This autumn Wolverhampton Art Gallery will be hosting a major new exhibition of Derek Boshier’s work.

Derek Boshier: Image in Revolt will open at the Lichfield Street venue on Saturday 7 October. The major survey exhibition can be experienced alongside the gallery’s outstanding collection of Pop Art. 

Celebrating 60 years of this restlessly inventive artist’s work, the exhibition offers a rare overview of Boshier’s career and lifelong fascination with popular culture. Bringing together iconic Pop paintings of the 1960s and distinctive drawings, collages, and films of the 1970s, the show also features more recent bodies of expressive paintings and drawings confronting gender, technology, and war at the height of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.

Derek Boshier (b.1937) is a celebrated founding figure of the British Pop art movement. Since he burst onto the swinging London scene of the early 1960s, his work has joyfully and rigorously mined subjects from popular culture to offer commentaries on world events and cultural phenomena.

Boshier’s early paintings were distinguished from his British and American contemporaries for their ironic play with popular imagery and critique of nuclear age anxieties including post-war consumerism, the cult of celebrity and the role of mass media.

Visitors to the exhibition will notice a recurring motif running throughout Boshier’s practice - the solitary human figure or ‘the falling man’. This is the artist’s conception of man’s identity that often appears in silhouetted profiles, fragmented forms and states of action, drawing attention to the fragility and fragmentation of human identity.

Derek Boshier: Image in Revolt is curated by independent curator Helen Little in collaboration with Wolverhampton Art Gallery.  

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a major new monograph Derek Boshier: Reinventor. Published by Lund Humphries and edited by Helen Little, the book features commentaries and reflections by leading contemporary artists, academics, curators and writers. Like the exhibition, it explores how Boshier's ground breaking activity interrogates truth and logic, fantasy and reality, in the modern age. Visitors to Wolverhampton Art Gallery will be able to purchase copies from the gallery shop.

City of Wolverhampton Council Director of Vibrant City, Ian Fegan, said: “This is a major exhibition for the city. 

“Outside of London, we hold the largest collection of Pop Art in the UK, a movement in which Boshier’s illustrious career has its origins. Indeed, we have two of his artworks in our collection and it is fantastic that we are able to showcase Boshier’s exhibition, expertly curated by Helen Little, in this context.”

Derek Boshier: Image in Revolt in Wolverhampton will coincide with a solo exhibition at Gazelli Art House, London, in which Boshier will be showcasing seven reinvented self portraits deconstructing his own art history with other works showcasing his aptitude for social commentary. 

Guest Curator, Helen Little, said: "Celebrating Boshier’s iconic, irreverent, and constantly evolving practice, the two exhibitions and recently published book present a timely opportunity to look back and across the career of one of Britain’s foremost exponents of Pop Art. Offering a lens through which to understand his wider practice, they speak to the legacy of Boshier’s art that has strived to expose and challenge society’s norms, values and taboos and call attention to the structures that influence how we see and express ourselves – and how we are seen by others." 

Derek Boshier: Image in Revolt will be open at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from 7 October, 2023 until 21 January, 2024. 

Wolverhampton Art Gallery is open Monday to Saturday (10.30am until 4.30pm) and Sunday (11am until 4pm). The exhibition is free to visit and more information can be found at Wolverhampton Arts & Culture