Express & Star

Pop art master's best works take residence in city art gallery

The curator of an exhibition highlighting the best works on a pop art master has spoken of her excitement about putting on the show.

Helen Little poses in front of a striking work

Helen Little has said that the "Derek Boshier: Image in Revolt" exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery will be a rare opportunity for audiences to enjoy the best works of the artist's 60 year career.

The exhibition, which open on Saturday and runs until January 21, 2024 next year, will offer an overview of Boshier’s career and lifelong fascination with popular culture.

Bringing together iconic Pop paintings of the 1960s and distinctive drawings, collages, and films of the 1970s, the show also features more recent bodies of expressive paintings and drawings confronting gender, technology, and war at the height of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.

Night (Music City) is part of the exhibition and is one of many pieces from 60 years of work by Boshier

Ms Little said she was pleased to see the exhibition taking place at a gallery that she said had probably the best pop art collection in the country outside London.

She said: "I've been working with the team at the gallery for a few years now and I've wanted to do this exhibition for a long time, so this just felt like a great fit because of the collection here.

"It's great to be able to put on the exhibition for a really important figure in the pop art movement and who made a real impact in the 1960s when he graduated from the Royal College of Art with David Hockney.

Helen Little said the exhibition was a celebration of the work of a wonderful artist

"Bochier is very well known in the art world, but there are so few opportunities to see his work and to see exhibitions that are presenting the story of how his work develops, from when he was a student, bursting onto the scene in the swinging 60s in London to what he's making now in his 80s.

"There's still a lot of people that are new to his work and for whom his work will be impactful on them, so we're really excited that this is happening in Wolverhampton and I'm excited to see the audience reaction."

Ms Little said that visitors to the exhibition will notice a recurring motif running throughout Boshier’s practice of the solitary human figure or ‘the falling man’.

This is the artist’s conception of man’s identity that often appears in silhouetted profiles, fragmented forms and states of action, drawing attention to the fragility and fragmentation of human identity.

K Pop the Masked Singers is one of many pieces on display

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a major new monograph "Derek Boshier: Reinventor", published by Lund Humphries and edited by Helen Little and which features commentaries and reflections by leading contemporary artists, academics, curators and writers.

Ms Little said that anyone who may not know Boshier's work should give it a try as the works are important and a celebration of him as an artist.

She said: "He's an incredibly generous artist and wants his work to be seen and has always made it incredibly accessible as he truly believes in the power of art and its impact on society.

The exhibition provides a wide range of pieces, as shown by Helen Little

"The exhibition is free and open to everybody and it's a really great story and a great journey that we're excited to have here."

"Derek Boshier: Image in Revolt" runs until January 21, 2024 at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Lichfield Street.

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