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Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004), study for Mouth #10, 1967, liquitex over graphite underdrawing. MMFA, gift of Tom Wesselmann Estate.
Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004), study for Mouth #10, 1967, liquitex over graphite underdrawing. MMFA, gift of Tom Wesselmann Estate.
Until July 28, 2024

The Pop of Life!

Pop Art in the Collection of the MMFA
Free for Members

This exhibition showcases iconic works of Pop art from the Museum’s collection, including creations that have rarely or never been shown.

Pop art, its aesthetics and its subjects

Originating in Britain and the United States during the 1950s, Pop art peaked in the 1960s and continued to flourish internationally throughout the 1970s. In stark contrast to the intensely personal and introspective approach of Abstract Expressionism, its artists abandoned painterly compositions in favour of impersonal images – facilitated by commercial printing techniques – and a return to figuration.


This art movement, which drew inspiration from popular culture, was a veritable formal revolution and championed a transformative mindset that challenged reified notions of what art could be. Often appropriated from the mass media, the Pop aesthetic is characterized, among other things, by bright colours, linearity, flatness, cropping, the incorporation of text, and work in series and multiples, evoking the mass production of consumerism. The subject matter represented – think everyday objects, brand-name consumer products, current events, celebrities and female characters ranging from comic-book heroines to housewives, to sex objects – underscored the pervasive infiltration of commercialism, technology and the media into the urban environment.


Pop art in the collection of the MMFA

The exhibition brings together installations, sculptures, paintings, textiles, drawings and prints by Canadian artists associated with the Pop movement, such as Pierre Ayot, Edmund Alleyn and Joyce Wieland, alongside their American and European contemporaries, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Eduardo Paolozzi. Their colourful and groundbreaking creations will be showcased in captivating juxtaposition with works from the Museum’s decorative arts and design collection.


In the media

Des œuvres audacieuses et teintées de réflexions que vous pourrez admirer sans modération!

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Take a trip into the fascinating world of Pop art at the MMFA.

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Anthony Bonaparte

Le MBAM présente une (très) sympathique vitrine au pop art, qui rassemble des œuvres de sa collection permanente. Et qui fait la part belle aux artistes québécois.

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La Presse + logo
Stéphanie Bérubé
La Presse

The Pop of Life! captures the bold spirit of the Pop Art movement.

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Mia Helfrich

À l’image du mouvement qu’elle célèbre, cette exposition colorée, excentrique, étonnante et inventive remplit son mandat de nous faire plonger dans les préoccupations des artistes pop ayant travaillé au cours des fertiles années 1960 à 1980.

Sarah-Émilie Nault
Le Journal de Montréal

Une incursion fascinante dans le monde du Pop Art.

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Jacqueline van de Geer

The Pop of Life! reactivates a collection of artworks by unexpectedly juxtaposing them against each other.

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Ryan Alexander Diduck

[Cette exposition] tombe pile en abordant la révolution artistique du pop art, qui changea nos perceptions du monde pour le meilleur et pour le pire.

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Credits and curatorial team

An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It is curated by Iris Amizlev, Curator – Community Engagement and Projects, MMFA.

With support from the donors to the MMFA Foundation’s Philanthropic Circles

Official Sponsor

Media Partner

Public Partners

Peter Klasen (born in 1935), Sink, 1967, acrylic on canvas. MMFA, gift of Guy Joussemet. © Peter Klasen / CARCC 2023. Photo MMFA, Christine Guest

Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), Sack-O-Sauce, from the album “Bunk”, 1972, after a collage made about 1947-1952, silkscreen, photolithograph, collage, 92/100. MMFA, gift of the artist. © Trustees of Paolozzi Foundation, licensed by ADAGP / CARCC Ottawa 2024. Photo MMFA, Jean-François Brière

Sue Palmer (born in 1947), Space Walk Fabric, 1969, printed cotton, printed by Stead McAlpin & Co., Carlisle, England, for Warner & Sons, Braintree, England. MMFA, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Eddie Squires. Photo MMFA, Christine Guest

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