Press Release

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop
17 September 2015–24 January 2016
Open daily from 10.00–18.00 and until 22.00 on Friday and Saturday

Ushio Shinohara Doll Festival 1966

Ushio Shinohara
Doll Festival 1966
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (Yamamura Collection)
© Ushio and Noriko Shinohara

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop is a groundbreaking exhibition revealing how artists around the world engaged with the spirit of Pop, from Latin America to Asia, and from Europe to the Middle East. Around 160 works from the 1960s and 1970s are brought together at Tate Modern – the great majority of which have never been shown in the UK before – exploding the traditional story of Pop art and showing how different cultures contributed, re-thought and responded to the movement.

Pop art is generally considered an Anglo-American phenomenon, a knowing but unconflicted reflection on modern commercial culture, associated with such artists as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. This exhibition reveals the alternative stories of Pop, highlighting key figures of the era who have often been left out of mainstream art history. It also reveals how Pop was never just a celebration of Western consumerism, but was often a subversive international language for criticism and public protest across the globe.

Reacting to the market and media dominance of post-war America, Pop art arose in many countries and communities as an overtly political, destabilising force. The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop shows how artists used this visual language to critique its capitalist origins while benefiting from its mass appeal and graphic power. The exhibition includes the Austrian Kiki Kogelnik’s anti-war sculpture Bombs in Love 1962, and the subverted commercial logos of Boris Bućan in Croatia.

Pop’s comic-book blondes and advertising models have become familiar images of the idealised female body, but this exhibition also reveals the many women artists who presented alternative visions. The Pop body could be complex and visceral instead, from Brazilian Anna María Maiolino’s brightly coloured sculpture of digestive organs Glu, Glu, Glu 1966, to the paintings of cut-up and isolated body parts by Slovakia’s Jana Želibská and Argentina’s Delia Cancela. The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop also showcases many other women artists who played key roles in the movement, including Evelyne Axell, Eulàlia Grau, Nicola L, Marta Minujin and Martha Rosler, challenging the traditional cast of male figures who have come to dominate Pop’s canon.

Pop art is also traditionally associated with the hyper-individualised consumer and the isolated celebrity icon, but global Pop artists often found the amassed crowd to be a more potent symbol of contemporary culture. Icelandic artist Erró’s American Interiors 1968 showed throngs of Chinese workers invading domestic Western scenes, while Brazilian Claudio Tozzi’s Multitude 1968 and Spanish-based Equipo Crónica’s Concentration or Quantity Becomes Quality 1966 showed the modern energy and antagonism of crowds, in sharp contrast to American Pop’s remote icons like Marilyn and Elvis. Other artists even united a Pop aesthetic with their own folk traditions, bringing together contemporary imagery with local practices. The exhibition shows many such variations from across the globe, from Judy Chicago’s decorated car hoods to Beatriz Gonzalez’s painted Colombian dining table to Ushio Shinohara’s ‘popped’ versions of 19th century Japanese prints.

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop is curated by Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation (formerly The Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate Modern), and Flavia Frigeri, Curator, Tate Modern, with Elsa Coustou, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.

The EY Exhibition 

The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop is part of a major arts partnership between EY and Tate, which has now been renewed for a further three years until 2018. The partnership has already supported hugely successful and widely acclaimed exhibitions all of which shed new light on major figures and moments in art history. These include: The EY Exhibition – Paul Klee: Making Visible in 2013, The EY Exhibition – Late Turner: Painting Set Free in 2014 and The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay in 2015. This will continue with The EY Exhibition: Wifredo Lam in autumn 2016 as well as further exhibitions at Tate Britain and Tate Modern in 2017 and 2018. The partnership makes EY one of the largest corporate supporters of Tate, but this support is also extended through corporate memberships at Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, and many of the Plus Tate partners around the country. 

Martin Cook, Managing Partner Commercial, UK & Ireland at EY, said:

“Often seen as a western, mainly American phenomenon, this extraordinary exhibition triumphantly proves Pop art was a global movement. It highlights key figures, ignored by art history as they use Pop to express their own cultures with a conscious use of commercial symbols. It also shows pop artists as being more diverse than Anglo-American white males that are typically taken to represent the canon. So, as with The EY Exhibition: Sonia Delaunay, this exhibition unveils and celebrates diversity in art which is absolutely consonant with our commitment to inclusive leadership as crucial to building a better working world.”

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit 

Related Events

Curator’s Talk, 23 September 2015, 19.00
Exhibition curator Elsa Coustou gives a talk on the key themes of the exhibition.

The Art of Pop: Global Perspectives, 17 November 2015, 18.30
This event brings together artists Martha Rosler and Sanja Iveković to explore how Pop art of the 1960s and 1970s became a global language of subversion, and to consider its legacy today.

After Hours: The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop, 14 December 2015, 19.00
A special private view of the exhibition especially for young people aged 15–25 years. After Hours is a part of Circuit, led by Tate and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. 

Film programme

Good Morning Michelangelo, Friday 23 October 2015, 19.00

The Rome School, Saturday 24 October 2015, Part 1 16.00, Part 2 19.00

Was it pop? Artists' cinema in Rome, Sunday 25 October 2015, 14.00 – 16.00

The North Wind, Sunday 25 October 2015, 17.00 – 19.00 

Tate will also be launching a collaborative Pinterest board in celebration of the exhibition.

Guest pinners include It’s Nice That (14–20 September), Wallpaper* magazine (21–27 September), The Coveteur (28 September – 4 October) and Disney Roller Girl (5–11 October).