Contact: Matt Harms
(562) 439-2119 mharms@lbma.org
Images Available Upon Request


"St. Superman", 2011. 18th century oclad 24 kt. gold plating and oil on woodblock 13 1⁄2" x 12"

 

Long Beach Museum of Art to Open New Exhibition

Ironic Icons: The Art of Valentin Popov

on January 12–March 19, 2017

Reception for the artist January 13, 5 - 8 pm

Exhibition to Feature the Iconoclastic Work of the Ukrainian-born Artist Valentin Popov

Long Beach, CA - The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) will be opening this exciting and extraordinary exhibition by Ukrainian-born artist Valentin Popov. The exhibition will be the first time Popov will exhibit his work in a Southern California museum. All works are part of Popov’s Ironic Icon series, in which he combines images of the American superhero with traditional religious iconography from early Christianity. Also on display will be Popov’s iconic large-scale painting Early Morning, based on the 1817 painting L’Amour et Psyché by the French artist François-Édouard Picot. The LBMA exhibition features 60 works which include traditional Russian icons with subjects such as St. Batman, St. Superman and St. Wonder Woman. Each work retains its original richly embossed and engraved sterling silver and 24kt gold cover.

Popov notes, “it was in 1993 that I first began to meld my Ukrainian past, filled with the memories of icons, with the exciting, yet unnerving sea of popular culture I was now swimming in here in America. I focused on the image of Batman over all other superheroes. Poignantly, he was, more than any of the others, just a man. He was not endowed with super powers beyond his intelligence, athleticism, and an exotic array of weapons, devices, and vehicles at his disposal. This sense of power, mixed with human vulnerability, made him an irresistible choice to incorporate into my art."

Popov’s work is in a number of major art museum collections around the world, including the National Museum of Ukrainian Art in Kiev, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and more. Ron Nelson, the Executive Director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, curated this exhibition. “The Museum has had a long history presenting art works that defy easy classification,” he notes. “American super heroes and their imperial retinue capture the imagination like none other. To see their pop culture realism blended with Orthodox Christian iconography is a brilliant juxtaposition of concepts and invites us to view both traditions in an entirely new and challenging light.”

For more information please visit the Museum’s website at www.lbma.org.




About the Long Beach Museum of Art:
Located on a magnificent bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Long Beach Museum of Art features a historic mansion and carriage house, expansive galleries and gardens, oceanfront dining at Claire’s at the Museum and a unique Museum Store. The galleries and store are open Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday – Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students and seniors age 62 and older, free for Members and children under 12, and free for everyone on Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and all day on Friday. Claire’s is open Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (562) 439-2119.