Pop and Beyond
Ken Reinhard

Pop and Beyond
23 January to 23 February 2019

A survey of pioneering Sydney Pop artist Ken Reinhard

Exhibition opened by artist Col Jordan.


Ken Reinhard has held an active and vital role in Australia as an artist and art educator. His work epitomises the idea of Charles Baudelaire in The Painter of Modern Life – ‘Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent …’ and for the artist’s active imagination ‘the aim for him is to extract from fashion the poetry that resides in its historical envelope …’

Born in 1936 Reinhard attended high school, first in Victoria, then in NSW. In his NSW school art was unavailable and he selected Descriptive Geometry and Drawing, and this had a lasting influence. He studied at National Art School and Sydney Teachers College and taught high school Visual Arts until 1968 while developing his own work as an artist. He was awarded the Sulman Prize for 1964, for his painting The Public Private Preview, a work that signified the arrival of Pop.

Pop art emerged in England and America in the late 1950’s and it drew inspiration from popular and commercial culture – illustration and advertising. It used ‘low’ subject matter, was characterised by flat and vibrant colour and text and an apparently uncritical treatment.

Early in his art career Reinhard fully embraced modern life, inspired by technology, industrial materials and the ethos of the machine. His subjects – nudes, cars, road signs, banners and computers, revealed a disjunction between two-dimensional images with three-dimensional objects and his exhibitions were often multimedia and multisensory. In 1974 Reinhard was appointed foundation head of The School of Art at Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education (subsequently Director of the City Art Institute and Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales), a significant role he continued to lead until 1998. The responsibility of developing the art school was great and he held no public exhibitions from 1974-84, other than two, in his studio, of small sculptures and works. From 1984 he found time to recommence creating and exhibiting his art.

Reinhard has consistently aimed to “extract from fashion the poetry that resides in its historical envelope” in his own work and in his advocacy for art education in NSW.


Watch Peter Pinson’s interview with Ken Reinhard from the website Cultural Conversations


Related downloads
Pop and Beyond Media Release Download PDF
Pop and Beyond Catalogue Download PDF
Pop and Beyond Work list Download PDF
Pop and Beyond Learning Resource Download PDF