Indepth Arts News: |
"POP Art: US.UK Connections, 1956-1966"
2001-01-26 until 2001-05-13
Pop Art is often considered an essentially American
phenomenon, but in fact British artists and theorists in the
1950s were the first to debate and formulate Pops main tenets.
Eventually a number of artists on both sides of the Atlantic
would radically redefine the subject matter deemed fit for
aesthetic use in the visual arts.
Pop Art: U.S./U.K. Connections 1956–1966 looks at only
artwork by American and British practitioners that is
considered pure Pop. This definition of Pop rests on the
adoption of preexisting or received images from mass media
sources of advertising, television, and movies—images that
convey the personalities, common objects, and scenery of
vernacular culture. The techniques utilized however varied: the
Americans generally used a more reductive method, arriving at
a centralized iconic image, while the British preferred an
episodic approach that generated an implied narrative. As the
exhibition makes clear, Pop Art promoted no specific agenda
beyond the investigation of the prevailing American
In an attempt to link British and American Pop Art, this
exhibition includes artworks selected to point to its interrelated
developments, with a special focus on less often seen or
published but equally important Pop examples. The American
selection stresses an evaluation of Pop Art from the vantage
points of its two principal cities: New York and Los Angeles.
In contrast, British Pop Art originated from one center:
London. For the decade examined, this new art form would
connect the aesthetic concerns of all three cities.
The speed at which Pop Art excited the popular imagination
was a corollary to the very brief period of time in which Pop
Art blossomed. Nevertheless, classic Pop manifestations would
continue to reverberate throughout both countries, not only
through high art, but also in the presentation and packaging of
the popular culture from which it arose.
Richard Hamilton (British, b. 1922)
Interior study (a), 1964
Collection of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery,
Swindon Borough Council, England
@ 2000 Arts Rights Society (ARS),
New York/DACS, London