In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a new generation of artists brought up on Abstract Expressionism began to question the basic principles that had by then won it a large measure of notoriety. Rejecting the primacy of the gesture and of self-expression as sure signs of originality, Pop artists developed their own iconography from the most banal features of everyday life: advertising and the mass media. Their popular imagery, ironically recontextualized in the domain of "high art," can be seen either as a celebration or a subversive criticism of the consumer culture.
Works by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, John Chamberlain and James Rosenquist are included in this installation. Special attractions include Rosenquist's Flamingo Capsule and Andy Warhol's One Hundred and Fifty Multicolor Marilyns, both acquired by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, as well as Robert Rauschenberg's Barge, jointly acquired by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.