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History of Pop Art

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									                        Andy Warhol Project

                              AP Art Class

History of Pop Art

The term pop art was first used in the 1950s in London by the critic
Lawrence Alloway to describe works by artists who combined bits and pieces
of mass-produced graphic arts, such as advertising to express contemporary
cultural values.

Pop Art was a major reaction against the Abstract Expressionist movement
that had dominated painting in the United States during the late 1940s and
1950s. Pop artists, who found Abstract Expressionism to be elitist, began
using images from popular culture as the basis for their art. Comic books,
mass produced items, celebrities and pulp photographs became the subject
matter of the Pop artists. These artists emphasized contemporary social
values: the sprawl of urban life, the transitory, the vulgar, the superficial,
and the flashy -- the very opposites of those values cherished by artists of
the past. Seeking cultural resources, pop artists reworked such industrial
products as soup and beer cans, American flags, and automobile wrecks.
They turned images of hot dogs and hamburgers into gigantic blowups or
outsize vinyl monsters. Advertising provided numerous starting points,
especially in product labels, posters, and billboards.

Each artist used popular icons to express his/her own personal message.
Andy Warhol used supermarket items like Campbell's soup cans and Coca-
Cola bottles painted in endless repetitive rows presenting the things that he
thought Americans found most important in the 1960s. From there he
turned to other images worshiped by the masses, famous celebrities that
had attained folk hero status like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and
Elizabeth Taylor.

Other artists used popular images to relay different ideas. Roy Lichtenstein
painted images from comic strips blown-up to gigantic sizes. Lichtenstein
showed these images of modern industrial America in a detached and
impersonal matter. The artist does not judge or comment on the images. He
simply states that this is the world we live in. In contrast, James Rosenquist
used popular images to tell a story or excite an emotion. He juxtaposed
images of destruction -- contemporary fighter planes, bombs -- with images
of happy everyday American life in the 1960s.

In America, pop artists clustered in New York City and in California. Among
the leading New York pop artists are Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg,
James Rosenquist, George Segal, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann. Pop
artists of California include Mel Ramos and Edward Ruscha.

Biography of Andy Warhol

The American artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol (wohr'-hohl), born
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 6, 1928 and died February 22, 1987, was a
founder and major figure of the Pop Art movement. A graduate (1949) of
the Carnegie Institute of Technology, he gained success in New York City as
a commercial artist in the 1950s. In 1960 he produced the first of his
paintings depicting enlarged comic strip images -- such as Popeye and
Superman -- initially for use in a window display. Warhol pioneered the
development of the process where an enlarged photographic image is
transferred to a silk screen that is then placed on a canvas and inked from
the back. It was this technique that enabled him to produce the series of
mass-media images -- repetitive, yet with slight variations -- which he began
in 1962. These, incorporating such items as Campbell's Soup cans, Coca-Cola
bottles, and the faces of celebrities, can be taken as comments on the
banality, harshness, and ambiguity of American culture. Later in the 1960s,
Warhol made a series of experimental films dealing with such ideas as time,
boredom, and repetition; they include Sleep (1963), Empire (1964), and The
Chelsea Girls (1966). A celebrity himself until his death, he founded
Interview magazine and published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to
B and Back Again (1975) and America (1985).

Warhol brought art to the masses by making art out of daily life. He picked
his subjects from the supermarket shelves and magazine covers. Examples
include telephones, coke bottles, soup cans, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. These
were symbols of everyday American life. He repeated these images using
silkscreen duplication. Using such images, Warhol went on to become one of
the most influential artists of his day. The dollar sign image above
represents how Warhol preferred symbols over objects.
Concept: Andy Warhol capitalized on redundancy, while also imitating the
procedure of industrial reproduction.

Objectives: The students will be able to...
- Create images that resemble the manner of Andy Warhol. Show
appreciation and awareness of the work of Andy Warhol.
- Learn about the expressive qualities of color.
- Students will recognize elements of Pop Art, such as the use of popular
culture as subject matter.
- Students will critically think about Andy Warhol’s Pop Art as well as their
own artwork to determine why they chose the subjects they did.
- Have each student create a print that focuses on at least one image from
everyday life.

- Create a work of art that reflects a positive part of past or present
American culture.
 -Create a print using multiple blocks

-Utilize the elements and principles of design in creating a strong design.

-Demonstrate skill in carving the block and registration of colors.

Visual aids: - Andy Warhol prints such as:
      - Marilyn
      - Campbell’s Tomato Soup Can
      - Double Elvis
      - Sixteen Jackies

Examples of other students:
Procedures: Have the students carve out the area around the image leaving the
image raised on the block. Teach them to always carve away from their body. Remind a
student that if they choose something with lettering like a tube of toothpaste then
the lettering needs to be backwards and mirror imaged. Once it is printed it will look
like normal text. Pass out four 41/2"x 6" pieces of colored paper to each student.
Students can now paint their image using a brayer or paintbrush. Stamp it in one of
the squares. Wipe the paint off of the block.

1. Choose a subject that is easy to stylize, such as people's faces or objects that are
close. Simple is better. Make a sketch of the entire composition and have it fit the
size of the block. Do this on newsprint and make many changes as are needed. Use
only outline shapes and don't use any shading. Anything that needs shading is going to
be simplified to a shape.

2. Place tracing paper over the sketch and try to separate the design into three
plates. These plates should include the entire design and will print the complete
outline of the block when finished. One is usually the background and one is the back
colors to the subject and the third can be outlines. Plan for three blocks.

3. Trace out the shapes of each area and transfer to each block. Use a black felt pen
to color in the area to be printed and leave the rest bare.

4. Use linoleum cutters, gouges and such to remove all the area that is not black.

5. Make a practice print by starting with the background areas and with the colored
inks, mix new colors or make gradations with more than one brayer. Place the block
faces down on the paper and with a board underneath the paper pull it around and
remove the board. With the back of the paper showing, rub all over with the back of
a spoon to press the ink and complete a print.

6. When dry, ink up the second block and carefully drop it using the edges of the first
print as a guide. Turn it over and repeat the process for the next print. Repeat this
for the last block and it will be ready to proofread.

7. Look at the blocks and see that they line up make corrections or make a note to
move it over to one side if needed.

8. With a larger piece of drawing paper use a pencil and ruler to make a light line for
the edge of the print cross it with another to form the corner. Line up the first print
to this edge and then the rest in line with that. Use six or nine prints varying the
colors and values in each block. Use color schemes or even the chromatic scale as
Warhol did.

9. Each print must be done after the last is dry so this takes a while. Some students
print one after another without smearing but you take a big chance with that.

10. I use water based inks for easy cleanup. Don't waste ink and if they make too
much see if another student needs that color and share. Plan ahead the colors to use,
change values and go opposite the normal colors to give interest.

Extra Activities:
-Have each student create a collage using images from everyday life -- magazines,
newspapers, etc. - that symbolizes or commemorates some event.
-Art is not always found in a frame on a wall.
As a home work assignment have each student find a label from a can, mount it on a
sheet of paper and give it a title. They should bring it in and discuss with the class
why they selected this particular label and why it might be considered a work of art
by analyzing it using the formal elements of art.

-Research what was occurring in the 1960s that might have influenced artists to use
the graphic arts found in everyday life as the source of their own inspiration for
making art.

Biography retrieved from:,+Andy
Faerna, Maria J. Warhol. New York: Cameo/ Abrams Publishers. 1997.

Internet Resources:

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