Major Artists Go Pop Art At Saatchi Gallery

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 38 months ago
Major Artists Go Pop Art At Saatchi Gallery ★★☆☆☆ 2
A United Nations of flags made from hair and burlap in this immersive installation. Copyright Gu Wenda. Photograph Tabish Khan
A United Nations of flags made from hair and burlap in this immersive installation. Copyright Gu Wenda. Photograph Tabish Khan
East meets West as Stalin and Marilyn Monroe are placed on top of each other in profile. Copyright Leonid Sokhov & Vladimir Antonichuk.
East meets West as Stalin and Marilyn Monroe are placed on top of each other in profile. Copyright Leonid Sokhov & Vladimir Antonichuk.
A work by Michael Craig-Martin in his signature style. He is one of the well known artists on show here. Copyright the artist.
A work by Michael Craig-Martin in his signature style. He is one of the well known artists on show here. Copyright the artist.
One of two of Jeff Koons basketball vitrine works in this exhibition.  Copyright the artist.
One of two of Jeff Koons basketball vitrine works in this exhibition. Copyright the artist.
Malevich's black square - the ultimate in minimalism is turned into advertising. Copyright Alexander Kosopalov & The Tsukanov Family.
Malevich's black square - the ultimate in minimalism is turned into advertising. Copyright Alexander Kosopalov & The Tsukanov Family.

Londonist Rating: ★★☆☆☆

The Saatchi Gallery has had a patchy couple of years with mixed reviews for many of its exhibitions. So for its latest show — Post Pop: East Meets West — it has abandoned the traditional style of exhibiting works from Charles Saatchi's own collection, instead opting to bring together works from big name and lesser-known artists — all around the theme of pop art and how it has evolved, both in the West and East.

Several major artists' works are here including Ai Weiwei's coloured vases, Jeff Koons' vitrine-suspended basketballs, Bill Woodrow’s vacuum cleaner broken into component parts, and a remarkably vivid crucifixion by David Mach made from coat hangars.

Under-the-radar artists are well represented here too — their works even bolder and harder to miss. Kazimir Malevich's modernist masterpiece Black Square appears to have been co-opted by Marlboro to advertise cigarettes, while another sculpture shows Jesus, Mickey Mouse and Lenin walking hand in hand.

But it's the less obvious works that are the strongest, including Irina Korina's chapel surrounded by leafless trees and hidden behind a corrugated metal fence — showing religion can be as inaccessible as art at times. Gu Wenda also stands out, with a large installation of countries' flags made from hair and burlap, creating a United Nations where the countries are seen as equals — it's an immersive installation.

Post Pop: East Meets West feels like a homage from Charles Saatchi to pop art — a movement that started us on the road to sensationalism and resulted in Saatchi's success as an art dealer and collector. The difficulty with the exhibition is that many of the works are brash and loud, thus creating a visual overload. The gallery should be commended for bringing together works unlikely to be found outside a museum, but we felt many of the art to be over the top, with one piece detracting from another.

Post Pop: East Meets West is on at Saatchi gallery until 23 February 2015. Entrance is free.

For more art to see in London this month, see our top 10 art exhibitions for December.

Last Updated 02 December 2014