pop stop

Take a break at the “Pop Stop” and have your say on our talk back wall. For history buffs, a chronology marks the dates and events that surround Pop Life.

pop talks

Daily AT 1:00 PM
Further explore works in the exhibition Pop Life. Ten-minute Pop Talks take place in front of one work in the exhibition. The daily schedule is posted. Meet at the "Pop Spot." Free with admission to the exhibition.


The National Gallery of Canada is pleased to recognize the support of our partners:
for generously providing the 103 inch plasma screen showing AKIHABARA MAJOKKO PRINCESS by Takashi Murakami


The Contemporary Art Circle
of the National Gallery of Canada

exhibition highlights

Pop Life: Art in a Material World explores the complex relationship between contemporary art, marketing and the mass media. Beginning with the later work of American Pop artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987), the exhibition proposes a re-reading of his legacy and explores how some of today’s high-profile media-savvy artists have followed his lead, embracing celebrity and commerce as the foundation of their work.

The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is the sole North American venue for this unprecedented exhibition, which features more than 250 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, videos, installations, multiples and other ephemera produced over the past three decades.

The exhibition begins with Warhol’s notorious provocation that “good business is the best art.” Marketing and publicity provided a means for Warhol to engage in modern life beyond the confines of the studio, the gallery and the museum. Rather than simply representing or commenting on mass-media culture, Warhol deliberately infiltrated the publicity machine to cultivate an artistic persona. By performing as a partygoer, model, television personality, paparazzo and publisher, he harnessed the power of the celebrity system and expanded his reach beyond the art world and into the wider world of commerce.

Pop Life then looks ahead to the work of a number of artists who, like Warhol, have openly engaged with the cult of celebrity and unashamedly championed the idea of turning public attention into aesthetic notoriety and financial reward.