From the Marilyn screenprints
by Andy Warhol, 1967
© Licensed by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc/ARS, New York and DACS, London 2007

This exhibition is the first to examine the role and significance of portraiture within Pop Art, one of the major art movements of the late twentieth century. It brings together 52 key works by 28 Pop artists working on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1950s and 1960s, including major portraits by Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein alongside those of Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield.

Pop Art flourished in Britain and the USA during the 1950s and 1960s and was closely connected with the rise of consumer culture. For that reason Pop is usually seen as being concerned with the depiction of objects. Pop Art Portraits takes a different view. It shows how Pop artists reinvigorated and redefined portraiture, creating new kinds of portraits: from those depicting recognizable sitters, to portraits with a hidden or imaginary subject.

The exhibition is divided into six sections, including screenings of Warhol’s influential Screen Tests and a secular ‘chapel’ devoted to portraits of film star Marilyn Monroe: