Contemporary Pop Art Movement Essays

This article is about the art movement. For other uses, see Pop art (disambiguation).

Pop art is an art movement that emerged in Britain and the United States during the mid- to late-1950s.[1][2] The movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects. One of its aims is to use images of popular (as opposed to elitist) culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any culture, most often through the use of irony.[3] It is also associated with the artists' use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques. In pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, or combined with unrelated material.[2][3]

Among the early artists that shaped the pop art movement were Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton in Britain, and Larry Rivers, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns among others in the United States. Pop art is widely interpreted as a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism, as well as an expansion of those ideas.[4] Due to its utilization of found objects and images, it is similar to Dada. Pop art and minimalism are considered to be art movements that precede postmodern art, or are some of the earliest examples of postmodern art themselves.[5]

Pop art often takes imagery that is currently in use in advertising. Product labeling and logos figure prominently in the imagery chosen by pop artists, seen in the labels of Campbell's Soup Cans, by Andy Warhol. Even the labeling on the outside of a shipping box containing food items for retail has been used as subject matter in pop art, as demonstrated by Warhol'sCampbell's Tomato Juice Box, 1964 (pictured).

Origins[edit]

The origins of pop art in North America developed differently from Great Britain.[3] In the United States, pop art was a response by artists; it marked a return to hard-edged composition and representational art. They used impersonal, mundane reality, irony, and parody to "defuse" the personal symbolism and "painterly looseness" of abstract expressionism.[4][6] In the U.S., some artwork by Larry Rivers, Alex Katz and Man Ray anticipated pop art.[7]

By contrast, the origins of pop art in post-War Britain, while employing irony and parody, were more academic. Britain focused on the dynamic and paradoxical imagery of American pop culture as powerful, manipulative symbolic devices that were affecting whole patterns of life, while simultaneously improving the prosperity of a society.[6] Early pop art in Britain was a matter of ideas fueled by American popular culturewhen viewed from afar.[4] Similarly, pop art was both an extension and a repudiation of Dadaism.[4] While pop art and Dadaism explored some of the same subjects, pop art replaced the destructive, satirical, and anarchic impulses of the Dada movement with a detached affirmation of the artifacts of mass culture.[4] Among those artists in Europe seen as producing work leading up to pop art are: Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Kurt Schwitters.

Proto-pop[edit]

Although both British and American pop art began during the 1950s, Marcel Duchamp and others in Europe like Francis Picabia and Man Ray predate the movement; in addition there were some earlier American proto-pop origins which utilized "as found" cultural objects.[4] During the 1920s, American artists Patrick Henry Bruce, Gerald Murphy, Charles Demuth and Stuart Davis created paintings that contained pop culture imagery (mundane objects culled from American commercial products and advertising design), almost "prefiguring" the pop art movement.[8][9]

United Kingdom: the Independent Group[edit]

The Independent Group (IG), founded in London in 1952, is regarded as the precursor to the pop art movement.[2][10] They were a gathering of young painters, sculptors, architects, writers and critics who were challenging prevailing modernist approaches to culture as well as traditional views of fine art. Their group discussions centered on pop culture implications from elements such as mass advertising, movies, product design, comic strips, science fiction and technology. At the first Independent Group meeting in 1952, co-founding member, artist and sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi presented a lecture using a series of collages titled Bunk! that he had assembled during his time in Paris between 1947 and 1949.[2][10] This material of "found objects" such as advertising, comic book characters, magazine covers and various mass-produced graphics mostly represented American popular culture. One of the collages in that presentation was Paolozzi's I was a Rich Man's Plaything (1947), which includes the first use of the word "pop", appearing in a cloud of smoke emerging from a revolver.[2][11] Following Paolozzi's seminal presentation in 1952, the IG focused primarily on the imagery of American popular culture, particularly mass advertising.[6]

According to the son of John McHale, the term "pop art" was first coined by his father in 1954 in conversation with Frank Cordell,[12] although other sources credit its origin to British critic Lawrence Alloway.[13][14] (Both versions agree that the term was used in Independent Group discussions by mid-1955.)

"Pop art" as a moniker was then used in discussions by IG members in the Second Session of the IG in 1955, and the specific term "pop art" first appeared in published print in the article "But Today We Collect Ads" by IG members Alison and Peter Smithson in Ark magazine in 1956.[15] However, the term is often credited to Britishart critic/curatorLawrence Alloway for his 1958 essay titled The Arts and the Mass Media, even though the precise language he uses is "popular mass culture".[16] "Furthermore, what I meant by it then is not what it means now. I used the term, and also 'Pop Culture' to refer to the products of the mass media, not to works of art that draw upon popular culture. In any case, sometime between the winter of 1954-55 and 1957 the phrase acquired currency in conversation..."[17] Nevertheless, Alloway was one of the leading critics to defend the inclusion of the imagery of mass culture in the fine arts. Alloway clarified these terms in 1966, at which time Pop Art had already transited from art schools and small galleries to a major force in the artworld. But its success had not been in England. Practically simultaneously, and independently, New York City had become the hotbed for Pop Art.[17]

In London, the annual Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) exhibition of young talent in 1960 first showed American pop influences. In January 1961, the most famous RBA-Young Contemporaries of all put David Hockney, the American R B Kitaj, New Zealander Billy Apple, Allen Jones, Derek Boshier, Joe Tilson, Patrick Caulfield, Peter Phillips and Peter Blake on the map; Apple designed the posters and invitations for both the 1961 and 1962 Young Contemporaries exhibitions.[18] Hockney, Kitaj and Blake went on to win prizes at the John-Moores-Exhibition in Liverpool in the same year. Apple and Hockney traveled together to New York during the Royal College's 1961 summer break, which is when Apple first made contact with Andy Warhol – both later moved to the United States and Apple became involved with the New York pop art scene.[18]

United States[edit]

Although pop art began in the early 1950s, in America it was given its greatest impetus during the 1960s. The term "pop art" was officially introduced in December 1962; the occasion was a "Symposium on Pop Art" organized by the Museum of Modern Art.[19] By this time, American advertising had adopted many elements and inflections of modern art and functioned at a very sophisticated level. Consequently, American artists had to search deeper for dramatic styles that would distance art from the well-designed and clever commercial materials.[6] As the British viewed American popular culture imagery from a somewhat removed perspective, their views were often instilled with romantic, sentimental and humorous overtones. By contrast, American artists, bombarded every day with the diversity of mass-produced imagery, produced work that was generally more bold and aggressive.[10]

Two important painters in the establishment of America's pop art vocabulary were Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.[10] While the paintings of Rauschenberg have relationships to the earlier work of Kurt Schwitters and other Dada artists, his concern was for the social issues of the moment. His approach was to create art out of ephemeral materials. By using topical events in the life of everyday America, he gave his work a unique quality.[10][20] Johns' and Rauschenberg's work of the 1950s is classified as Neo-Dada, and is visually distinct from the prototypical American pop art which exploded in the early 1960s.[21][22]

Roy Lichtenstein is of equal importance to American pop art. His work, and its use of parody, probably defines the basic premise of pop art better than any other.[10] Selecting the old-fashioned comic strip as subject matter, Lichtenstein produces a hard-edged, precise composition that documents while also parodying in a soft manner. Lichtenstein used oil and Magna paint in his best known works, such as Drowning Girl (1963), which was appropriated from the lead story in DC Comics' Secret Hearts #83. (Drowning Girl is part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.)[23] His work features thick outlines, bold colors and Ben-Day dots to represent certain colors, as if created by photographic reproduction. Lichtenstein said, "[abstract expressionists] put things down on the canvas and responded to what they had done, to the color positions and sizes. My style looks completely different, but the nature of putting down lines pretty much is the same; mine just don't come out looking calligraphic, like Pollock's or Kline's."[24] Pop art merges popular and mass culture with fine art while injecting humor, irony, and recognizable imagery/content into the mix.

The paintings of Lichtenstein, like those of Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and others, share a direct attachment to the commonplace image of American popular culture, but also treat the subject in an impersonal manner clearly illustrating the idealization of mass production.[10]

Andy Warhol is probably the most famous figure in pop art. In fact, art critic Arthur Danto once called Warhol "the nearest thing to a philosophical genius the history of art has produced".[19] Warhol attempted to take pop beyond an artistic style to a life style, and his work often displays a lack of human affectation that dispenses with the irony and parody of many of his peers.[25][26]

Early U.S. exhibitions[edit]

Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine and Tom Wesselmann had their first shows in the Judson Gallery in 1959 and 1960 and later in 1960 through 1964 along with James Rosenquist, George Segal and others at the Green Gallery on 57th Street in Manhattan. In 1960, Martha Jackson showed installations and assemblages, New Media - New Forms featured Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Dine and May Wilson. 1961 was the year of Martha Jackson's spring show, Environments, Situations, Spaces.[27][28] Andy Warhol held his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in July 1962 at Irving Blum's Ferus Gallery, where he showed 32 paintings of Campell's soup cans, one for every flavor. Warhol sold the set of paintings to Blum for $1,000; in 1996, when the Museum of Modern Art acquired it, the set was valued at $15 million.[19]

Donald Factor, the son of Max Factor, Jr., and an art collector and co-editor of avant gardeliterary magazineNomad, wrote an essay in the magazine's last issue, Nomad/New York. The essay was one of the first on what would become known as pop art, though Factor did not use the term. The essay, "Four Artists", focused on Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine, and Claes Oldenburg.[29]

In the 1960s, Oldenburg, who became associated with the pop art movement, created many happenings, which were performance art-related productions of that time. The name he gave to his own productions was "Ray Gun Theater". The cast of colleagues in his performances included: artists Lucas Samaras, Tom Wesselman, Carolee Schneemann, Oyvind Fahlstrom and Richard Artschwager; dealer Annina Nosei; art criticBarbara Rose; and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer.[30] His first wife, Patty Mucha, who sewed many of his early soft sculptures, was a constant performer in his happenings. This brash, often humorous, approach to art was at great odds with the prevailing sensibility that, by its nature, art dealt with "profound" expressions or ideas. In December 1961, he rented a store on Manhattan's Lower East Side to house The Store, a month-long installation he had first presented at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York, stocked with sculptures roughly in the form of consumer goods.[30]

Opening in 1962, Willem de Kooning's New York art dealer, the Sidney Janis Gallery, organized the groundbreaking International Exhibition of the New Realists, a survey of new-to-the-scene American, French, Swiss, Italian New Realism, and British pop art. The fifty-four artists shown included Richard Lindner, Wayne Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein (and his painting Blam), Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Tom Wesselmann, George Segal, Peter Phillips, Peter Blake (The Love Wall from 1961), Yves Klein, Arman, Daniel Spoerri, Christo and Mimmo Rotella. The show was seen by Europeans Martial Raysse, Niki de Saint-Phalle and Jean Tinguely in New York, who were stunned by the size and look of the American artwork. Also shown were Marisol, Mario Schifano, Enrico Baj and Öyvind Fahlström. Janis lost some of his abstract expressionist artists when Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb and Philip Guston quit the gallery, but gained Dine, Oldenburg, Segal and Wesselmann.[31] At an opening-night soiree thrown by collector Burton Tremaine, Willem de Kooning appeared and was turned away by Tremaine, who ironically owned a number of de Kooning's works. Rosenquist recalled: "at that moment I thought, something in the art world has definitely changed".[19] Turning away a respected abstract artist proved that, as early as 1962, the pop art movement had begun to dominate art culture in New York.

A bit earlier, on the West Coast, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine and Andy Warhol from New York City; Phillip Hefferton and Robert Dowd from Detroit; Edward Ruscha and Joe Goode from Oklahoma City; and Wayne Thiebaud from California were included in the New Painting of Common Objects show. This first pop art museum exhibition in America was curated by Walter Hopps at the Pasadena Art Museum.[32] Pop art was ready to change the art world. New York followed Pasadena in 1963, when the Guggenheim Museum exhibited Six Painters and the Object, curated by Lawrence Alloway. The artists were Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol.[33] Another pivotal early exhibition was The American Supermarket organised by the Bianchini Gallery in 1964. The show was presented as a typical small supermarket environment, except that everything in it—the produce, canned goods, meat, posters on the wall, etc.—was created by prominent pop artists of the time, including Apple, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Wesselmann, Oldenburg, and Johns. This project was recreated in 2002 as part of the Tate Gallery's Shopping: A Century of Art and Consumer Culture.[34]

By 1962, pop artists started exhibiting in commercial galleries in New York and Los Angeles; for some, it was their first commercial one-man show. The Ferus Gallery presented Andy Warhol in Los Angeles (and Ed Ruscha in 1963). In New York, the Green Gallery showed Rosenquist, Segal, Oldenburg, and Wesselmann. The Stable Gallery showed R. Indiana and Warhol (in his first New York show). The Leo Castelli Gallery presented Rauschenberg, Johns, and Lichtenstein. Martha Jackson showed Jim Dine and Allen Stone showed Wayne Thiebaud. By 1966, after the Green Gallery and the Ferus Gallery closed, the Leo Castelli Gallery represented Rosenquist, Warhol, Rauschenberg, Johns, Lichtenstein and Ruscha. The Sidney Janis Gallery represented Oldenburg, Segal, Dine, Wesselmann and Marisol, while Allen Stone continued to represent Thiebaud, and Martha Jackson continued representing Robert Indiana.[35]

In 1968, the São Paulo 9 Exhibition – Environment U.S.A.: 1957–1967 featured the "Who's Who" of pop art. Considered as a summation of the classical phase of the American pop art period, the exhibit was curated by William Seitz. The artists were Edward Hopper, James Gill, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann.[36]

France[edit]

Nouveau réalisme refers to an artistic movement founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany[37] and the artist Yves Klein during the first collective exposition in the Apollinaire gallery in Milan. Pierre Restany wrote the original manifesto for the group, titled the "Constitutive Declaration of New Realism," in April 1960, proclaiming, "Nouveau Réalisme—new ways of perceiving the real."[38] This joint declaration was signed on 27 October 1960, in Yves Klein's workshop, by nine people: Yves Klein, Arman, Martial Raysse, Pierre Restany, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and the Ultra-Lettrists, Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Jacques de la Villeglé; in 1961 these were joined by César, Mimmo Rotella, then Niki de Saint Phalle and Gérard Deschamps. The artist Christo showed with the group. It was dissolved in 1970.[38]

Contemporary of American Pop Art—often conceived as its transposition in France—new realism was along with Fluxus and other groups one of the numerous tendencies of the avant-garde in the 1960s. The group initially chose Nice, on the French Riviera, as its home base since Klein and Arman both originated there; new realism is thus often retrospectively considered by historians to be an early representative of the École de Nice (fr) movement.[39] In spite of the diversity of their plastic language, they perceived a common basis for their work; this being a method of direct appropriation of reality, equivalent, in the terms used by Restany; to a "poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality".[40]

Spain[edit]

In Spain, the study of pop art is associated with the "new figurative", which arose from the roots of the crisis of informalism. Eduardo Arroyo could be said to fit within the pop art trend, on account of his interest in the environment, his critique of our media culture which incorporates icons of both mass media communication and the history of painting, and his scorn for nearly all established artistic styles. However, the Spanish artist who could be considered most authentically part of "pop" art is Alfredo Alcaín, because of the use he makes of popular images and empty spaces in his compositions.

Also in the category of Spanish pop art is the "Chronicle Team" (El Equipo Crónica), which existed in Valencia between 1964 and 1981, formed by the artists Manolo Valdés and Rafael Solbes. Their movement can be characterized as "pop" because of its use of comics and publicity images and its simplification of images and photographic compositions. FilmmakerPedro Almodóvar emerged from Madrid's "La Movida" subculture of the 1970s making low budget super 8 pop art movies, and he was subsequently called the Andy Warhol of Spain by the media at the time. In the book Almodovar on Almodovar, he is quoted as saying that the 1950s film "Funny Face" was a central inspiration for his work. One pop trademark in Almodovar's films is that he always produces a fake commercial to be inserted into a scene.

Japan[edit]

In Japan, pop art evolved from the nation's prominent avant-garde scene. The use of images of the modern world, copied from magazines in the photomontage-style paintings produced by Harue Koga in the late 1920s and early 1930s, foreshadowed elements of pop art.[41] The work of Yayoi Kusama contributed to the development of pop art and influenced many other artists, including Andy Warhol.[42][43] In the mid-1960s, graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo became one of the most successful pop artists and an international symbol for Japanese pop art. He is well known for his advertisements and creating artwork for pop culture icons such as commissions from The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor, among others.[44] Another leading pop artist at that time was Keiichi Tanaami. Iconic characters from Japanese manga and anime have also become symbols for pop art, such as Speed Racer and Astro Boy. Japanese manga and anime also influenced later pop artists such as Takashi Murakami and his superflat movement.

Italy[edit]

In Italy, by 1964, pop art was known and took different forms, such as the "Scuola di Piazza del Popolo" in Rome, with pop artists such as Mario Schifano, Franco Angeli, Giosetta Fioroni, Tano Festa, Claudio Cintoli, and some artworks by Piero Manzoni, Lucio Del Pezzo, Mimmo Rotella and Valerio Adami.

Italian pop art originated in 1950s culture – the works of the artists Enrico Baj and Mimmo Rotella to be precise, rightly considered the forerunners of this scene. In fact, it was around 1958–1959 that Baj and Rotella abandoned their previous careers (which might be generically defined as belonging to a non-representational genre, despite being thoroughly post-Dadaist), to catapult themselves into a new world of images, and the reflections on them, which was springing up all around them. Rotella's torn posters showed an ever more figurative taste, often explicitly and deliberately referring to the great icons of the times. Baj's compositions were steeped in contemporary kitsch, which turned out to be a "gold mine" of images and the stimulus for an entire generation of artists.

The novelty came from the new visual panorama, both inside "domestic walls" and out-of-doors. Cars, road signs, television, all the "new world", everything can belong to the world of art, which itself is new. In this respect, Italian pop art takes the same ideological path as that of the international scene. The only thing that changes is the iconography and, in some cases, the presence of a more critical attitude toward it. Even in this case, the prototypes can be traced back to the works of Rotella and Baj, both far from neutral in their relationship with society. Yet this is not an exclusive element; there is a long line of artists, including Gianni Ruffi, Roberto Barni, Silvio Pasotti, Umberto Bignardi, and Claudio Cintoli, who take on reality as a toy, as a great pool of imagery from which to draw material with disenchantment and frivolity, questioning the traditional linguistic role models with a renewed spirit of "let me have fun" à la Aldo Palazzeschi.[45]

Belgium[edit]

In Belgium, pop art was represented by Paul Van Hoeydonck, whose sculpture Fallen Astronaut was left on the moon during one of the moon missions. Internationally recognized artists such as Marcel Broodthaers ( 'vous êtes doll? ") and Panamarenko are indebted to the pop art movement; Broodthaers's great influence was George Segal. Another well-known artist, Roger Raveel, mounted a birdcage with a real live pigeon in one of his paintings. By the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, pop art references disappeared from the work of these artists when they started to adopt a more critical attitude towards America because of the Vietnam War's increasingly gruesome character. Panamarenko, however, has retained the irony inherent in the pop art movement up to the present day.

Netherlands[edit]

While there was no formal pop art movement in the Netherlands, there were a group of artists that spent time in New York during the early years of pop art, and drew inspiration from the international pop art movement. Representatives of Dutch pop art include Daan van Golden, Gustave Asselbergs, Jacques Frenken, Jan Cremer, Wim T. Schippers, and Woody van Amen. They opposed the Dutch petit bourgeois mentality by creating humorous works with a serious undertone. Examples of this nature include Sex O'Clock, by Woody van Amen, and Crucifix / Target, by Jacques Frenken.[46]

Russian Federation[edit]

Russia was a little late to become part of the pop art movement, and some of the artwork that resembles pop art only surfaced around the early 1970s. Russia was a communist country at that point and bold artistic statements were closely monitored. Russia's own version of pop art was Soviet-themed and was referred to as Sots Art. After 1991, the Communist Party lost its power and the Russian revolution was beginning, and with it came a freedom to express. That is when pop art in Russia took on another form, epitomised by Dmitri Vrubel with his painting titled My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love in 1990. One might argue that the Soviet posters made in the 1950s to promote the wealth of the nation were in itself a form of pop art.[47]

Painting and sculpture examples[edit]

    Notable artists[edit]

    See also[edit]

    References[edit]

    1. ^Pop Art: A Brief History, MoMA Learning
    2. ^ abcdeLivingstone, M., Pop Art: A Continuing History, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1990
    3. ^ abcde la Croix, H.; Tansey, R., Gardner's Art Through the Ages, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1980.
    4. ^ abcdefPiper, David. The Illustrated History of Art, ISBN 0-7537-0179-0, p486-487.
    5. ^Harrison, Sylvia (2001-08-27). Pop Art and the Origins of Post-Modernism. Cambridge University Press. 
    6. ^ abcdGopnik, A.; Varnedoe, K., High & Low: Modern Art & Popular Culture, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1990
    7. ^"History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian". Smithsonianmag.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    8. ^"Modern Love". The New Yorker. 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    9. ^Wayne Craven, American Art: History and . p.464.
    10. ^ abcdefgArnason, H., History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1968.
    11. ^"'I was a Rich Man's Plaything', Sir Eduardo Paolozzi". Tate. 2015-12-10. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    12. ^"John McHale". Warholstars.org. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    13. ^"Pop art", A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art, Ian Chilvers. Oxford University Press, 1998.
    14. ^"Pop art", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, Michael Clarke, Oxford University Press, 2001.
    15. ^Alison and Peter Smithson, "But Today We Collect Ads", reprinted on page 54 in Modern Dreams The Rise and Fall of Pop, published by ICA and MIT, ISBN 0-262-73081-2
    16. ^Lawrence Alloway, "The Arts and the Mass Media," Architectural Design & Construction, February 1958.
    17. ^ abKlaus Honnef, Pop Art, Taschen, 2004, p. 6, ISBN 3822822183
    18. ^ abBarton, Christina (2010). Billy Apple: British and American Works 1960-69. London: The Mayor Gallery. pp. 11–21. ISBN 978-0-9558367-3-2. 
    19. ^ abcdScherman, Tony. "When Pop Turned the Art World Upside Down." American Heritage 52.1 (February 2001), 68.
    20. ^Sandler, Irving H.The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties, New York: Harper & Row, 1978. ISBN 0-06-438505-1 pp. 174–195, Rauschenberg and Johns; pp. 103–111, Rivers and the gestural realists.
    21. ^Robert Rosenblum, "Jasper Johns" Art International (September 1960): 75.
    22. ^Hapgood, Susan, Neo-Dada: Redefining Art, 1958-62. New York: Universe Books, 1994.
    23. ^Hendrickson, Janis (1988). Roy Lichtenstein. Cologne, Germany: Benedikt Taschen. p. 31. ISBN 3-8228-0281-6. 
    24. ^Kimmelman, Michael (September 30, 1997). "Roy Lichtenstein, Pop Master, Dies at 73". New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2007. 
    25. ^Michelson, Annette, Buchloh, B. H. D. (eds) Andy Warhol (October Files), MIT Press, 2001.
    26. ^Warhol, Andy. The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, from A to B and back again. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975
    27. ^"The Collection". MoMA.org. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    28. ^"The Great American Pop Art Store: Multiples of the Sixties". Tfaoi.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    29. ^Diggory (2013).
    30. ^ abKristine McKenna (July 2, 1995), When Bigger Is Better: Claes Oldenburg has spent the past 35 years blowing up and redefining everyday objects, all in the name of getting art off its pedestalLos Angeles Times.
    31. ^Reva Wolf. "Andy Warhol, Poetry, and Gossip in the 1960s". Books.google.com. p. 83. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    32. ^"Museum History » Norton Simon Museum". Nortonsimon.org. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    33. ^"Six painters and the object. Lawrence Alloway [curator, conceived and prepared this exhibition and the catalogue] (Computer file)". WorldCat.org. 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    34. ^Gayford, Martin (2002-12-19). "Still life at the check-out". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Ltd. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
    35. ^Pop Artists: Andy Warhol, Pop Art, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Peter Max, Erró, David Hockney, Wally Hedrick, Michael Leavitt (May 20, 2010) Reprinted: 2010, General Books, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, ISBN 978-1-155-48349-8, ISBN 1-155-48349-9.
    36. ^Jim Edwards, William Emboden, David McCarthy: Uncommonplaces: The Art of James Francis Gill, 2005, p.54
    37. ^Karl Ruhrberg, Ingo F. Walther, Art of the 20th Century, Taschen, 2000, p. 518. ISBN 3-8228-5907-9
    38. ^ abKerstin Stremmel, Realism, Taschen, 2004, p. 13. ISBN 3-8228-2942-0
    39. ^Rosemary M. O'Neill, Art and Visual Culture on the French Riviera, 1956–1971: The Ecole de Nice, Ashgate, 2012, p. 93.
    40. ^60/90. Trente ans de Nouveau Réalisme, La Différence, 1990, p. 76
    41. ^Eskola, Jack (2015). Harue Koga: David Bowie of the Early 20th Century Japanese Art Avant-garde. Kindle, e-book. 
    42. ^"Yayoi Kusama interview – Yayoi Kusama exhibition". Timeout.com. 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    43. ^[1]Archived November 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
    44. ^"Tadanori Yokoo : ADC • Global Awards & Club". Adcglobal.org. 1936-06-27. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
    45. ^"Pop Art Italia 1958-1968 — Galleria Civica". Comune.modena.it. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
    Eduardo Paolozzi, I was a Rich Man's Plaything (1947). Part of his Bunk! series, this is considered the initial bearer of "pop art" and the first to display the word "pop".
    The Cheddar Cheese canvas from Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans, 1962.

    "Pop is everything art hasn't been for the last two decades. It's basically a U-turn back to a representational visual communication, moving at a break-away speed...Pop is a re-enlistment in the world...It is the American Dream, optimistic, generous and naïve."

    Synopsis

    Pop art started with the New York artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg, all of whom drew on popular imagery and were actually part of an international phenomenon. Following the popularity of the Abstract Expressionists, Pop's reintroduction of identifiable imagery (drawn from mass media and popular culture) was a major shift for the direction of modernism. The subject matter became far from traditional "high art" themes of morality, mythology, and classic history; rather, Pop artists celebrated commonplace objects and people of everyday life, in this way seeking to elevate popular culture to the level of fine art. Perhaps owing to the incorporation of commercial images, Pop art has become one of the most recognizable styles of modern art.

    Key Ideas

    By creating paintings or sculptures of mass culture objects and media stars, the Pop art movement aimed to blur the boundaries between "high" art and "low" culture. The concept that there is no hierarchy of culture and that art may borrow from any source has been one of the most influential characteristics of Pop art.

    It could be argued that the Abstract Expressionists searched for trauma in the soul, while Pop artists searched for traces of the same trauma in the mediated world of advertising, cartoons, and popular imagery at large. But it is perhaps more precise to say that Pop artists were the first to recognize that there is no unmediated access to anything, be it the soul, the natural world, or the built environment. Pop artists believed everything is inter-connected, and therefore sought to make those connections literal in their artwork.

    Although Pop art encompasses a wide variety of work with very different attitudes and postures, much of it is somewhat emotionally removed. In contrast to the "hot" expression of the gestural abstraction that preceded it, Pop art is generally "coolly" ambivalent. Whether this suggests an acceptance of the popular world or a shocked withdrawal, has been the subject of much debate.

    Pop artists seemingly embraced the post-WWII manufacturing and media boom. Some critics have cited the Pop art choice of imagery as an enthusiastic endorsement of the capitalist market and the goods it circulated, while others have noted an element of cultural critique in the Pop artists' elevation of the everyday to high art: tying the commodity status of the goods represented to the status of the art object itself, emphasizing art's place as, at base, a commodity.

    The majority of Pop artists began their careers in commercial art: Andy Warhol was a highly successful magazine illustrator and graphic designer; Ed Ruscha was also a graphic designer, and James Rosenquist started his career as a billboard painter. Their background in the commercial art world trained them in the visual vocabulary of mass culture as well as the techniques to seamlessly merge the realms of high art and popular culture.

    Most Important Art

    Campbell's Soup Cans (1962)

    Artist: Andy Warhol

    Warhol's iconic series of Campbell's Soup Cans paintings were never meant to be celebrated for their form or compositional style, like that of the abstractionists. What made these works significant was Warhol's co-opting of universally recognizable imagery, such as a Campbell's soup can, Mickey Mouse, or the face of Marilyn Monroe, and depicting it as a mass-produced item, but within a fine art context. In that sense, Warhol wasn't just emphasizing popular imagery, but rather providing commentary on how people have come to perceive these things in modern times: as commodities to be bought and sold, identifiable as such with one glance. This early series was hand-painted, but Warhol switched to screenprinting shortly afterwards, favoring the mechanical technique for his mass culture imagery. 100 canvases of campbell's soup cans made up his first solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, and put Warhol on the art world map almost immediately, forever changing the face and content of modern art.

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    Pop Art Artworks in Focus:

    Pop Art Overview Continues Below

    Beginnings

    Great Britain: The Independent Group

    In 1952, a gathering of artists in London calling themselves the Independent Group began meeting regularly to discuss topics such as mass culture's place in fine art, the found object, and science and technology. Members included Edouardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, architects Alison and Peter Smithson, and critics Lawrence Alloway and Reyner Banham. Britain in the early 1950s was still emerging from the austerity of the post-war years, and its citizens were ambivalent about American popular culture. While the group was suspicious of its commercial character, they were enthusiastic about the rich world pop culture seemed to promise for the future. The imagery they discussed at length included that found in Western movies, science fiction, comic books, billboards, automobile design, and rock and roll music.

    The actual term "Pop art" has several possible origins: the first use of the term in writing has been attributed to both Lawrence Alloway and Alison and Peter Smithson, and alternately to Richard Hamilton, who defined Pop in a letter, while the first artwork to incorporate the word "Pop" was produced by Paolozzi. His collage I Was a Rich Man's Plaything (1947) contained cut-up images of a pinup girl, Coca-Cola logo, cherry pie, World War II bomber, and a man's hand holding a pistol, out of which burst the world "POP!" in a puffy white cloud.

    British Pop Art Movement Page

    New York City: The Emergence of Neo-Dada

    By the mid 1950s, the artists working in New York City faced a critical juncture in modern art: following the Abstract Expressionists or rebel against the strict formalism advocated by many schools of modernism. By this time, Jasper Johns was already troubling conventions with abstract paintings that included references to: "things the mind already knows" - targets, flags, handprints, letters, and numbers. Meanwhile, Robert Rauschenberg's "combines" incorporated found objects and images, with more traditional materials like oil paint. Similarly, Allan Kaprow's"Happenings" and the Fluxus movements chose to incorporate aspects from the surrounding world into their art. These artists, along with others, later became grouped in the movement known as Neo-Dada. The now classic New York Pop art of Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol emerged in the 1960 in the footsteps of the Neo-Dadaists.

    Concepts and Styles

    Once the transition from the found-object constructions of the Neo-Dada artists to the Pop movement was complete, there was widespread interest on the part of artists in the incorporation of popular culture into their work. Although artists in the Independent Group in London initiated the use of "pop" in reference to art, American artists soon followed suit and incorporated popular culture into their artwork as well. Although the individual styles vary widely, all of the artists maintain a commonality in their choice of popular culture imagery as their fundamental subject. Shortly after American Pop art arrived on the art world scene, mainland European variants developed in the Capitalist Realist movement in Germany and the Nouveau Réalisme movement in France.

    Richard Hamilton, Edouardo Paolozzi, and the Tabular Image

    The Pop art collages of Paolozzi and Hamilton convey the mixed feelings Europeans maintained toward American popular culture; both exalting the mass-produced objects and images while also criticizing the excess. In his collage, Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? (1956), Hamilton combined images from various mass media sources, carefully selecting each image and composing the disparate elements of popular imagery into one coherent survey of post-war consumer culture. The members of the Independent Group were the first artists to present mass media imagery, acknowledging the challenges to traditional art categories occurring in America and Britain after 1945.

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    Pop Art Overview Continues

    Roy Lichtenstein and Pulp Culture

    Lichtenstein proved that he could fulfill demands for a "great" composition even though his subject matter derived from comic books. In addition to using the imagery from these mass-produced picture books, Lichtenstein appropriated the techniques used to create the images in comic books to create his paintings. He not only adopted the same bright colors and clear outlines as popular art, his most innovative contribution was his use of Ben-Day dots: small dots used to render color in mass-manufactured comics. Focusing on a single panel within a comic strip, Lichtenstein's canvases are not an exact facsimile, but are rather the artist's creative re-imaging of the composition in which elements may have been added or eliminated, scale could shift, and text might be edited. By hand-painting the usually machine-generated dots, and recreating comic book scenes, Lichtenstein blurred the distinction between mass reproduction and high art.

    James Rosenquist and the Monumental Image

    Rosenquist also directly appropriated images from popular culture for his paintings. However, rather than produce rote copies, Rosenquist exerted creative control through his surrealistic juxtapositions of products and celebrities, often inserting political messages. As part of his method, Rosenquist collaged magazine clippings from advertisements and photo spreads, and then used the results as studies for his final painting. Rosenquist's training in billboard painting transitioned perfectly into his realistic renderings of those collages expanded onto a monumental scale. With works often much larger and wider than 20 feet, Rosenquist imbued the mundane with the same status previously reserved for high, sometimes royal, art subjects.

    Andy Warhol and Repetition

    Andy Warhol is most famous for his vividly colored portraits of celebrities, but his subject matter has varied widely throughout his career. The common theme amidst the different subjects is their inspiration in mass consumer culture. His earliest works depict objects like Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell's soup cans, reproduced ad infinitum, as if the gallery wall were a shelf in a supermarket. Warhol transitioned from hand painting to screenprinting to further facilitate the large-scale replication of pop images. Warhol's insistence on mechanical reproduction rejected notions of artistic authenticity and genius. Instead, he acknowledged the commodification of art, proving that paintings were no different from cans of Campbell's soup; both have material worth and could be bought and sold like consumer goods. He further equated the mass-produced status of consumer goods with that of celebrities in portraits like Marilyn Diptych (1962).

    Claes Oldenburg and Pop Sculpture

    Renowned for his monumental public sculptures of everyday objects and his "soft" sculptures, Claes Oldenburg began his career on a much smaller scale. In 1961 he rented a storefront in New York City for a month where he installed and sold his wire and plaster sculptures of mundane objects, ranging from pastries to men's and women's undergarments, in an installation he dubbed The Store. Oldenburg charged a nominal fee for each piece, which underscored his commentary on the role of art as a commodity. He began his soft sculptures shortly after The Store, constructing large, everyday objects, like a slice of cake, an ice cream cone, or a mixer, out of fabric and stuffing so the end result collapses in on itself like a deflating balloon. Oldenburg would continue to focus on commonplace objects throughout his career, moving from soft sculptures to grand public art, like the 45-foot-high Clothespin (1974) in downtown Philadelphia. Regardless of the scale, Oldenburg's work always maintains a playful attitude toward re-creating mundane things in an unconventional way in order to upend viewer's expectations.

    Los Angeles Pop

    As opposed to New York City, the art world of Los Angeles was much less rigid, lacking the established galleries, critics, and hierarchies of the east coast; this openness is reflected in the styles of the artists who lived and worked there. The first museum survey of Pop art, New Painting of Common Objects, was held at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1962, and showcased Warhol and Lichtenstein as well as many artists living in Los Angeles including Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode, Phillip Hefferton, Wayne Thiebaud, and Robert Dowd. Other Los Angeles artists, like Billy Al Bengston, incorporated a different kind of aesthetic into their version of Pop, utilizing new materials such as automobile paint and referencing surfing and motorcycles in works that make the familiar strange through new and unexpected combinations of images and media. By shifting the focus away from specific consumer goods, these artists allowed Pop art to move beyond replication to incorporate experience and evoke a particular feeling, attitude, or idea, while also pushing the boundaries between high art and popular culture.

    Ed Ruscha and Signage

    On the roster at Ferus Gallery, Ed Ruscha was one of the pivotal artists of Los Angeles Pop who worked in a variety of media, with the majority of his Pop works typically printed or painted. Emphasizing the omnipresence of signage in Los Angeles, Ruscha used words and phrases as subjects in his earliest Pop art paintings. His first reference to popular culture was the painting Large Trademark with Eight Spotlights (1962), where he appropriated the 20th Century Fox logo in a simplified composition with the hard edges and clear palette of a cartoon, echoing the similar billboards. His subsequent paintings of words further blurred the lines between advertising signage, painting, and abstraction, undermining the divisions between the aesthetic world and the commercial realm, some even incorporating three-dimensional objects like pencils and comic books on the canvases. Ruscha's work presages the Conceptual art of the later 1960s, driven by the idea behind the artwork rather than the specific image. Ruscha's exploration of a variety of commonplace images and themes went beyond merely reproducing them, but to examining the interchangeability of image, text, place, and experience.

    Capitalist Realism in Germany

    In Germany, the counterpart to the American Pop art movement was Capitalist Realism, a movement that focused on subjects taken from commodity culture and utilized an aesthetic based in the mass media. The group was founded by Sigmar Polke in 1963 and included artists Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg as its central members. The Capitalist Realists sought to expose the consumerism and superficiality of contemporary capitalist society by using the imagery and aesthetic of popular art and advertising within their work. Polke explored the creative possibilities of mechanical reproduction and Lueg examined pop culture imagery, while Richter dissected the photographic medium.

    Nouveau Réalisme in France

    In France, aspects of Pop art were present in Nouveau Réalisme, a movement launched by the critic Pierre Restany in 1960, with the drafting of the "Constitutive Declaration of New Realism," that proclaimed, "Nouveau Réalisme - new ways of perceiving the real." The declaration was signed in Yves Klein's workshop by nine artists who were united in their direct appropriation of mass culture, or in Restany's words, "poetic recycling of urban, industrial, and advertising reality." This principle is evident in the work of Villeglé, whose technique of "décollage" involved cutting through layers of posters to create a new image. While the movement echoed the American Pop artists' concerns with commercial culture, many of the Nouveau Réalistes were more concerned with objects than with painting, as is the case with Spoerri, whose "snare-pictures" used food, cutlery, and tabletops as artistic media. Other key proponents of the movement included Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Arman, François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Christo.

    Later Developments

    Pop art would continue to influence artists in later decades, with artists like Warhol maintaining a larger-than-life presence within the New York art world into the 1980s. Pop fell out of favor during the 1970s as the art world shifted focus from art objects to installations, performances, and other less tangible art forms. However, with the revival of painting at the end of the 1970s and in the early 1980s, the art object came back into favor once again, and popular culture provided subject matter that was easy for viewers to identify and understand. One of the leading figures of the Neo-Pop movement was Jeff Koons, whose appropriation of pop culture icons such as Michael Jackson and mass-produced objects like Hoover vacuum cleaners further pushed the boundaries of high art. In Japan, the work of Takashi Murakami has been cited as a more recent example of Neo-Pop, due to his use of popular anime imagery in his "Superflat" style and his successful partnering with fashion labels like Louis Vuitton. Such artists continue to break down the barrier between high and low art forms, while reevaluating the role of art as a commodity in and of itself.


    Look Mickey(1961) (detail) by Roy Lichtenstein

    Coca Cola Bottles by Andy Warhol

    Bunnies (1966)(detail) by Sigmar Polke

    'This is Tomorrow' exhibition in London (1956)

    Jasper Johns in front of his breakthrough Flag painting (~1955) Photograph by Robert Rauschenberg

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