Pop Art Movement
The art movement I have chosen to study is Pop Art, before I decided on the movement of my choice I looked at other movements such as Impressionism and Surrealism. Both of these movements had their own unique qualities however, I found Pop Art very intriguing and wanted to look further into the movement. I have looked into the background and context, the key players and their work, the themes and styles associated with Pop Art as well as the reaction to the movement.
Pop art emerged in both New York and Great Britain around the mid 1950s and became the dominant player in the 1960’s, it has now become the biggest movement in the twentieth century, and it draws themes from popular culture such as television, films, comics and advertising. [cited 12/12/2010]
By the early fifties artists began to realise that their culture was being highly determined by mass media, new technology and by social change this was an effect of increased Americanization of Europe states T. Osterworld, Pop Art, 2007. The older generation of artist such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth were not kin to reflect the new cultural transformation; it was this that made the Independent group held an informal meeting to discuss the cultural events at the institute of contemporary arts in London states Osterworld, 2007 (Pg 63). Members of this institution include Richard Hamilton and Neil Henderson they were said to be the organisational minds of the groups states Osterworld, 2007 (Pg63). Osterworld also stated the topics of the meetings included artistic techniques beyond the traditional forms of representation, action painting, folk culture, the mass media, advertising, the cinema and comics. They discussed these concepts with the intention of “bringing their alternative views to bear on contemporary cultural problems and of formulating a response adequate to the demands of their day” T. Osterworld, Pop Art, 2007 pg 63
Pop Culture and Pop art was being refereed to mass popular culture rather than works of art by 1958-stated Osterworld, 2007 (Pg 71). Pop Art was now being employed to describe new works of art produced and had spread to become the central stylistic concept on the scene stated Osterworld, 2007 (Pg 71).
The first stage of British Pop Art had focussed on performed media imagery, then the changed in society that brought along the second phrase of Pop Art stated Osterworld 2007 (Pg 75). Pop Art was beginning to spread quickly and by the third phase it was making its presence felt for the first time at exhibition ‘young Contemporaries’ in 1960, states T. Osterworld, Pop Art, 2003 (Pg 75).
American Pop Art also evolved round the fifties, it had major European influences states Osterworld (Pg 83). The impact of mass media, star cult and the raise of New York and Hollywood was a key impact for Pop Art states Osterworld, 2007 (Pg83). Guided by change in society a younger generation of artist were starting to shine through. Osterworld also argued American Pop Art occurred in four phases; the first was the pre- Pop phases, which saw key artist Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg ‘taking their leave of Abstract expressionism’. Commercial art, design and poster painting saw the emergence of a number of important artists these were Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and many others explained Osterworld. One of the artist transformed objects and human figures into ‘vehicles of generalized statement” stated by Osterworld, 2007 (Pg 83). Pop Art become to achieve success and recognition as an art movement, by the mid sixties it got more developed and subject matter expanded however it still fall back on traditional techniques of composition and style states Osterworld, 2007 (Pg 83) . By this stage American Pop Art had spread from New York through to the West Coast, Canada and later to Europe and continuing to Britain even though Pop Art had already made its mark here, states osterworld 2007(Pg 92).
References: K. HONNEF, 2004: Pop Art. Taschen
D McCARTHY, 2000: Movement in Modern art: Pop Art. Tate publishing
T. OSTERWORLD, 2007. Pop Art. Taschen Gmbh.
Get Pop Art [online] [cited 14th December 2010]
Pop Art: The Art History Archive – Movements [online] [cited 12th December 2010]
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