Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late
1950s in the United States. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist's use
of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the
perspective of fine art. Pop removes the material from its context and isolates the object,
or combines it with other objects, for contemplation. The concept of pop art refers not
as much to the art itself as to the attitudes that led to it.
Characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as
advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects, pop art is widely interpreted as a
reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism, as well as an expansion
upon them. Pop art is aimed to employ images of popular as opposed to elitist culture in
art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any given culture, most often through
the use of irony. It is also associated with the artists' use of mechanical means of
reproduction or rendering techniques.
Much of pop art is considered incongruent, as the conceptual practices that are often used
make it difficult for some to readily comprehend. Pop art and minimalism are considered
to be art movements that precede postmodern art, or are some of the earliest examples of
Postmodern Art themselves.
Pop art often takes as its imagery that which is currently in use in advertising. Product
labeling and logos figure prominently in the imagery chosen by pop artists, like in the
Campbell's Soup Cans labels, by Andy Warhol. Even the labeling on the shipping carton
containing retail items has been used as subject matter in pop art, for example in Warhol's
Campbell's Tomato Juice Box 1964, (pictured below), or his Brillo Soap Box sculptures.
Pop Art was the art of popular culture. It was the visual art movement that characterised a
sense of optimism during the post war consumer boom of the 1950's and 1960's. It
coincided with the globalization of pop music and youth culture, personified by Elvis and
the Beatles. Pop Art was brash, young and fun and hostile to the artistic establishment. It
included different styles of painting and sculpture from various countries, but what they
all had in common was an interest in mass-media, mass-production and mass-culture.
Pop Art Notes
Pop Art was a brash, young and fun art movement of the 1960's.
Pop Art coincided with the globalization of Pop Music and youth culture.
Pop Art included different styles of painting and sculpture but all had a common
interest in mass-media, mass-production and mass-culture.
Although Pop Art started in Britain, its is essentially an American movement.
Pop art was strongly influence by the ideas of the Dada movement.
Pop Art in America was a reaction against Abstract Expressionism.
The art of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg is seen as a bridge between
Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.
The artist who personifies Pop Art more than any other is Andy Warhol.
Warhol's paintings of Marilyn Monroe are the most famous icons of Pop Art.
Roy Lichtenstein developed an instantly recognizable style of Pop Art inspired by
the American comic strip.
Claes Oldenburg was the greatest sculptor of the Pop Art movement, creating
many large scale public works.
What is Pop-Art?
The term Pop-Art was invented by British curator Lawrence Alloway in 1955, to
describe a new form of "Popular" art - a movement characterized by the imagery of
consumerism and popular culture. Pop-Art emerged in both New York and London
during the mid-1950s and became the dominant avant-garde style until the late
1960s. Characterized by bold, simple, everyday imagery, and vibrant block colours,
it was interesting to look at and had a modern "hip" feel. The bright colour schemes
also enabled this form of avant-garde art to emphasise certain elements in
contemporary culture, and helped to narrow the divide between the commercial arts
and the fine arts. It was the first Post-Modernist movement (where medium is as
important as the message) as well as the first school of art to reflect the power of
film and television, from which many of its most famous images acquired their
celebrity. Common sources of Pop iconography were advertisements, consumer
product packaging, photos of film-stars, pop-stars and other celebrities, and comic
Leading Pop Artists
In American art, famous exponents of Pop included Robert Rauschenberg (1925-
2008), Jasper Johns (b.1930), Roy Lichtenstein (1923-97) and Andy Warhol (1928-
87). Other American exponents included: Jim Dine (b.1935), Robert Indiana (aka
John Clark) (b.1928), Ray Johnson (1927-95), Alex Katz (b.1927), Claes Oldenburg
(b.1929), Edward Ruscha (b.1937), James Rosenquist (b.1933), and Tom
Leading British Pop artists included: Sir Peter Blake (b.1932), Patrick Caulfield
(1936-2006), Richard Hamilton (b.1922), David Hockney (b.1937), and Allen Jones
The Aims, Philosophy and Methods of Pop Art
No international art movement that lasts for more than 15 years and encompasses
all known art types, genres and types of media, as well as entirely new forms, can be
summed up in a few sentences. Even so, no understanding of Pop-art is possible
without taking into account the following concepts which help to characterize its
List of Neo-Pop Art Works
• By Jeff Koons
New Hoover Convertibles (1984)
Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988)
Dirty: Jeff on Top (1991)
Blow Job: Ice (1991)
Triple Elvis (2007)
• By Yasumasa Morimura
Portrait Twin (1988)
• By Matthew Barney
Cremaster 4 (1994)
Cremaster 1: Goodyear Chorus (1995)
• By Katharina Fritsch
Mann und Maus / Man and Mouse (1991-92)
• By Daniel Edwards
Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston (Britney Spears) (2006)
Bust of Hillary Rodham Clinton (2006)
Paris Hilton Autopsy (2007)
Prince Harry Dead in Iraq War Memorial (2007)