Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans series has been reproduced millions of times on books, posters and T-shirts over the past 50 years.
Many people were astounded by the size of this icon of 20th century pop art when they saw the real thing for the first time, New York Museum of Modern Art assistant curator Samantha Friedman said.
Warhol's 32-panel still life for the consumer age, which spans more than 3m, is among 130 paintings, sculptures, drawings and films from a who's who of modern art opening at the Art Gallery of WA on June 16.
Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters also includes major works by Piet Mondrian, Joan Miro, Jackson Pollock, Giorgio de Chirico, Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp and Jasper Johns.
Ms Friedman said gallery visitors could almost feel the vibrations of inspiration radiating from the works that traced the development of cubism, abstract expressionism and pop art over the past century.
Gallery director Stefano Carboni said the landmark first exhibition of the gallery's three-year partnership with MoMA was exclusive to Perth and most of the art had never been seen in the southern hemisphere before.
"It is always an exciting moment when the exhibition is not yet open and you have all these for yourself and your colleagues," Dr Carboni said.
Four times bigger than the gallery's Peggy Guggenheim Collection show of two years ago, Picasso to Warhol was a marvellous letter of introduction to the six-exhibition MoMA series, he said.
"I just hope I have four times as many people come through," he said.