A Taste For Pop
Book: Cécile Whiting
By Loren McDonald
• Sections covered Wesselmann and Pop at
• The Economy of Domesticity.
• Postwar Cultural Hierarchies.
• Collapsing Cultural Hierarchies.
• Recoding Cultural Hierarchies.
• Masculinity at Home.
What is Pop Art?
Pop Art is about
Celebrities also about
Bright Colours and
comic like values.
Pop Art influenced
home decoration and
Gender also it
Similar to Dada.
Pop Art is…
Art based on Popular
by the Mass Media.
Emerged in the mid1950s in Britain and
in the late 1950s in
Using Advertising and
Mass Culture, Comic
Books, and Abstract
Expressionism to inform
Pop Art and
Critical and Ironic views on
Traditional Fine Art Values
from the medium use.
Wesselmann and Pop at Home.
• ‘Early 1960s art collector Leon Kraushar bought Tom Wesselmann’s
Bathtub Collage #1 1963 and hung it up on the wall of his home the
display and valued work converted the owner’s financial success in to a
certain cultural capital Wesselmann’s Collage’. To gain a social status
behind this art movement and earn a stand to living to be valued as a
person and to know what art is around the home and domestic life of
Original colour offset Lithograph
postcard 1991 Bathtub Collage #1
Introducing the home and rooms of a
home to feel domesticated and to
introducing this art for the home.
Domestic uses for Pop Art
• Post-war American domestic economy, and collectors in turn incorporated
works by Wesselmann and other Pop artists in to their homes.
• Two strands of taste.
• The aesthetic taste of artist and collector and consumerism taste of the
female homemaker faced off but also intermingled with each other.
• This gained a class of gender and also concerning the control of American
domesticity occurred and emerged throughout homes in Britain and
Mrs. Kraushar in Her Bathroom with the piece by
Wesselmann to the right of the image hanging
on the wall.
The Economy of Domesticity.
• Many of Wesselmann’s images exposed the private sanctums
of the home projecting a openly outcome to gender and
nudity of the body which projected every room to display a
publicity and a family orientated space for no shame of his
• Increased Goods, Efficiency and Practicality, The Kitchen
Debate on gender influences, Media and Magazines are equal
to good taste, Taste served as the standard for defining the
• To define media and mass production through the uses of this
American Way of Life.
• The embodiment of American Success and the economy of public
posturing on the advantages of capitalism over the Soviet Union during
the Cold War was introduced by the ‘Kitchen Debate’ this was between
Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in
1959 this has recently highlighted the importance of the domestic sphere
to demonstrate superiority in the American Way of Life due to the U.S.
governments efforts over the communist system.
When Nixon met Khrushchev during their
tour of an American Exhibition in Moscow
Wealth and Poverty.
• The myth was said of economic egalitarianism depended
upon ignoring all ways of life, this was established by urban
wealth or rural poverty that then deviated from the strict
middle class norm.
• Influencing a social standing and a standing of higher class
from wealth but also putting a stand on poverty and how this
played the effect of Pop Art in our homes during this era and
how it became mass produced in every home.
• The suburbs did become a popularity during the 1950s with
many families who purchased accounted for the soaring
consumptions of mass produced goods but in fact Roland
Marchand has claimed that only households among the top
40 percent in the family income could afford this lifestyle.
• Social standing of Higher Class, Middle Class and Poorer
communities would be affected by the mass production of art
and goods which performed in the Pop Art era since
everybody was purchasing almost everybody would want this
in their home to carry on the trend of the movement.
The Interior Design of Pop Art.
• ‘Quote from House and Garden’s Complete Guide to Interior
Design: Stated in the introduction’: “Our aim in this book is
not only to supply you with knowledge… but also to
encourage you to express your personal taste freely in the
decoration of your own home.”
• Suggesting a sense of style within the movement but not only
to buy artwork but to freely experiment with creativity within
the home with the guidance from the book above to
encourage a social standing and elegance within this
• The industry has moved on vast from the ways of the Pop Art
movement because of the vast technology and many
technology improvements towards the home but the art
industry still flourishes with much more modern art, but many
people still love this style of Pop Art but with the vast
technology of smart phones and technical life changes to the
home many people would stick with the modernised kitchen
Modern Art from Pop Art.
Metal Art contemporary Sculpture
Home Décor Modern Huge
Explosion Original Metal Art.
Some people still like Pop Art today
because of the retro interior design feel
and still carry on to use it with modern
technology combining the home in this
Postwar Cultural Hierarchies.
• Wesselmann’s representations of the suburban interiors such
as Still Life #30 embraced the middle class economy of
domesticity and it’s standard or consumer taste, they would
be objects easily scorned and rejected by critics committed to
preserving the sanctity of high-art modernism.
• From mass production to modernism the critics frowned upon
this new generation of art during the Postwar many critics did
in the 1960s did dismiss Wesselmann in the pages of art in
• Cultural Critics worried about the growth and the impact of
consumer culture which was endorsed by high-art modernism
as a means to reaffirm the standards of value and thereby
counter and reputed brutalizing the effects of consumer
• Would stock of certain design or products become popular to
buy or unpopular to by because of how the Pop Art industry
used popular culture in this way. Would this be original using
consumer products in order for art, in my opinion I didn’t
think it was original I think the imagination of art is original.
Aesthetic and Consumerism.
• Herb Gehr, High-brow, Low-brow and Middle-brow, Life 26 Russel Lyne’s
opinions on how he guided the reader of these artistic pieces by Herb
Gehr to their place on the social ladder according to their preferences in
both art and consumer goods. According to Lynes preference the
highbrow was favoured paintings by Picasso, Eames Furniture and French
Omelettes made with sweet butter, whereas the lower middlebrow
preferred hunting prints, reproduction and Sheraton furniture and
barbecues these men shared class which had preference to them and
seemly natural preference for these visual images to suit their social
standing, decision on the body type and clothes used. A highbrow in
tweed contemplates a Picasso, a middlebrow observes a reproduction of
Grant Wood’s American Gothic while a heavyset lowbrow in shirtsleeves
stands below a poster of a showgirl and these terms highbrow and
middlebrow and lowbrow which Lynes used to label a social classes by the
criterion of taste became popular in the opposition between modernism
and consumer culture.
Collapsing Culture Hierarchies.
• From the perspective of critics according to the culture
hierarchies of the 1950s, Wesselmann’s pictures must have
seemed to eliminate the difference between high-art painting
and consumer culture using the defence between Fine Art
and Consumerism the theories of social and consumer point
of views to civilisation.
Originality in Consumerism.
• “How to Live with Taste” in House and Garden for instance
hangs the example of European modern art above sofas the
texts on interior and a reproduction rarely acknowledged the
difference between an original and a reproduction.
• Showing Originality and not mass production of consumerism
which is thought to be ‘One of a kind’ during the criticism
between originality between Fine Artists which thought highly
of this instead of the consumerism views upon the hold of art.
Consumerism within Art.
• The painting most texts agreed with the most, should serve as
the focal view of the room and at the same time it need to
match the colour of the furnishings.
• This would then act as value and social standing when a piece
of valuable art is seen in a person’s house this acts as wealth
and aristocracy when people can afford high and expensive
pieces of artwork but also but also by consumer culture by
having a aesthetic value.
Recoding Cultural Hierarchies.
• Wesselmann’s images conflated highbrow and middlebrow
taste, they maintained a difference between high art and
consumer culture by distinguishing between two forms of
• This became a lot more open because of Pop Art and the
consumerism between mass production and taste bringing
genders with similar tastes to suit the interior design of their
home or even sexuality of themselves.
Great American Nude.
• Great American Nude by Tom Wesselmann:
Bringing the gender and more publicly
seen nudity within art more well known
and more openly shown. Bringing the
nude body in to a piece of artwork which
then became in to popular culture and
which then became popular so this wasn’t
frowned upon in Pop Art.
Masculinity at Home.
• Viewers would have seen Wesselmann’s collages and their
reformulation of the prerogative of high art over consumer
culture first within the institutional spaces of high art such as
the gallery or museum; in such contexts, Pop Art affirmed the
priority of high art over domesticity, but never really
challenged domesticity on its home turf.
• Pop collectors fitted their artworks into a specific type of
domesticity and domestic space: the high design modern
interior, these layouts revealed that collectors not only packed
their homes with Pop Art but that they also adopted Pop’s
aesthetic principles to organize their domestic spaces.
Masculinity at Home.
• Invariably apparent is a respect and appreciation for
architectural materials such as Marble, Wood, Glass, Stone
and Metal which are played against each other for interesting
textural contrasts in backgrounds and low-slung, linear
furniture. The arrangements of furniture and accessories are
studiedly asymmetrical, colour is used to weight small areas
with brightness or lightness as a balance to large, darker
masses, much as an abstract painter might compose a canvas.
• In respect to Popular Culture and Modernism during this era these
two have opposite barriers towards the Modern Home to the more
Popular Culture home and technology has changed this and gender
and age has also changed this and this is what time does change
within the art sector and this bringing nudity more found and
openly which we’re all used to in this day and age so the legacy still
does live. Within the interior design and living during the Postwar
this definitely has the massive effects on time and technology
within art and also what suited what and how mediums where used
and manipulated to make a good piece of artwork. This relates to
me as a creative thinker because of Andy Warhol and his ways of
making this culture to my taste with consumerism and using mass
produced products as artwork even though I don’t find this original
I still like his way of working.
Author: University of California, Irvine
Year of Publication: 10/03/2013
Title of Webpage: Faculty Profile System University of California, Irvine [Internet]
Available from: http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=4939
Accessed: 22nd February 2014
Year of Publication: Modified 20th February 2014 at 11:42
Title of Webpage: Pop art [Internet]
Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_art
Accessed: 22nd February 2014
Author: Live Auctioneers
Year of Publication: 9th December 2012, 8:00 AM
Title of Webpage: Live Auctioneers Bidders [Internet]
Available from: http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/14410408_tom-wesselmann-original-color-offsetlithograph
Accessed on: 22nd February 2014
Author: Ezine Articles/ Matt Steel
Year of Publication: 21st June 2009
Title of Webpage: Pop Art Canvas- Riding With the Waves of Art Modernisation [Internet]
Available from: http://ezinearticles.com/?Pop-Art-Canvas---Riding-With-the-Waves-of-ArtModernisation&id=6238917
Accessed on: 22nd February 2014
Author: Infurn Lounge
Year of Publication: 30th June
Title of Webpage: Add a little Pop Art to your home décor! [Internet]
Available from: http://www.infurn.com/blog/add-a-little-pop-art-to-your-home-decor/
Accessed on: 22nd February 2014
Author: Cécile Whiting (Whiting.C)
Book title: A Taste For Pop
Place of Publication: Cambridge Studies in American Visual Culture