<ul><li>An art movement and style
that had its origins in England in the 1950s and made its way to the United States during the 1960s. Pop artists have focused attention upon familiar images of the popular culture such as billboards, comic strips, magazine advertisements, and supermarket products. </li></ul><ul><li>Leading artists in pop art movement are: </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Hamilton </li></ul><ul><li>Andy Warhol </li></ul><ul><li>Roy Lichtenstein </li></ul><ul><li>Claes Oldenburg </li></ul><ul><li>Jasper Johns </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Rauschenberg </li></ul>Pop Art
Richard Hamilton was not only
a key figure in the development of Pop Art in Britain but also one of the movement’s pioneers internationally.His work, which draws from and comments on popular culture, technology, the mass media and a wide range of current events, continues to be highly influential worldwide . Various training and schools contributed to his early life and career such as Technical College in 1936: a traditional training at the Royal Academy Schools (1938–40, 1945–6), from which he was eventually expelled “for not profiting by the instruction given in the Painting School”; experience in commercial art at the Design Unit (1941–2) and at the record company EMI (1942–5); and an avant-garde, modernist-influenced training at the Slade School of Fine Art (1948–51). Richard Hamilton
These Experiences prepared the ground
for his subsequent exploration in art that would blue the line between ‘high’ and ‘low’, in order to examine the relationships between diverse forms of expression, styles and currents of taste normally considered mutually exclusive. “ Just What Is It that Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?” Richard Hamilton, 1956 Collage Richard Hamilton
Hamilton was a member of
the Independent Group , formed in the 1950s by a group of artists and writers at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, whose symposiums contributed to the development of Pop art in Britain. He was one of the main practitioners of the critic Lawrence Alloway's theory of a 'fine/pop art continuum'. Hamilton interpreted this as meaning that 'all art is equal - there was no hierarchy of value. Elvis was to one side of a long line while Picasso was strung out on the other side … from Reaper (incomplete) Reaper(d) 1949 Intaglio print on paper Richard Hamilton
"Andy Warhol began as a
commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, 1961-62. From then on, most of Warhol's best work was done over a span of about six years. Andy Warhol
It was during the 1960s
that Warhol began to make paintings of iconic American products such as Campbell's Soup Cans from the Campbell Soup Company and Coca-Cola bottles, as well as paintings of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Troy Donahue, and Elizabeth Taylor. He founded "The Factory," his studio during these years and gathered around himself a wide range of artists, writers, musicians, and underground celebrities. He switched to silkscreen prints which he produced in series, seeking not only to make art of mass-produced items but to mass produce the art itself. By minimizing the role of his own hand in the production of his work and declaring that he wanted to be "a machine," Warhol sparked a revolution in art. His work quickly became popular as well as controversial. Liz Taylor,1964
Warhol's work from this period
revolves around United States pop (popular) culture. He painted dollar bills, celebrities, brand name products and images from newspaper clippings - many of the latter were iconic images from headline stories of the decade such as photographs of mushroom clouds, electric chairs, and police dogs attacking civil rights protesters). Andy Warhol A Boy for Meg, 1962 Electric chair 1967 synthetic polymer paint screen printed onto canvas
His subjects were instantly recognizable
and often had a mass appeal. This aspect interested him most and it unifies his paintings from this period. Take for example Warhol's comments on the appeal of Coke: “ What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca Cola, too. A coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a better coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the cokes are the same and all the cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.” – The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: (From A to B and Back Again), 1975
At the start of the
1970s, Warhol began publishing Interview magazine and renewed his focus on painting. Works created in this decade include Amos, Skulls, Hammer and Sickles, Torsos and Shadows and many commissioned portraits. Warhol also published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (from A to B and Back Again). Firmly established as a major 20th-century artist and international celebrity, Warhol exhibited his work extensively in museums and galleries around the world. The artist began the 1980s with the publication of POPism: The Warhol '60s and with exhibitions of Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century and the Retrospectives and Reversal series. He also created two cable television shows, "Andy Warhol's TV" in 1982 and "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" for MTV in 1986. His paintings from the 1980s include The Last Suppers, Rorschachs and, in a return to his first great theme of Pop, a series called Ads. Warhol also engaged in a series of collaborations with younger artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Keith Haring. Following routine gall bladder surgery, Andy Warhol died February 22, 1987. After his burial in Pittsburgh, his friends and associates organized a memorial mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York that was attended by more than 2,000 people.
Roy Lichtenstein Roy Lichtenstein was
born in New York as the son of a realtor and a housewife. Next to Andy Warhol he is considered as THE great artist of the Pop Art movement. The use of familiar subjects like comic strips, bank notes or advertising themes, makes the art of Roy Lichtenstein easily accessible.
Lichtenstein grew up under no
specific artistic influence - neither at home nor at school. But at the age of 14 he attended a painting class at Parson's School of Design every Saturday morning. From 1940 to 1943 he studied in New York at the Art Students' League. Then he was drafted to the US Army and served in Europe during War II. Back from the army, Lichtenstein studied at the Ohio State University from 1946 and received his M.A. in 1949. Like Andy Warhol he worked in the commercial graphic business for a while - making designs and decorating shop windows. From 1957 on, he taught at different universities. “ The cattle rustler”, Japanese Print 1953
Ten Dollar Bill Print, 1957
Lichtenstein's first experiments with popular images go back to 1956, when he created the famous Ten Dollar Bill print. Then followed a three year period of abstract painting. "Abstract expressionism" was the dominating art movement at that time. Lichtenstein was then in his late thirties and an unknown artist.
The drastic change in Lichtenstein's
career came with his first painting in the style of a comic strip. It was a painting of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The story goes, that he painted it for his kids who had provoked him by saying that "daddy could not paint as well as the images in the comic books". So it may have been his own kids, who are responsible for the artist's move into the style that would make him a celebrity. “ Donald Duck” India Ink, 1958
Lichtenstein was best known for
his paintings based on comic strips, with their themes of passion, romance, science fiction, violence, and war. In these paintings, Lichtenstein uses the commercial art methods: projectors magnify spray-gun stencils, creating dots to make the pictures look like newspaper cartoons seen through a magnifying glass. In the late 1960s he turned to design elements and the commercial art of the 1930s, as if to explore the history of pop art (a twentieth-century art movement that uses everyday items). Lichtensten Foundation Webstie
Claes Oldenburg Claes Oldenburg was
born January 28, 1929, in Stockholm. His father was a diplomat, and the family lived in the United States and Norway before settling in Chicago in 1936. Oldenburg studied literature and art history at Yale University, New Haven, from 1946 t o 1950. He subsequently studied art under Paul Weighardt at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1950 to 1954. During the first two years of art school, he also worked as an apprentice reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago, and afterward opened a studio, where he made magazine illustrations and easel paintings. Oldenburg became an American citizen in December 1953.
In 1956, he moved to
New York and met several artists making early Performance work, including George Brecht, Allan Kaprow, George Segal, and Robert Whitman. Oldenburg soon became a prominent figure in Happenings and performance art during the late 1950s and early 1960s. A Happening is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered as art. Happenings take place anywhere, are often multi-disciplinary, often lack a narrative and frequently seek to involve the audience in some way In 1959, the Judson Gallery exhibited a series of Oldenburg’s enigmatic images, ranging from monstrous human figures to everyday objects, made from a mix of drawings, collages, and papier-maché. In 1961, he opened The Store in his studio, where he recreated the environment of neighborhood shops. He displayed familiar objects made out of plaster, reflecting American society’s celebration of consumption, and was soon heralded as a Pop artist with the emergence of the movement in 1962.
Oldenburg, who turns 70 on
Jan. 29, has spent much of his life bending, inflating, melting and enlarging the ordinary objects of 20th century American reality. Over the last four decades, Oldenburg has made it his business to soften the hard, harden the soft and transmute the modest into the monumental. He has created shirts and ties and dresses and ice cream cones and pies, and even the contents of an entire store, out of plaster-soaked cloth and wire. Using vinyl stuffed with kapok, he built pay telephones, typewriters, light switches and a complete bathroom -- sink, tub, scale and toilet. He constructed a catcher's mitt, 12 feet tall, out of metal and wood, and built a four-and-a-half-story clothespin out of Cor-Ten steel. In the last two decades, focusing almost exclusively on giant monuments, he has created a 38-foot-tall flashlight, a 10-story baseball bat, a 60-foot-long umbrella, a three-story-high faucet with a 440-foot water-spewing red hose, a 40-foot-tall book of matches and a partially buried bicycle that would fill most of a football field, among numerous other projects located from Tokyo to Texas.