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Pop Art

POP ART

POP ART refers to the paintings, sculpture, assemblages, and collages of a small, yet influential, group of artists from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. Unlike abstract expressionism, pop art incorporated a wide range of media, imagery, and subject matter hitherto excluded from the realm of fine art. Pop artists cared little about creating unique art objects; they preferred to borrow their subject matter and techniques from the mass media, often transforming widely familiar photographs, icons, and styles into ironic visual artifacts. Such is the case in two of the most recognizable works of American pop art: Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Can (1964), a gigantic silkscreen of the iconic red-and-white can, and Roy Lichtenstein's Whaam! (1963), one of his many paintings rendered in the style of a comic book image.

American pop art emerged from a number of converging interests both in the United States and abroad. As early as 1913, Marcel Duchamp introduced "ready made" objects into a fine-art context. Similarly Robert Rauschenberg's "combine-paintings" and Jasper John's flag paintings of the mid-1950s are frequently cited as examples of proto-pop. However, the term "pop art" originated in Britain, where it had reached print by 1957. In the strictest sense, pop art was born in a series of discussions at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts by the Independent Group, a loose coalition of artists and critics fascinated with postwar American popular culture. The 1956 "This Is Tomorrow" exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery introduced many of the conventions of pop art. Its most famous work, Richard Hamilton's collage Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing? (1956), uses consumerist imagery from magazines, advertisements, and comic books to parody media representations of the American dream.

By the early 1960s, American pop artists were drawing upon many of the same sources as their British counterparts. Between 1960 and 1961, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Mel Ramos each produced a series of paintings based on comic book characters. James Rosenquist's early work juxtaposed billboard images in an attempt to reproduce the sensual overload characteristic of American culture. As the decade progressed, and a sense of group identity took hold, pop artists strove even further to challenge long-held beliefs within the art community. The work of such artists as Tom Wesselmann, Ed Ruscha, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine introduced even greater levels of depersonalization, irony, even vulgarity, into American fine art.


Not surprisingly, older critics were often hostile toward pop art. Despite the social critique found in much pop art, it quickly found a home in many of America's premiere collections and galleries. Several pop artists willingly indulged the media's appetite for bright, attention-grabbing art. Andy Warhol's sales skyrocketed in the late-1960s as he churned out highly recognizable silk screens of celebrities and consumer products. By the decade's end, however, the movement itself was becoming obsolete. Although pop art was rapidly succeeded by other artistic trends, its emphasis on literalism, familiar imagery, and mechanical methods of production would have a tremendous influence on the art of the following three decades.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alloway, Lawrence. American Pop Art. New York: Collier Books, 1974.

Crow, Thomas E. The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent 1955–1969. London: George Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1996.

Livingstone, Marco. Pop Art: A Continuing History. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2000.

John M.Kinder

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"Pop Art." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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pop art

pop art, movement that restored realism to avant-garde art; it first emerged in Great Britain at the end of the 1950s as a reaction against the seriousness of abstract expressionism. British and American pop artists employed imagery found in comic strips, soup cans, soda bottles, and other commonplace objects to express formal abstract relationships. By this means they provided a meeting ground where artist and layman could come to terms with art. Incorporating techniques of sign painting and commercial art into their work, as well as commercial literary imagery, pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol attempted to fuse elements of popular and high culture, erasing the boundaries between the two.

See L. Alloway, ed. Modern Dreams: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Pop Art (1988); H. Foster, The First Pop Age (2011).

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"pop art." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pop art." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pop-art

pop art

pop art began in Britain in the mid-1950s and then spread to America. The movement was based upon the assumption that all aspects of modern life, including advertising, cinema, popular music, and consumer goods, were in themselves art-forms. The term was coined by art critic Lawrence Alloway, one of a number of artists, architects, and critics, known as the Independent Group, who met at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Among the more important names associated with British pop art were Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake, and David Hockney.

June Cochrane

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"pop art." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pop art." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pop-art

pop art

pop art Movement inspired by consumerist images and popular culture that flourished in the USA and Britain from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Pop art borrowed ideas from comic books, advertisements, packaging, television, and films. Characteristic techniques included silk-screen printing and collage. Leading artists included Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Hamilton, and David Hockney.

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"pop art." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pop art." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pop-art

pop art

pop art • n. art based on modern popular culture and the mass media, esp. as a critical or ironic comment on traditional fine art values.

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"pop art." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pop art." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pop-art