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The American
Dream
pop to the
present

9 March – 18 June 2017
This exhibition has closed

Sponsored by

Morgan Stanley

Supported by

The Terra Foundation for American Art

#AmericanDream

See exhibitions free as a Member

‘Surprising and subversive… I defy anyone not to be charmed’
‘Bold and powerful... the deeper you get into the exhibition, the more fascinating it is’
‘This massive, bold, brilliantly presented exhibition is a triumph.’
‘A rich cultural tapestry of social commentary’
‘Aesthetica Magazine’
‘Snaps, crackles and pops with life’

Trace 60 years of a superpower in this major new exhibition.

The past six decades have been among the most dynamic and turbulent in US history, from JFK’s assassination, Apollo 11 and Vietnam to the AIDS crisis, racism and gender politics. Responding to the changing times, American artists have produced prints unprecedented in their scale and ambition.

Starting with the explosion of pop art in the 1960s, the exhibition includes works by the most celebrated American artists. From Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu – all boldly experimented with printmaking. Experience this extraordinary history through their eyes.

Taking inspiration from the world around them – billboard advertising, global politics, Hollywood and household objects – American artists created highly original prints to rival their paintings and sculptures. Printmaking brought their work to a much wider and more diverse audience.

The sheer inventiveness and technical ingenuity of their prints reflects America’s power and influence during this period. Many of these works also address the deep divisions in society that continue to resonate with us today – there are as many American dreams as there are Americans.

This exhibition presents the Museum’s outstanding collection of modern and contemporary American prints for the first time. These will be shown with important works from museums and private collections around the world.