The works in this room respond to the expansion of consumer culture in Europe and America following the Second World War. By embracing the popular approach of mass media, art began to break down the barriers between the museum and everyday life.
In 1964 an iconic group show titled The American Supermarket featured works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Billy Apple, amongst others. It revealed the impact of advertising and commercial imagery on artistic processes by staging the exhibition with the look and feel of an actual supermarket.
The techniques associated with advertising and mass production influenced artists in highly individual ways. Warhol revelled in images of fame, power and money through the immediacy of commercial print techniques. Lichtenstein’s comic-book paintings depend in part upon his hand-drawn precision and mimicry of the ink dots and graphic effects of the cartoon style. Apple blurred the lines between art and commerce through both subject matter and process. For example, in some works he traded the gestural mark-making of the artist’s hand for new technologies, such as the photocopier. Derek Boshier embraced the optical effects of geometric abstraction, creating complex paintings that appear almost machine-made. Sculpture in the 1960s frequently incorporated slick industrial methods like prefabrication. Eduardo Paolozzi’s Four Towers mimics the glamorous allure of cars straight off the assembly line.
Parking for visitors is available at both Modern One and Modern Two. A donation is requested of £3 for up to 4 hours and £6 for 4-8 hours. Our payment meters have contactless capability. There is free accessible parking for blue badge holders.
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is located 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, set in a beautiful sculpture park.
Conversations with the Collection
This is display is part of Conversations with the Collection, a changing programme of displays that offers visitors a brand new way to experience the national collection.
A celebration of Scottish and international modern and contemporary art, the thematic displays place creativity and conversation at their core by considering how dialogue and exchange shape and reshape artistic process.
Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.
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