Author: Charlotte Bearn

Spotlight On: Pop Art

With a new retrospective of work by Roy Lichtenstein opening at the Tate Modern this month we thought we would take a look at the Pop Art movement of which he was such an integral part.

Pop Art developed simultaneously but independently in both the US and the UK in the mid 1950s and reached its peak in the 1960s. It was a revolt against prevailing orthodoxies in art and life and can be seen as one of the first manifestations of Postmodernism. The main feature of both UK and US Pop Art was its source of inspiration in ‘low art’ such as popular and commercial culture.

Campbell's Soup Can, 1965 (Pink And Red) By Andy Warhol

Campbell's Soup Can, 1965 (Pink And Red) By Andy Warhol

Pop Art used popular culture such as advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects, as both a source material as well as a subject for critique. It reflected and passed comment on the substantial shifts occurring in society towards a more consumer-orientated market. The movement also embraced other aspects of consumer culture such as Warhol’s embracing of mass producing art in his ‘Factory’ using the silkscreen printing process.

Lawrence Alloway art critic first used the term in print in 1958, and conceived of Pop art as the lower end of a popular-art to fine-art continuum, encompassing such forms as advertising, science-fiction illustration and automobile styling.

In the US Pop Art emerged from works originally classified as Neo-Dada, referencing the first use of everyday object is high art by Duchamp in his ready mades. Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg applied techniques from Abstract Expressionist painting to everyday objects they found around them.

Roy Lichtenstein also began as an Abstract Expressionist but in the 1960’s broke with this style and began developing his paintings inspired by comic strips. He wanted to use the mass produced style on a scale not normally seen, to express very deep emotions or concepts. He also used the style to reproduce existing works of ‘high art’ by artists such as Picasso and Monet.

The other big artist in US Pop Art is of course Andy Warhol. Warhol began as a commercial artist and used both everyday objects as well as celebrities and images from the mass media. He further replicated consumer culture in his Factory production methods and he use of multiple productions of the same image.

Other painters working in the USA associated with Pop Art included Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Mel Ramos, Ed Ruscha, and Wayne Thiebaud.

I Love Vintage By Peter Blake

I Love Vintage By Peter Blake

In the UK Pop Art evolved from a group of artists working and studying at the Royal College of Art and the ICA in London. Peter Blake was one of the first British Pop artists with his student works directly reflecting his love of folk art and popular culture. In the late 1950s he made constructions and collage-based paintings that incorporated postcards, magazine photographs and mass-produced objects. Other early proponents in the UK include Richard Hamilton David Hockney and Eduardo Paolozzi. Hamilton defined Pop in 1957 as: ‘Popular (designed for a mass audience); Transient (short term solution); Expendable (easily forgotten); Low Cost; Mass Produced; Young (aimed at Youth); Witty; Sexy; Gimmicky; Glamorous; and Big Business’.

Pop Art has left a lasting legacy with artists today continuing to use everyday objects in their work and methods such as silkscreen printing in producing their work. Pure Evil even uses the images of Pop Art itself to create new work, such as his Nightmare series paying homage to Andy Warhol’s celebrity portraits. David Spiller uses cartoon characters and the lyrics from popular songs in his works. Both artists use the silkscreen printing method in their works.

art to arrive by christmas

Rise no.1 Art Print by Lisa Lloyd
Exclusive

Rise no.1

60 x 60cm

£150

60 x 60cm

£48

6 x 10 cm

RYCA £80

Blowing A Kiss

12 x 12cm

£80

12 x 12cm

United Colour of London Art Print by Jayson Lilley
Exclusive

£195

31 x 24cm

BALLOON DOG 7 Art Print by VeeBee
Exclusive
VeeBee £270

BALLOON DOG 7

21 x 29.7cm

£270

21 x 29.7cm

Love is the Drug - Pink Diamond Dust, 2020 Art Print by Ryan Callanan
Exclusive

£200

60 x 60cm

Tom Lewis £125

Stag

30 x 30 cm

£125

30 x 30 cm

Gorilla - Pink Foil

42 x 59.4cm

£195

42 x 59.4cm

Jungle Blooms 2 Small

32.5 x 32.5cm

£50

32.5 x 32.5cm

Not My First Rodeo (11th Edition) Art Print by Babak Ganjei
Exclusive

£135

50 x 70cm

Choco Happy Dog

12 x 6 x 12cm

£300

12 x 6 x 12cm

£150

50 x 70cm

£150

60 x 30 cm

Canary

40 x 50cm

£150

40 x 50cm

£50

50 x 70cm

£125

60 x 60 cm

Miss Travel UK

26 x 33 cm

£55

26 x 33 cm

I Love London

22 x 17 cm

£60

22 x 17 cm

Snoopy Cube

40 x 40 cm

£195

40 x 40 cm

Sara Pope £150

Amped

18.3 x 18.3 x 3.2cm

£150

18.3 x 18.3 x 3.2cm

Oli Mumby £120

£120

59.4 x 42cm

Shark Tank (Neon Green and Pink) Art Print by Memori Prints
Exclusive

£85

52.7 x 38.7cm

You've Got the Love Art Print by Kid-B
Exclusive
Kid-B £65

£65

50 x 50cm

£195

51 x 24 cm

Honey Bee, 2020 Art Print by Dylan Floyd
Exclusive

Honey Bee, 2020

20 x 20cm

£35

20 x 20cm

Ellipsis - Remix, 2020 Art Print by Dan Hillier
Exclusive

£98

42 x 42 cm

Right Hand Red, 2020 Art Print by Static
Exclusive
Static £35

£35

20 x 20cm

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