhibitions in the Art Gallery and Master's House may serve the dual purpose of teaching us something about Pop art and a lot about the generosity of artists who endeavor to preserve the work of colleagues lost to AIDS."

There will be an opening reception for the exhibit
5-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, in the Jonathan Edwards master's house, 70 High St. The public can view the exhibits free of charge 4-6 p.m. on Thursdays or by appointment by calling 432-0356.

"Popism" symposium

The relationship of the art of the 1960s to consumerism and the mass media will be the focus of the symposium on "Popism" being held Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, at the Yale Art Gallery, the British Art Center and Jonathan Edwards College.

The symposium will bring together scholars who have written about the artists in the exhibits to discuss such questions as: "Was it inevitable that Pop art, which seemed to poke fun at the values of both advertising and high-art, should succumb to the very mass-marketing forces it mocked?" "How has Pop art undermined questions of quality and value?" And, "Does Pop art really signal 'the end of art'?"

In addition to talks by scholars of Pop art, the symposium will include a tour of the exhibit "Stars and Stripes Forever" led by Weinberg and Rich, a screening of "Pop Film and Swinging London" and roundtable discussions on "What is Pop?" and "Pop and After?"

Admission to "Popism" is free. For details about the symposium, call Daphne Deeds at 432-0622.

Master's teas

Also scheduled in conjunction with the campus-wide celebration of Popism are two master's teas, which will be held in the Jonathan Edwards master's house.

The first -- "But Is It Art?" -- will bring together School of Art Dean Richard Benson, a renowned photographer and printmaker, and Calvin Tomkins, who wrote an article about Benson for The New Yorker article after the photographer won a MacArthur Fellowship. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 25.

The second -- "A Conversation with Dennis Hopper" -- will focus on the renowned actor's photographic work. It will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 8. Admission to this tea is by ticket only.


Yale strengthens Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Nobel laureate to visit Yale as Chubb Fellow
Biologists unravel genetics of fruit flies' sense of smell
Yale announces moderate increase in term bill for the seventh straight year
Endowed Professorships: Margot E. Fassler and Rogers M. Smith
Exhibits, symposium look back at the Pop art of the Sixties
Area performers to lift voices in memory of noted conductor
Slifka Center celebrates new Media Arts Endowment with preview screening . . .
Lecture series will explore role of technology in today's culture
Noted Scottish sociologist will be featured speaker in campus events
Special program at ISM marks publication of Bryan Spinks' book . . .
Area artists invited to participate in second annual 'City-Wide Open Studios' . . .
Off-campus concerts
Conference will examine issues facing gays and lesbians in the workplace

Bulletin Home|Visiting on Campus|Calendar of Events| Bulletin Board
Classified Ads|Search Archives|Production Schedule|Bulletin Staff
Public Affairs Home|News Releases|E-Mail Us|Yale Home Page

Dennis Hopper's photo "Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Henry Geldzahler and Jeff Goodman from Out of the '60s" will be on view at Jonathan Edwards College as part of the exhibition "The Geldzahler Portfolio and the Estate Project," honoring a late Yale alumnus who played an influential role in the development of Pop art.

Marisot's wood sculpture "Dinner Date" is part of "Stars and Stripes Forever: The Popular Urge in American Art 1955-1975," a teaching exhibition at the Yale Art Gallery.