This is the first solo exhibition outside of Norway by artist Pushwagner (born Oslo, 1940), bringing together drawings, paintings and prints made over the last forty years. His visionary practice resonates with the glamour of Pop Art, the language of science fiction, the anti-materialism of the Beat poets and the hallucinations of Vincent Van Gogh.
The exhibition includes his defining creation, the graphic novel 'Soft City', which encapsulates a generation's disenchantment with capitalism and life in the modern city. It also includes a series of prints that depict the trappings of power, featuring one of the principal characters in Pushwagner's mythology: 'The Boss'. This omnipotent bureaucrat sits behind a massive desk of levers and switches and controls the world via a giant screen. In the Long Gallery, the 'Apocalypse Frieze' comprises obsessively detailed paintings where factories double up as death camps and the ravages of war are perpetuated under the watchful eye of robotic men in suits.
Pushwagner's epic satire exaggerates and ridicules the symbols of capitalism, war, industry and leisure. This critique of power and greed, most dramatically expressed through the giant mouth on the Gallery's facade, takes on a particular resonance in the context of today's financial crises.
Following its presentation in Milton Keynes, the exhibition will be presented at Haugar Vestfold Art Museum, Norway and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Netherlands.
The Pushwagner exhibition has been generously supported by Fritt Ord (The Freedom of Expression Foundation, Norway), Norsk Kulturrad (Norwegian Arts Council), OCA (Office for Contemporary Art Norway) and The Royal Norwegian Embassy, London.
The exhibition is an associated event of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2012, and forms part of Milton Keynes Summer of Culture.
What: Pushwagner - Soft City
Where: MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA
When: Thu 28 Jun - Sun 2 Sep 2012, Tue-Fri 12-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-5pm
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