A Brief History Of Pop Art by aihaozhe2


									Pop art started in the USA during the earlier period of the 1960's. But it was already
making its presence felt in the late fifties. Pop art was basically an art movement
which aimed to replace the abstract mode of artistic expression with messages that are
easier to understand. The pioneers of this art movement were Robert Rauschenberg
and Jasper Johns. The boom of this art movement or phenomenon mainly happened in
New York City. The initiators of Pop art believed that the metaphysical complexities
of abstract art are already out of tune as times and people had become different. As its
followers believed in the power of easy to recognize images of common items, pop art
introduced new objects such as flags, maps and targets or stuffed animals and rubber
tires on paintings. Irony, sarcasm, and mockery were the favorite aspects of this art
movement. Pop art in many ways was a form of rebellion to the dictates of traditional
expressionism. According to pop art, confining ourselves to the old rules of the arts
can make us stagnant as they fit only with the old era.

Some of the known advocates of this new artistic movement were Claes Oldenburg,
James Rosenquist Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. They shocked the painting
world with their works that courageously introduced pop culture symbols such as
comic strips, advertisements, and media images. Pop art was not just a far cry from
the traditional rules on visual expression. It was in itself a slap in the face to the
dictates of abstract painting style. Because the public could easily relate to its features,
pop art gained the appreciation and support of many art critic groups. But in spite of
that traditional abstract expressionism continued to flourish as it is the respected root
of classic art. As they say, nothing beats the original. As pop art maintained its
mockery activities, it did not reduce the popularity of abstract expressionism.

As abstract expressionism prevailed, pop art also continued to make its presence felt.
The rivalry between these two styles resulted in the establishment of two new schools
of abstraction: minimalist art and color-field painting. Minimalist art reduced art to its
bare elements in reaction to the flamboyance of abstract expressionism. Frequently
criticized for being too unapproachable, minimalist art has also been celebrated for its
unprecedented immediacy. It attains this immediacy through abstract form, absence of
decorative detail, and emphasis on geometry. On the other hand, color-field artists
moved toward a more impersonal and austerely intellectual aesthetic. In their works
they dealt with what they considered to be the fundamental formal elements of
abstract painting. These elements are pure, unmodulated areas of color, flat and
two-dimensional space, monumental scale, and the varying shape of the canvas itself.

Pop art and abstract expressionism engaged in a somewhat bitter rivalry in the
American sixties. These two artistic styles struggled to get hold of the public's support.
While abstract expressionism tried to keep its old tradition and rules, pop art
considered its rival an elitist approach that influenced America's consumer society.

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