The Masters of Pop Art Take on the Status Quo at Art Basel in Hong Kong
Among Edward Tyler Nahem’s pop offerings is Warhol’s sculptural work, Hammer and Sickle (1977), which takes political iconography from the Soviet Union’s national flag and turns it on its head. The piece represents the union of industrial and agricultural laborers under the Communist movement; this motif also featured in other works by the artist. Kirk Varnedoe, former curator at MoMA, said regarding one such painting: “Instead of painting an American flag, which would in principle be a symbol of unity or cohesiveness for his audience as
In another take on political iconography, Warhol manipulates an image of Mao Tse Tung—a common and recurring subject for the artist—former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, and translates it into a screen print, in washes of blue, black, and white. With Mao (1973), Warhol enlivens the face of a political figure often seen in uninspired hues of monetary currency and newsprint.
Another significant work on view is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Figure X-ray) (1980), which is especially emblematic of his
The selection of works on view notes interesting parallels between the practices of Pop art icons. Through paint, wood, steel, and screenprint inks, each generation of artists challenged political ills anew, and approached social hypocrisies with admirable moxie and originality of vision.
Visit Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art LLC at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015, Mar. 15–Mar. 17.
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