Hatton Gallery brings work of American Pop Artist to Newcastle with ARTIST ROOMS exhibition
This autumn Hatton Gallery presents the work of one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997). A pioneer of Pop art, Lichtenstein is best-known for his paintings based on comic strips, advertising imagery, and his playful adaptations of works of art by other artists. ARTIST ROOMS Roy Lichtenstein offers a rare opportunity to see such an important collection of the artist’s work in the North East. The exhibition has been developed in partnership with Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, and draws from the ARTIST ROOMS collection of modern and contemporary art.
In 2017 Hatton Gallery hosted an exhibition, Pioneers of Pop, which placed Newcastle as one of the birthplaces of Pop art in Britain. In the early 1960s artist Richard Hamilton was teaching at Newcastle University and it is during his time here that he started to develop the concept of Pop art. When Hamilton left the University in 1966 his reputation as a Pop artist was on the rise.
At the same time, across the water his contemporary Roy Lichtenstein was playing a key part in the Pop art movement that exploded in the USA. Lichtenstein produced a new type of art that responded to the optimism and growing commercialisation of the 1960s, bringing popular, everyday images into fine art, and questioning ideas around authorship and originality. He created often monumentally-sized paintings using his signature hand-painted Ben-Day style dots, which mimicked the aesthetics of comic books and commercial newsprint of the time. Unapologetically entertaining, graphically arresting and decoratively appealing, the popularity of Lichtenstein’s work been enduring.
Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: “We are thrilled to celebrate Hatton Gallery’s Pop Art heritage by bringing the fantastic work of Roy Lichtenstein to the gallery. Building relationships with national partners such as ARTIST ROOMS, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate is vital in delivering our ambitious exhibition programme and we’d like to thank them for the opportunity to bring what we expect to be a popular exhibition to the region.”
This exhibition explores key themes that preoccupied the artist throughout his career, alongside early pop imagery: his fascination with the history of art, his investigations into reflections and mirroring, and his love of musical, as well as visual, composition. At its centre is a series of innovative and technically complex large-scale screen prints made in the 1990s, towards the end of the artist’s life. These extraordinary works have been placed on long loan to ARTIST ROOMS through the generosity of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, and are shown alongside loans from National Galleries of Scotland and Tate.
Professor Vee Pollock, Dean of Culture and Creative Arts, Newcastle University, said: “The University is delighted to welcome the Lichtenstein exhibition to the Hatton. Following on from our Pioneers of Pop in 2017, it is a fabulous opportunity to see an important body of work by this significant twentieth century artist. Printmaking has historically been and remains a strength at Newcastle, and these large-scale screen prints will no doubt be of great interest to many students and visitors.”
Alongside the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition will be a new commission from artist Lothar Götz and an exhibition from Heather Ross celebrating the legacy of Kurt Schwitters.
Lothar Götz is an artist whose practice ranges from site-specific wall paintings and room-sized spatial installations to paintings and drawings. His painting is characterised by its use of abstract geometric forms, fields and lines of intense colour, juxtaposed with one another. For this newly commissioned work at Hatton Gallery, entitled Fairground Attraction, Lothar Götz will create an immersive wall painting in response to the gallery’s Edwardian architecture, as well as specific works within the Hatton Gallery’s unique collection. It will on display from 5 October 2019 to 4 January 2020.
This will be the fourth large scale mural by Lothar Götz on display at the same time in the UK; two in other public galleries Leeds Art Gallery and Towner Art Gallery, and the final one in Pallant House Museum.
Heather Ross: All The Better to Hear You With presents a performative installation, comprising printed and sound based responses to bird call and archival materials which are in dialogue with the work of avant-garde artist Kurt Schwitters. It centres on the re-activation of a printing press, once housed at the site of Schwitters’ final Elterwater Merz Barn and owned by the late Gwyneth Alban Davis who worked alongside Schwitters during his final years in the Lake District (1945-48). Ross employs Alban Davis’s press as a tool for re-connecting the Merz Barn Wall with its original, rural setting and responding to transcriptions of bird call using Kurt Schwitters’ ideas on sound, language and typography. It will be on display from 20 September 2019 – 15 February 2020.
To find out more about more Hatton Gallery’s exhibitions, visit https://hattongallery.org.uk/whats-on.
Updates on all Hatton Gallery’s latest exhibitions and events can also be found on all their social media channels.
Autumn exhibitions at Hatton Gallery:
28 September – 04 January
Heather Ross: All The Better To Hear You With
20 September – 15 February
Lothar Götz: Fairground Attraction
5 October – 4 January