Pop & Protest

Adrian Henri: Art of the Sixties
1997

Whitford Fine Art. £6.00

 

The show's title is not only apt, but could, to my knowledge be applied to no-one else. Most of Henri's pop paintings simmered on anger and sometimes burst into flame. 

The other unique aspect was the way they seem to be rooted in their environment. The poster-fragments, the newspaper head-lines, the Omo packets and so on come from the walls, the news vendors and rather tacky super-markets around Liverpool 8. Like his poems they reflect, not an abstract reaction to the universal, but the packet of washing powder by the sink, the cornflakes on the breakfast table or the recently empty bed. They are like journal, or at any rate fragments of a journal. 

They are also quite frequently echoed by poems, not that the poems describe the pictures, nor the paintings illustrate the poems, they run parallel to each other, supplement each other.

 

George Melly