A World-First Pop Art Exhibition Featuring Warhol, Basquiat and Haring Will Hit the Gold Coast in 2023
Drawn from the private collection of Jose Mugrabi in New York, 'Pop Masters' features 40-plus works never before seen in Australia.
November 15, 2022
Andy Warhol. Jean-Michel Basquiat. Keith Haring. From the past century, they're three of the art world's biggest names, and they've all been the subjects of many an exhibition. But only one showcase will pair the three for a world-first 15-week celebration of pop art masters premiering right here in Australia — and featuring 40-plus works never before seen Down Under.
That event: Pop Masters: Art From the Mugrabi Collection, New York, which takes its name from the works it will survey and their origins. The exhibition is wholly drawn from the private collection of prominent art collector Jose Mugrabi, and is set to take over HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast from Saturday, February 18–Sunday, June 4, 2023.
Unsurprisingly, Pop Masters' array of works by Warhol, Basquiat and Haring will form a survey of the 60s, 70s and 80s art scene, and of legends of the pop art and street art movements. There'll be more than ten pieces by Warhol, acting as the showcase's introduction, with 1964's Sixteen Jackies and 1982's Cross among them. As for Haring, one of his earliest-ever works from 1979 will feature alongside others such as Untitled (Dancing Dogs), while the range of Basquiat pieces includes 1981's New York, New York and — fittingly — a Warhol-Basquiat collaboration.
Although art by the three icons will provide Pop Masters with its huge drawcard, the exhibition also seeks to celebrate the ongoing legacy of pop art alongside its origins. That means including pieces by Katherine Bernhardt, Kwesi Botchway, George Condo, Damien Hirst, KAWS, Barbara Kruger, Joel Mesler, Richard Prince, Tom Sachs, Julian Schnabel, Mickalene Thomas and Tom Wesselmann — such as KAWS' 2.8-metre-tall 2018 sculpture What Party, plus Barbara Kruger's If it sees, blind it, from a section of her 2009 installation Between being born and dying in New York's Lever House.
"Pop Masters: Art From the Mugrabi Collection celebrates the history of pop art, whilst examining its influence on art and artists today. We wanted to explore the intersections in the lives, ideas and practices of this significant group of artists," explains Tracy Cooper-Lavery, HOTA's Director, Gallery and Visual Arts.
"Many of them knew each other, collaborated or have been influenced by each other, and we have acknowledged this in the design of the exhibition, which will see these incredible artworks in dialogue with one another."
Pop Masters has been in the making for longer than HOTA's new six-level, $60.5-million gallery has been open — the site launched in 2021 — and marks the most prestigious exhibition the venue has hosted yet.
"Pop Masters has been six years in the making and HOTA is delivering a world exclusive exhibition right here on the Gold Coast," said HOTA CEO Criena Gehrke.
"Over the years it has evolved into a bespoke exhibition that offers a completely unique experience. Having access to the Mugrabi family personal collection is a real privilege and the artworks rarely leave New York. We are thrilled to be bringing these iconic artists and celebrated artworks to Australia for the first time."
2023 is clearly a great year to be a Warhol fan, and to see blockbuster exhibitions beyond Australia's usual east coast capitals, with the Art Gallery of South Australia displaying Andy Warhol & Photography: A Social Media from Friday, March 3–Sunday, May 14.
Pop Masters: Art From the Mugrabi Collection, New York will display at HOTA, Home of the Arts, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast from Saturday, February 18–Sunday, June 4, 2023. Head to the gallery's website for further details, and tickets.
Top image: Santi Visalli/Getty Images.
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