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date: 16 December 2019

Pop artlocked

  • Jaimey Hamilton

Extract

International art movement in the 1960s inspired by the imagery of mass media and commercial and ‘popular’ culture. Pop was initially defined in 1957 by English artist Richard Hamilton, a member of the Independent Group, and achieved its greatest recognition as a movement with American artists Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. At the height of the Cold War (1962–9), when America cultivated new political, economic, and cultural spheres of influence, the American artists’ works were often seen to reflect the apex of consumer capitalism. In this context, regional Pop art-oriented circles also arose in Western and Central Europe, Japan, and Latin America, often in direct response to American Pop and American commercial and political interests. Because of its international dissemination, Pop coheres less around a strict notion of style or consistent attitude and more around a period interest and varied response to mass media and new commodity-driven lifestyles. Artists associated with the movement often appropriated business logos, billboard and magazine advertisements, household objects, grocery store commodities, comic book strips, pulp fiction, movie icons, TV broadcasts, and more. At its most rigorous, Pop art exhibits a direct relationship between popular culture and the techniques of its production and dissemination. Even when painting on canvas, many artists referenced commercial design and printing (for example Roy Lichtenstein’s use of Ben Day dots). Airbrush, stencilling, photo transfer, and silkscreen printing became more accepted. Multiples (as in Andy Warhol’s ...

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