Andy Warhol works set for Gormley’s pop art showcase

Artworks by the United States’ most influential pop artists come to Dublin

Pop Art Pioneers, an exhibition that runs from February 25th until March 18th at Gormley’s Gallery, South Frederick Street in Dublin, will showcase works by four of the most influential pop artists from the United States – Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Robert Indiana.

Pop art began in the 1950s and 1960s as a reaction to the seriousness and elitism of abstract expressionism. Artists such as Andy Warhol sought to create art that was accessible to a wider audience by incorporating imagery from popular culture, such as consumer products, celebrities, comics and commercials. “Pop art had a major impact on the art world, as it challenged traditional notions of what art should be and who it should be for,” says curator of the exhibition James Gormley.

The showcase will feature several of Warhol’s famous portraits and Campbell’s soup cans, Lichtenstein’s monumental The Den, Haring’s bold graphic designs and Indiana’s iconic LOVE artworks.

Key works include Warhol’s 1981 Superman, an original silkscreen finished with diamond dust, valued at €295,000. Taken from Warhol’s Myths portfolio, it depicts the caped superhero from an original image by DC Comics. Myths comprises of 10 works which portray some of the most iconic fictional characters from the 20th century, from Uncle Sam to Mickey Mouse.


Beatles, Warhol’s unique screenprint in colour from 1980, with the “Estate of Andy Warhol” and “Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts” ink stamps on verso, is also featured. Listed at €201,000, the image is based on a photograph by photographer Dezo Hoffmann that Warhol used for the design of the front cover of a book called The Beatles produced in the 1960s.

Despite Capitol Records hindering the release of Beatles albums in the US, when the four gave their first television interview in the United States (on the Ed Sullivan Show), it was watched by 73 million viewers. At the time this was estimated to be more than a third of all households, and represented the largest audience recorded for a television programme. Ironically, after John Lennon invited Warhol to do a photoshoot for his second solo album cover, the Beatles frontman rejected it in favour of a picture taken by his wife Yoko Ono.

In May of last year, Warhol’s screenprint of Marilyn Monroe, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, set an auction record for Warhol at $195 million (€182 million), which was also the highest price ever achieved by an American artist at auction.

Eight works by Keith Haring, the US artist whose art emerged from the graffiti subculture of the 1980s, also feature, including four from his most loved and recognised series, Pop Shop. These depict the artist’s signature style with bold graphic iconography, combined with vibrant colours.

Several of Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE artworks – originally commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York in 1965, will be on display. Of note in this Indiana collection is Book of Love: a complete set of 12 signed screen prints with accompanying poems. The full set is valued at €190,000, or individual prints from €16,000.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables