A celebration of American icons

About 50 works from some of the biggest names in American art will be on show in Singapore to mark Opera Gallery's 25th anniversary

The works of art-world giants Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat are on display at Opera Gallery.

American Icons, which marks the international gallery's 25th anniversary, brings together about 50 works worth nearly $60 million from some of the biggest names in American art.

It runs until May 12 at the gallery in Singapore's Ion Orchard mall.

The works, which are for sale and have been shipped in from Opera's galleries around the world, range from Indiana's iconic Love sculpture (1966 to 2000) to Warhol's Kimiko Powers (1972), made of acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas. Some pieces have already been bagged by collectors.

Opera Gallery, which focuses on modern and contemporary art, was founded in Paris in 1994.

It opened a gallery in Singapore that same year and, today, has 13 galleries around the world in cities such as Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Monaco and Seoul.

People who have never stepped into the gallery might remember its outdoor art displays.

  • VIEW IT /AMERICAN ICONS

  • WHERE: Opera Gallery, 02-16 Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn

    WHEN: Until May 12, 11am to 8pm (weekdays), 10am to 8pm (weekends)

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: www.operagallery.com/singapore

During the Formula One motor racing seasons last year and in 2017, Opera Gallery showcased sculptures by South American artist Pablo Atchugarry and Spanish artist Manolo Valdes along Orchard Road.

The gallery's Asia-Pacific director Stephane Le Pelletier says: "There has been a lot of interest in American icons for the past few years. A good way to celebrate our 25th anniversary is to have an exhibition that appeals to the general public."

Interest from Singaporean collectors has grown since 1994, he adds.

"At the beginning, 15 to 20 per cent of those visiting (the gallery) and buying were Singaporean. Today, it's almost 55 per cent... Art has become an alternative investment for a lot of people."


Five works to see



PHOTOS: OPERA GALLERY SINGAPORE

Love (1966 to 2000)

Robert Indiana's Love is one of the most recognisable Pop images of the 20th century.

Indiana, who died last year, created this particular sculpture out of polychrome aluminium.

Love was originally designed as a Christmas card commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, co-opted as a symbol of 1960s idealism, and has appeared in a range of forms such as prints, paintings and sculptures.

Kimiko Powers (1972)

The elegant, kimono-clad woman in Andy Warhol’s acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas portrait is none other than the art collector Kimiko Powers who, together with her husband, amassed a large private collection of Pop Art.

Untitled (1985)

This oil stick on paper artwork is by Jean-Michel Basquiat, who started out as a graffiti artist in the late 1970s and is known for his raw and sketchy visual style.

Plutusia 1 (1995)

Frank Stella, who created this oil, resin and formed paper on fibreglass piece, had a varied oeuvre – from fully flat and three-dimensional sculptural paintings to outdoor murals and sculpture.

Fish Teasing A Whale (1971)

Alexander Calder, the sculptor behind this work of painted sheet metal and wire, is known as the inventor of the “mobile” – a suspended or standing kinetic sculpture of delicately balanced shapes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2019, with the headline 'A celebration of American icons'. Print Edition | Subscribe