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Article

Roberto Pontual

(b São Paulo, 1935).

Brazilian painter and printmaker. After studying engraving in São Paulo, he moved to New York in 1959 to complete his studies at the Pratt Graphic Center, where his contact with international Pop art merged with his own interest in Brazilian popular imagery, for example in the portfolio of woodcuts Mine and Yours (1967). Immediately afterwards he began painting ambiguous and ironic still-lifes collectively titled Brasíliana, which use bananas as symbols of underdevelopment and exploitation, for example BR-1 SP (1970; São Paulo, Pin. Estado) and Bananas (1971; Washington, DC, Mus. Mod. A. Latin America). In 1971 he won a trip abroad in the National Salon of Modern Art (Rio de Janeiro), which took him again to New York between 1972 and 1973. On his return to São Paulo he began the series Battlegrounds, in which he submitted the previously reclining bananas to slashing, torture and putrefaction. Subsequently shapes were reorganized into configurations of an undramatic Surrealism, playful, colourful, tumescent and as firmly rooted as ever in his native Brazil and Latin America....

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Dodge City, KA, June 7, 1934).

American painter. He studied at City College, Los Angeles (1953–5), California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA (1955–6) and Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles (1956–7). Between 1961 and 1973 he lectured at various art colleges. After initially studying ceramics, Bengston began to concentrate on painting in 1956 and participated in the first group show at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1957, which put him at the centre the region’s new avant-garde, alongside such figures as Ed Kienholtz and Ed Moses. He is best known for the elegiac, Dada-esque tone of his work in the 1960s, when he was heavily influenced by the motorbike and car culture of Southern California, from which he drew motifs such as chevrons, Draculas and love hearts. Mr. Britt (1960; see 1988 exh. cat, pl. 3) is typical in its placement of sergeant stripes in a square in the centre, surrounded by a flat covering of forest green. ...

Article

Frederick R. Brandt

(b Buffalo, NY, June 16, 1930; d Dec 17, 1998).

American painter and printmaker. He studied painting in Mexico City from 1957 to 1959 with John Golding (b 1929) under the terms of the G.I. Bill. His reputation as a Pop artist was established by his first New York one-man exhibition in 1963 where he showed his first acrylic paintings of the American highway and industrial landscape, such as Highway U.S. 1 – No. 3 (1963; Richmond, VA Mus. F.A.). Such large-scale canvases visually transported the viewer through a time sequence, as if travelling along a highway, catching glimpses of trees, dividing lines, signs and route markers. In subsequent works D’Arcangelo continued to examine the American landscape both as directly experienced and in the form of generalized contemporary symbols. An essentially flat and impersonal style allowed him to suggest an illusionistic space without sacrificing the viewer’s consciousness of the picture plane. This ambiguity between real and fictive space is further enforced in works such as ...

Article

Jean E. Feinberg

(b Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 1935).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, performance artist, stage designer and poet. He studied art at the Cincinnati Arts Academy (1951–3) and later at the Boston Museum School and Ohio University (1954–7). In 1957 he married Nancy Minto and the following year they moved to New York. Dine’s first involvement with the art world was in his Happenings of 1959–60. These historic theatrical events, for example The Smiling Workman (performed at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1959), took place in chaotic, makeshift environments built by the artist–performer. During the same period he created his first assemblages, which incorporated found materials. Simultaneously he developed the method by which he produced his best known work—paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict and expressively interpret common images and objects.

Clothing and domestic objects featured prominently in Dine’s paintings of the 1960s, with a range of favoured motifs including ties, shoes and bathroom items such as basins, showers and toothbrushes (e.g. ...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Oklahoma City, OK, March 23, 1937).

American painter and sculptor. During the late 1950s he moved from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles and attended the Chouinard Art Institute (1959–61) with his childhood friend Ed Ruscha. He subsequently became associated with the emerging Pop art movement when his paintings of milk bottles appeared in Walter Hopps’s 1962 exhibition New Paintings of Common Objects at the Pasadena Art Museum.

Although Goode’s work has often been compared to that of such Pop artists as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, it shares little of their preoccupation with either the mass media or technological reproduction. In many respects, his paintings and sculptures have much more in common with the work of Jasper Johns than they do with advertisements and consumer objects. In particular, his work develops the tension between the object and the image that was so central to Johns’s flag and target paintings during the late 1950s. In his milk bottle paintings, for example, he positioned painted bottles in front of low-hung, nearly monochrome canvases to explore the dynamic between the painting as an illusion and a decorative backdrop. During the late 1960s, he also constructed a series of staircases that ran up the walls or into the corners of the gallery. These works made coy reference to the recession of pictorial space in perspectival painting (not to mention Marcel Duchamp’s ...

Article

Kristine Stiles

(b New Castle, IN, Sept 13, 1928).

American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1949–53), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (summer 1953) and Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art (1953–4), before settling in New York in 1954. There in the late 1950s he began assembling wood sculptures from found materials, often stencilling painted words on to them, as in Moon (h. 1.98 m, 1960; New York, MOMA). He called these works Herms after the quadrangular, stone stelae guardian figures that served as signposts in crossroads in ancient Greece and Rome. Indiana called himself a ‘sign painter’ to suggest the humble origins of his artistic activity in the American work ethic and to indicate his fascination with the use of words in signs. Joining his interest in Americana with the formal and signifying elements of signs, he visualized the superficial and illusory American Dream in paintings characterized by flat bright colours and clearly defined contours influenced by the hard-edge paintings by friends such as Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Youngerman....

Article

Michael Crichton

(b Augusta, GA, May 15, 1930).

American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. With Robert Rauschenberg, he was one of the leading figures in the American Pop art movement, and he became particularly well known for his use of the imagery of targets, flags, maps, and other instantly recognizable subjects. Although he attended the University of South Carolina for over a year, and later briefly attended an art school in New York, Johns is considered a self-taught artist. His readings in psychology and philosophy, particularly the work of Wittgenstein; his study of Cézanne, Duchamp, Leonardo, Picasso, and other artists; and his love of poetry have all found expression in his work. His attention to history and his logical rigour led him to create a progressive body of work.

In 1954, after a dream, Johns painted a picture of the American flag (see fig.). At the time he was living in New York, as a struggling young artist. During the three years that followed, Johns painted more flags, as well as targets, alphabets, and other emblematic, impersonal images. None of this work was formally exhibited until ...

Article

Mary Emma Harris

(b Detroit, Oct 16, 1927; d Sag Harbor, NY, Jan 13, 1995).

American painter, draughtsman, and performance artist. He studied with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, NC, from 1945 to 1948, where he met John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Richard Lippold. His collages, paintings, drawings, and performances have been associated with geometric abstraction, Pop art, Neo-Dada, and conceptual art, although they do not fit neatly into any existing categories. Relationship, correspondence, interaction, metaphor, and flux are all themes of Johnson’s work, which reflects an often witty and satirical, but essentially poetic, perception. Delicate collages such as Anna May Wong (1971; New York, Whitney) incorporate found objects, altered photographs, textured surfaces, drawing, painting, words and syllables, printed text, and other materials. Similar combinations of text and image were used in his book, The Paper Snake (New York, 1965). Operating from 1968 as the New York Correspondence School and from 1975 as Buddha University, he circulated collages and other materials using the US postal system, establishing ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Cleveland, OH, Oct 29, 1932; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 21, 2007).

American painter and printmaker. Born Ronald Brooks and brought up by his mother and Viennese Jewish stepfather, at an early age he developed a cosmopolitan outlook and compassionate socialism that had a permanent effect on him. Fired by discussions about the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War and by the seam of European history represented by his stepfather and stepgrandmother, who also came to live with the family, he educated himself as much through various voyages as a merchant seaman in Latin America as through spells at art schools, first at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, in 1950 and in 1951–2 at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, under Albert Paris von Gütersloh. After his marriage in 1953 to Elsi Roessler, a fellow American student whom he had met in Vienna, he made his first extended visit to the quiet Catalan port of San Felíu de Guixols, to which he was to return on numerous occasions over the next 30 years. From ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

revised by Gillian Sneed

(b São Paulo, Dec 21, 1931; d São Paulo, Sept 12, 2010).

Brazilian painter and draftsman. The grandson of missionaries from the United States and Brazilians of Portuguese descent, Lee grew up in São Paulo. In the early 1950s he trained at the Museu de Arte Assis Châteaubriand (MASP), São Paulo, and later at the Parsons School of Design in New York, where he studied graphic arts. In New York he was introduced to Dada and Neo-Dada through the works of Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns, which influenced his early practice. He returned to Brazil in 1955, working in an advertising agency until 1957, when he became an apprentice in the studio of the painter Karl Plattner (1919–1989). After traveling to Paris, Italy, and Austria to work and study, he returned to Brazil in 1960. In 1963, with the critic Pedro Manuel-Gismondi (1925–1999), the painter Maria Cecilia Gismondi (b 1928), the photographer Otto Stupakoff (1935–2009), and the writer Carlos Felipe Saldanha (...

Article

Ernst A. Busche

(b New York, Oct 28, 1923; d New York, Sept 29, 1997).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, and decorative artist. His paintings based on the motifs and procedures of comic strips and advertisements made him one of the central figures of American Pop art.

He first studied under Reginald Marsh in a summer course at the Art Students League, New York, in 1939, continuing from 1940 to 1943 at Ohio State University in Columbus. He was particularly influenced by the teaching of Hoyt L. Sherman, a late Fauvist painter, designer, and architect who introduced his students to modernism in a period dominated by American Scene painting. Sherman was interested in the psychology of perception and problems of pictorial representation. In his teaching he insisted that the act of representation should be separated from everyday experience and considered solely for its formal qualities, as an ‘abstraction’.

After military service in Europe in World War II Lichtenstein returned to Columbus in 1946, completing his Master of Fine Arts in ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

American group of artists active in the 1950s and 1960s who were part of a movement that was reacting to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and conceptual art by choosing to represent traditional subjects of nudes, portraiture, still lifes, landscapes and urban street scenes that often were plain and ordinary. The rise of consumerism and mass production inspired New Realist artists who returned to representing subjects as everyday and common visual encounters and experiences. The New Realist movement is in contrast to earlier forms of realism practiced by European artists whose works embody idealism or romanticize the commonality of the subject. New Realism is also associated with the emergence of Photorealism, where the camera captured the momentary fleeting naturalism of the subject. A common approach characteristically unifying New Realist artworks is the notion of the presence of the subject, which is understood as the representation of a neutral peripheral visual experience that exposes the subject prior to its discovery as a cognitive translation, intellectual or emotional response. Paintings and drawings present the perception of the real in a direct, clear and straightforward way using conventional drawing and painting techniques, and classical compositional approaches. Subjects are acutely observed and revealed with precise attention to detail and technical draftsmanship to disclose the detached presence of the subject itself....

Article

Pop art  

Jaimey Hamilton

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 ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Sacramento, CA, July 24, 1935).

American painter and printmaker. He studied in California at San Jose State College (1955–6) and Sacramento State College, where he received his MFA in 1958. His early paintings, influenced by the work of his friend and mentor Wayne Thiebaud, were figurative studies in thick impasto and muted tones of grey. In 1961 he started to paint comic-book superheroes, such as Superman (1961; see E. Claridge, p. 28), using a brighter palette. These were quickly followed by portraits of heroines from similar sources; by gradually emphasizing their sexuality and refining the quality of the paint, he produced increasingly vibrant and slick images. These paintings led to his trademark images of scantily clad or nude girls, taken from the pages of ‘pin-up’ magazines such as Playboy and pictured as if playing a role in a cartoon or commercial. In Miss Grapefruit Festival (1964; San Francisco, CA, MOMA), the model’s smiling head and torso are surrounded by grapefruit, with the ‘Sunkist’ logo in the background. Ramos was identified with the Pop art movement because of his investigation of the iconography of such mass-produced sources as magazines, comics and advertisements; although his work of the early 1960s was at odds with Pop in its painterly technique, he went further than most in courting vulgarity, bad taste and sexual imagery, arousing antagonism from feminists. His concentration on the female nude continued beyond the Pop portraits of the 1960s when he began work in ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(Milton Ernest)

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 22, 1925; d Captiva Island, FL, May 12, 2008).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, photographer, and performance artist. While too much of an individualist ever to be fully a part of any movement, he acted as an important bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art and can be credited as one of the major influences in the return to favour of representational art in the USA. As iconoclastic in his invention of new techniques as in his wide-ranging iconography of modern life, he suggested new possibilities that continued to be exploited by younger artists throughout the latter decades of the 20th century.

Rauschenberg studied at Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design from 1947 to 1948 under the terms of the GI Bill before travelling to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian for a period of about six months. On reading about the work of Josef Albers he returned to the USA to study from autumn 1948 to spring ...

Article

Helen A. Harrison

[Grossberg, Yitzroch Loiza]

(b New York, Aug 17, 1923; d Southampton, NY, Aug 14, 2002).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, poet and Musician. He was a jazz saxophonist before he was encouraged to take up painting by two artist friends, Jane Freilicher and Nell Blaine (b 1922), who shared his enthusiasm for jazz. After brief service in the US Army Air Corps during World War II (1942–3), he studied with Hans Hofmann from 1947–8 in New York and Provincetown, MA. He painted for a short period under the influence of the Abstract Expressionists but, after seeing Pierre Bonnard’s retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, he began to apply his facility for drawing to figurative subjects extracted from the intimate circumstances of his family life and everyday surroundings. The first such pictures, for example Interior, Woman at a Table (c. 1948; New York, Pat Cooper priv. col., see Harrison, p. 29), were stylistically very close to Bonnard’s work, but in such works as ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Grand Forks, ND, Nov 29, 1933).

American painter, printmaker, and sculptor. While still at school in 1948 he won a scholarship to study at the Minneapolis School of Art, and from 1952 to 1955 he studied painting at the University of Minnesota. In 1955 he moved to New York to study at the Art Students League on a scholarship. He earned his living as a billboard painter from 1957, and in 1960 he began to apply similar techniques of grossly enlarged and fragmented images to huge paintings such as President Elect (oil on masonite, 2.13 × 3.66 m, 1960–61; Paris, Pompidou), in which the glamorous face of John F. Kennedy is combined with the side of a 1950s car and a hand holding a piece of cake painted in grey as if it were a black-and-white photograph. Rosenquist’s debt to Surrealism in his reliance on seemingly irrational juxtapositions was evident in the majority of his paintings, for example in ...

Article

Anne Livet

(b Omaha, NE, Dec 16, 1937).

American painter and photographer. While still at school in Oklahoma City, he developed an interest in Surrealism. Moving to Los Angeles in 1956, Ruscha came to prominence there in the late 1950s when he began making small collages similar to those of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Soon he began to refine his collages, isolating and recombining words and images in increasingly subtle and unique ways. Because he drew upon sources from the real world and embraced the vulgar techniques and imagery of commercial culture, his work is associated with Pop art. However, unlike some Pop painters, Ruscha seldom seemed to be making art about other art. Ruscha used unconventional materials in his graphic work of the late 1960s and 1970s: he drew with gunpowder and painted and printed with foodstuffs and with a variety of organic substances such as blood and the medicine Pepto-Bismol. He was well known for his depiction of words and phrases (e.g. ...