American Art

American Art

The British Museum charts American printmaking from pop art beginnings to contemporary compositions

The British Museum will play host to the UK’s first major exhibition to chart contemporary American printmaking that will trace the medium throughout some of America’s most dynamic and turbulent years. Sponsored by Morgan Stanley and supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, The American Dream: Pop to the Present will provide a retrospect of U.S art history from the moment pop art first entered the New York and West Coast scenes in the early 1960s, the rise of minimalism and photorealism in the 1970s, through to the modern works of today’s artists.

Loans from institutions including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC will be on display alongside key pieces from the British Museum’s extensive collection of prints. In total 200 works by 70 artists will be showcased.

'This exceptional exhibition examines and illuminates a salient period in American history through key developments and figures in the printmaking medium,' says Elizabeth Glassman, President and CEO of the Terra Foundation for American Art

Works such as Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn and Willie Cole’s slavery inspired woodcut Stowage will be on display alongside smaller intimate pieces, including artists’ workbooks from Ed Ruscha and Isa Applebroog. Each piece highlights contemporary social issues in a post-war America, whether it be race, AIDS or feminism.

'As a new President enters the White House and another chapter of US history begins, it feels like an apposite moment to consider how artists have reflected America as a nation over 50 tumultuous years,' says Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum

Until 18th June 2017

  • Words: Rebecca Parker