Meet the forgotten women of pop art

When you think of pop art, your brain automatically wanders to Andy Warhol, Roy Lichenstein or James Rosenquist. But there were many female artists who held influence within the movement – and who never received the recognition they deserved – until now.

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop, showing at Tate Modern, aims to challenge the preconceived ideas of pop art. The gallery is featuring work from Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East; and focuses on issues such as body confidence, politics, cultural differences and protests, alongside consumerism and consumption.

They are also showcasing a number of female pop artists who have previously been ignored by the industry. The collection aims to show that the movement was about much more than consumerism.

The pop art movement originated in the 50s and took inspiration from popular culture at that time. It challenged the traditional style of previous movements and can be easily recognised through its bright, bold colours and quirky concepts.

The Tate has said that ‘the exhibition will reveal how pop was never just a celebration of western consumer culture, but was often a subversive international language of protest – a language that is more relevant today than ever.’

Female artists in the exhibition include Teresa Burga, Judy Chicago and Ángela Garcia who all talk of their struggle as a woman in the art community at the time.

Garcia, hailing from Spain under the Franco dictatorship, said, “As Spanish women we suffered from double repression: the politics imposed by the dictatorship and the inequality towards women.”

Chicago describes that the subject of her work “horrified my painting instructors.” She continues, “wombs and breasts’ they exclaimed, as if those body part references were the manifestation of something hideous.” It was this judgement and shock that resulted in Chicago not finishing these pieces until 2011.

The exhibition has taken five years to collect and organise, but the curator of The World Goes Pop, Jessica Morgan said, “It’s never too late.”

The World Goes Pop is showing works by 64 artists from across 28 countries. It is now open to the public and will be at the gallery until 24th January 2016.

To find out more, please click here.

The World goes Pop

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.
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