Artists explore the bold beauty of Pop Art in R Gallery’s new group show: Boulder Daily Camera

From Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Can” screen prints to Keith Haring’s “Barking Dog”, a bevy of iconic images have emerged from the Pop Art movement.

“RBG – Be brave, dream big” by Millicent Kang, part of works inspired by Pop Art, is on view at the R Gallery + Wine Bar in Boulder on March 29, 2022. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

Using amplified shades and electric imagery, creatives have made powerful claims about the causes close to them and forced people to look to the almighty advertising industry, the concept of stardom, consumerism and more.

Mia Gregoire’s “Fido”, on the right, part of works inspired by Pop Art, is on view at the R Gallery + Wine Bar in Boulder on March 29, 2022. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

The echoes of this revolutionary style can be found in everything from eye-catching album covers to today’s billboards.

In the latest collective exhibition of R Gallery + Wine Bar “Let it Pop! Works of art inspired by the Pop Art movement “, the artists of the area approached the canvases with the same enthusiasm, wit and satirical slant made famous for the first time in the 1950s.

“Our gallery celebrates a diverse community of artists,” said Rob Lantz, photographer and owner of the Pearl Street Mall multipurpose space. “We like to change the atmosphere of the gallery quite often, so it’s new and exciting every time someone visits it. Pop Art, with its bright and bold colors, is sure to make a statement the next time our visitors walk in our doors. This audacity is what personally draws me to Pop Art ”.

From Annie Thayer’s watercolor portraits of Betty White to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s extravagant depiction of Millicent Kang, the ingenuity attendees brought to their pieces will surely exceed expectations.

From left, Annie Thayer’s “Betty_1” and “Betty_2” watercolors, part of Pop Art-inspired works, are on view at the R Gallery + Wine Bar in Boulder on March 29, 2022. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

“Our artists love the various themes of our rotating themed exhibitions,” Lantz said. “Many love the opportunity to be pushed out of their comfort zone, to explore something new, to advance their creativity. Most of our artists don’t normally work in Pop Art and will be able to explore something new. , while the pop artists that we have not yet exhibited may have a space to show their work at the R Gallery “.

Artist Lisa Pentz has two pieces in the show that are reminiscent of vintage comics, but still possess a modern twist.

Lisa Pentz’s “Imagining Good Times” can be seen in the R Gallery + Wine Bar group show “Let it Pop! Works of art inspired by the Pop Art movement. “(Lisa Pentz / courtesy photo)

“I had a lot of fun working on these two works of art,” Pentz said. “I started doing a lot of research on the Pop Art movement and looking at the work of different artists who fit that classification. I also thought a lot about our current pop culture and how I could represent the present times in my paintings ”.

Pentz recently worked on the R Gallery group exhibition “Reflections”. Demonstrating significant range, she is now strikingly rotated from hazy depictions of water lilies and a cow in a pasture to crisp, noisy images that create a defined atmosphere.

In his “Imagining Good Times” a blue-eyed woman stares into space as a thought bubble floats above her head with a Hawaiian-inspired design and the word “Aloha”. The captivating comic piece captures the wanderlust we all felt when the world seemed to stand still and the pandemic put a stop to travel.

The female subject recalls the pensive and emotional femme fatales found in Roy Lichtenstein’s work.

“People feel a playfulness in this kind of art,” Pentz said. “I love Andy Warhol’s work. I watched a Netflix series called “The Andy Warhol Diaries” to try to gain more knowledge and understanding of him and his work. “

“Starbucks on my Mind” by Lisa Pentz can be seen in the collective exhibition of R Gallery + Wine Bar “Let it Pop! Works of art inspired by the Pop Art movement. “(Lisa Pentz / courtesy photo)

Pentz’s “Starbucks on my Mind” pays homage to the caffeine goodness people turn to to cheer me up. The yellow “powder” shape with a red outline only increases the savory flavor of a Frappuccino covered with whipped cream, seasoned with syrup.

“I think people enjoy seeing the ordinary represented in art,” Pentz said. “They can be about the topic of pop culture. And I think the bright colors often used in Pop Art are fun and energetic and attract attention ”.

For artist Connie Luebbert – who has two pieces on display – the exploration of this art style was welcomed, as she had previously made a Warhol-inspired series called “The Americanization of Chinese Brush Paintings”.

His first painting in the series – which included works on rice paper, set in encaustic wax – was “Campbell’s Chicken with GMOs”.

Connie Luebbert’s “Bazooka” can be seen in the R Gallery + Wine Bar group show “Let it Pop! Works of art inspired by the Pop Art movement. “(Connie Luebbert / courtesy photo)

Even if that particular piece is not on display at the R Gallery, people can admire his works “Bazooka Joe” and “Mary Jane: Sugar High”.

“The body of work is about food awareness, cult foods, playfulness, fun, all with a message within the works about the particular food,” said Luebbert, founder of Salaan Magazine and owner of Salt and Light Studios in Longmont. .

Just as he reinvented Warhol’s can of soup, Luebbert gave classic Mary Jane candy a buzz. On the wrapper, she cunningly painted a delicate vase leaf. The label also reads “Reg US 4:20 Off”.

“Pop art challenged modernists who despised this humble subject,” Luebbert said. “This movement has taken art into new thematic areas and new ways of presenting art. Pop Art has contributed to manifesting postmodernism ”.

Connie Luebbert’s “Mary Jane: Sugar High” can be seen in the R Gallery + Wine Bar group show “Let it Pop! Works of art inspired by the Pop Art movement”. (Connie Luebbert / courtesy photo)

From Jasper Johns to Richard Hamilton, the artists of the Pop Art movement have not been afraid to shake things up and move away from tradition.

“The Pop Art movement was about making the mundane beautiful,” Luebbert said. “Everyday objects are easily identifiable, which I believe makes art resonate with most people.”

The latest group exhibition offers collectors the opportunity to liven up their walls with original works.

“My goal for future buyers is to add a pop of color and fun to their spaces with a topic they can relate to in their lives, past or present,” Luebbert said. “The Bazooka rubber reminds me of my childhood and when I first learned how to blow bubbles, it also came with a great little comic.”

Luebbert hopes his art will arouse a tasty nostalgia in viewers.

“I want my work to connect with shoppers … bring them back to a place and a time, a memory or just a favorite food,” Luebbert said. “Especially to make them smile”.

“Bubble Prize” by artist Erin Atencio, part of Pop Art inspired works, was presented at the R Gallery + Wine Bar in Boulder on March 29, 2022. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

Lantz opened the R Gallery + Wine Bar in 2019, but had to temporarily close the space during COVID.

“The pandemic was definitely not in the business plan,” Lantz said. “We opened exactly one year before we had to close the doors for the blockade. It has been going on for many months. One day I would be ready to give up, then the next I just couldn’t convince myself to abandon him. I knew that if we could survive COVID, the gallery would emerge as something truly special. Our artists and the community gathered to bring us to an end. With that love and support, we could never have given up on fighting the challenges of the block. “

On Friday, from 6 to 8 pm, the participants in the Pop Art review will be present for a “Meet the Artists” reception.

Aaron Stecker’s “Cherry-Bow Road”, right, part of Pop Art-inspired works, is on view at the R Gallery + Wine Bar in Boulder on March 29, 2022. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

“I couldn’t be happier with what we’ve built here,” Lantz said. “With our wine bar and event space, R Gallery + Wine Bar has become a place where people can experience local art and connect with friends in a relaxed environment.”

In addition to the Pop Art exhibit, visitors can take a look at a variety of other works from a cross-section of creatives while sipping a fragrant glass of red or white. The food menu includes chocolate covered almonds, charcuterie platters and a variety of desserts.

“By far, the most rewarding part is the real difference we’ve made in the local art community,” Lantz said. “We are a local business: locally owned, locally managed, with local produce. We help the artists who exhibit here and they help us. It is a close-knit community that I am happy to say that we are part of ”.

The R Gallery + Wine Bar was seen in Boulder on March 29, 2022. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

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