Provocation and Poetry: The Curse of Pop

Roy Lichtenstein. Crying Girl. 1963.


“There is a name for these Americans who fly in the face of harmony and good taste. Pop art, it’s called (…). Pop art originates in pamphlets, in provocation, in poetry. It hurls a curse, and calls down insult and contempt upon itself in return.”

—Marcel Broodthaers, responding to works at Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, 1963

Alden Projects™ (Booth 1.04) presents “Provocation and Poetry: The Curse of Pop,” a gathering of works re-conjuring the early poetics of provocation in first generation Pop. This booth brings together early, seminal curses of Pop, including Lichtenstein’s Crying Girl (a 1963 print of an image purloined from a comic book) and Warhol’s Soup Can (represented here in a vintage flyer from Irving Blum Gallery, Los Angeles and hung on a shelf) and other, later poetically inspired curses too.  Artists include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marcel Broodthaers, Jenny Holzer, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Allan Saret and Andy Warhol.

With the triumph of Ileana Sonnabend’s Pop at auction today, it is easy to forget the original spells that these works cast on their earliest audience. Seeing American Pop at Sonnabend, Broodthaersup until then, a poet—was inspired to change professions on a dime. This was a “point of departure, the shock that led me to go as far as to make my own works.” This detour is reflected here in Marcel Broodthaers’ founding, artistic manifesto printed on pages clipped from a Belgian, ladies’ fashion magazine. This ground zero declaration by Broodthaers consecrates his first works with “the idea of inventing something insincere,” a transmogrification that turned significantly on the curse also being…in the purse.  

Marcel Broodthaers. Ileana Sonnabend and Pistoletto: Aimez-vous le pop?. 1965. This image may be subject to copyright. 
Reproduced here for educational purposes only.

© Todd Alden 2015                                         

NADA New York 2015
Basketball City 
299 South Street @ East River

Alden Projects™ Booth 1.04

Opening Preview: 

Thursday, May 14: 3 pm - 6 pm
By special invitation

Fair Hours:

Thursday, May 14: 6 pm  8 pm
Friday, May 15: 11 am – 7 pm
Saturday, May 16: 11 am – 7 pm
Sunday, May 17: 11 pm – 5 pm
Free and open to the public