Save Up To 70% Off Retail Prices! | Free Artwork Giveaway | Best Offer | Weekly Deals |  Have Questions? Call 1-888-851-5650  
Learning Center - Home
Art 101 - The Essential Guide
Exclusive Articles
Dictionary of Art Terms
YouTube Channel Opens In New Window.
Fine Art Blog Opens In New Window.
Find the Perfect Artwork!
New to or want to find the perfect artwork fast? Pick a starting point below!
New Arrivals
Artwork On Sale (Up to 70% off)
Weekly DealsHot!
Top Artists & Best SellersHot!
Browse Entire Collection
Featured CollectionsHot!
Browse by Artist Name
Artists In The Spotlight
Browse by Subjects of InterestHot!
Browse by Medium
Browse by Artwork Title
Browse by Dominant Color
Browse by Price Range
Browse by Artwork Dimensions Custom Framing & Online Frame ShopCustom Framing!
Save Time & Money! Fast Turnaround. Learn more...

Best Offer empowers you to negotiate a lower price for an item just like in real life!Like to Negotiate?
Submit an Offer and save a bunch of money! Learn more...

Get the art you want with the Layaway Program!Lay-It-Away!
Buy now and pay later. No Interest or Fees! Learn more...

Listen to eclectic music while you shop!I-Radio!
Shop & listen to eclectic sounds from around the globe! Launch I-Radio. Newsletter
Enjoy exclusive discounts and offers, new product information, decorating tips, educational content, and much more...
View Sample Opens In New Window. | Zero-Spam Policy
Pop Art
Back Articles Main Page
Email Page Email To A Friend
Print Article
Add To Social Network
RSS Feed

Pop Art is a visual arts movement of the 1950s and 1960s, principally in the United States and Britain. The images of pop art (shortened from "popular art") were taken from mass culture. Some artists duplicated beer bottles, soup cans, comic strips, road signs, and similar objects in paintings, collages, and sculptures. Others incorporated the objects themselves into their paintings or sculptures, sometimes in startlingly modified form. Materials of modern technology, such as plastic, urethane foam, and acrylic paint, often figured prominently. One of the most important artistic movements of the 20th century, pop art not only influenced the work of subsequent artists but also had an impact on commercial, graphic, and fashion design.

The historical antecedents of pop art include the works of Dadaists (see Dada) such as the French artist Marcel Duchamp, as well as a tradition, in U.S. painting of the 19th and early 20th centuries, of trompe l'oeil pictures and other depictions of familiar objects. Moreover, a number of pop artists had at times earned their living by working as commercial artists.

The pop art movement itself, however, began as a reaction against the abstract expressionist style of the 1940s and 1950s, which the pop artists considered overly intellectual, subjective, and divorced from reality. Adopting the goal of the American composer John Cage - to close the gap between life and art - pop artists embraced the environment of everyday life. In using images that reflected the materialism and vulgarity of modern mass culture, they sought to provide a perception of reality even more immediate than that offered by the realistic painting of the past. They also worked to be impersonal - that is, to allow the viewer to respond directly to the object, rather than to the skill and personality of the artist. Occasionally, however, an element of satire or social criticism can be discerned.

In the United States, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns provided the initial impetus - Rauschenberg with his collages constructed from household objects such as quilts and pillows, Johns with his series of paintings depicting American flags and bull's-eye targets. The first full-fledged pop work was Just What Is It That Makes Today's Home So Different, So Appealing? (1956, private collection) by the British artist Richard Hamilton. In this satiric collage of two ludicrous figures in a living room, the pop hallmarks of exuberance, incongruity, crudeness, and good humor are emphasized.

Pop art developed rapidly during the 1960s. In 1960 the British artist David Hockney produced Typhoo Tea (London, Kasmin Gallery), one of the earliest paintings to portray a brand-name commercial product. In the same year Johns finished his painted cast bronzes of Ballantine beer cans. In 1961Claes Oldenburg, an American, constructed the first of his garish, humorous plastic sculptures of hamburgers and other fast-food items. At the same time Roy Lichtenstein, another American, extended the range of pop art with his oil paintings that mimic blown-up frames of comic strips. Several pop artists also produced happenings, or theatrical events staged as art objects.

In addition to appropriating the subject matter of mass culture, pop art appropriated the techniques of mass production. Rauschenberg and Johns had already abandoned individual, titled paintings in favor of large series of works, all depicting the same objects. In the early 1960s the American Andy Warhol carried the idea a step further by adopting the mass-production technique of silk-screening, turning out hundreds of identical prints of Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell's soup cans, and other familiar subjects, including identical three dimensional Brillo boxes.

Other important pop works by American artists are the white plaster casts of real people in real settings, by George Segal; pastries depicted in thick paint that resembles cake frosting, by Wayne Thiebaud; paintings imitating billboards, by James Rosenquist; the satiric Great American Nudes series of Tom Wesselmann; objects combined with painting, by Jim Dine; and designs of words, numbers and symbols, by Robert Indiana. In Britain, Peter Blake produced mock-serious publicity-shot images of popular heroes, and the American-born R. B. Kitaj painted images often called "collages of ideas," incorporating obscure literary allusions but with a strong figurative basis.

Like this Article? Share it!
Tweet this Article on Twitter Post this Article to facebook Add this Article to! Digg this Article Add this Article to Reddit Add this Article to Technorati Add this Article to Newsvine Add this Article to Windows Live Add this Article to Yahoo Add this Article to StumbleUpon Add this Article to Spurl Add this Article to Google Add this Article to Ask Add this Article to Squidoo
  Go to top of page.
About ArtRev.comContact InformationAffiliate ProgramCustomer ServiceTerms of UsePrivacy Toolbar
See on Houz