Hariton Pushwagner, Self-portrait, 2002. Screenprint. Pushwagner Collection, Oslo. Copyright © 2012 the artist.
Hariton Pushwagner, Almost There. From A Day in the Life of Family Man, 1980. Image courtesy and copyright the artist.
Hariton Pushwagner, Music II. From A Day in the Life of Family Man, 1980. Image courtesy and copyright the artist.
Pushwagner: Soft City
28 June - 2 September 2012
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 façade, 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 (22 September - 30 December 2012) and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Netherlands (2 February - 28 April 2013).
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.
Guardian Artist of the Week: Hariton Pushwagner
'After a period sleeping rough in the 90s, this artist and his portraits of a dehumanising modernity are enjoying a resurgence' Read article
Pushwagner: Life in Soft City
Pushwagner: Soft City in Milton Keynes
Exhibition Preview & Summer Party
1962 / Cert. PG
Live Music: Ande Somby
Film Screening: Until the Light Takes Us
1971 / Cert. 15
Live Music: The Family Elan + support
Animation Workshop 1
Live Music: Susanna K Wallumrod
1997 / Cert. 15
Audio Described Exhibition Tour
Comic Book Workshop 1
MKomix Comic Fair
1982 / Cert. 15
Live Music: Nope + Support
Animation Workshop 2
Special Event: Cycle Cinema
Comic Book Workshop 2
Live Music: Christian Blom
A Scanner Darkly
2006 / Cert. 15
Live Music: Felix and Benoit Pioulard
Talk: Paul Gravett, Graphic Novels
Film Screening: Alfred Jarry Superfreak
1985 / Cert. 15
Comic Book Workshop 3
Live Music: Kim Myhr + Support
1983 / Cert. 18
Animation Workshop 3
1965 / Cert. 12a
Live Music: Improv Night
Live Music: Jana Winderen + support from Mark Peter Wright
Live Music: Nils Okland + support from Trestle