The Relevance of Pop Art to the Study of Postmodern Art
The term Postmodern Art is often used to describe art practice from the 1960's onwards. This covers art created from a wide range of medium and experimental forms and art practice which have gradually become mainstream and as a result, occupy a significant place in the art and art history of the twenty-first century. Examples of Postmodern Art are Land art, Performance work, Video, Light and Mechanical instillations and Pop art.
The cutting edge art of the early part of the twentieth century however, was Abstract Art.
Abstract Art paved the way for movements including Expressionism – 1905 to 1930, Cubism - 1907 to 1914, ...view middle of the document...
Fig 1. Stuart Davis, Lucky Strike, 1921. Fig 2. Stuart Davis, Edison Mazda, 1924.
In the mid 1950's Pop art first appeared when American artist Jasper Johns started incorporating everyday objects into his work (see Fig.3.) But it was not until the mid 1960's and early 1970's that Pop art emerged as a dominant avant-garde movement.
Fig 3 Jasper Johns – Target with Plaster Casts 1955.
Also in the late 1950's, Peter Blake (see fig. 4) and Richard Hamilton (see fig. 5) were part of a group of emerging British Pop artists, using imagery strongly influenced by graphic design and popular culture. This sparked the emergence of an art form which was instantly more accessible to a wide audience because it relied on everyday objects as it's subject matter and incorporated familiar iconography in a figurative style.
Fig. 4 Peter Blake, The First Real Target, 1961. Fig. 5 Richard Hamilton, “Just What Was it That Made Yesterday's Homes So Different So Appealing?”, 1959.
From the early 1950s through the late 1960s in New York, which was then regarded as the hub of the Art world, many small galleries began to spring up as a result of an influx of young artists to the area of down town Manhattan. This area attracted many serious painters and sculptors as studio and living space could be found at a relatively inexpensive cost. Because the audience for contemporary art was small and the venues in which to show few, artists began to band together to launch and maintain galleries as a solution to the lack of other exhibiting opportunities. This evolved into a neighbourhood in which several co-operative galleries were formed, some now legendary, including the Tanager Gallery. Many of the artists who displayed their work in these galleries have since become well known.
Artists who were part of this New York scene in the early 60's were Andy Warhol (see Fig. 6), Willem De Kooning and Roy Lichenstein. Warhol established the famous Factory studio, which was the hip hangout for artists, recreational drug users, hangers-on, free-thinkers that became known as the Warhol superstars. These "art-workers" helped him create his paintings, starred in his films, and basically developed the atmosphere that the Factory has become legendary for. It was famed for its parties in the studio and Warhol and his workers make screen prints and lithographs.
Another artists to emerge from the New York art scene were Jim Dine (see Fig. 10), a visual and performance artist, Edward Ruscha (see Fig. 7) and Robert Rauschenberg (see Fig. 8 & 9), painter and sculptor. In 1962 Dine and Ruscha's work was included, along with Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Dowd, Phillip Hefferton, Joe Goode, and Wayne Thiebaud, in the historically important and ground-breaking 'New Paintings of...