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Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art

EDUARDO PAOLOZZI (1924- 2005)
'I happened to be a Rich people's Plaything', 1947 (collage)

The phrase 'POP' was coined in 1954, because of the British art critic Lawrence Alloway, to describe an innovative new particular art which was motivated because of the imagery of well-known tradition. Alloway, alongside the performers Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi, had been among the founding people in the Independent Group, a collective of artists, architects, and article authors just who explored radical approaches to contemporary visual culture during their meetings at ICA in London between 1952 and 1955. They became the forerunners to British Pop art. At their very first conference Paolozzi gave a visual lecture entitled 'Bunk' (quick for 'bunkum' definition nonsense) which took an ironic go through the all-American lifestyle. This was illustrated by a series collages created from American mags which he got from GI's still resident in Paris in the late 1940s. 'I was a Rich people's Plaything', one of the 'Bunk' series, ended up being 1st artistic artwork to include your message 'POP'.

RICHARD HAMILTON (1922- 2011)
'exactly what could it be which makes these days's homes so various, therefore appealing?'
1956 (collage)

Some youthful Uk musicians into the 1950’s, which grew up utilizing the wartime austerity of ration publications and energy design, seen the seductive imagery of American preferred culture and its consumerist lifestyle with a romantic sense of paradox and some envy. They saw The united states as the land of free - clear of the crippling conventions of a course ridden institution might suffocate the tradition they envisaged: a far more inclusive, youthful tradition that embraced the social influence of mass media and size manufacturing. Pop Art became their mode of phrase within look for change and its own language had been adapted from Dada collages and assemblages. The Dadaists had produced irrational combinations of random pictures to provoke a reaction from institution of their day. British Pop musicians adopted an equivalent aesthetic technique but focused their particular interest on the mass imagery of well-known culture which they waved as a challenge facing the institution.

Richard Hamilton’s collage of 1956, ‘what will it be That Makes Today’s houses therefore various, therefore attractive?’ could be the ultimate catalogue of pop music art imagery: comics, papers, advertising, vehicles, food, packaging, devices, star, intercourse, the space age, tv in addition to flicks. A black and white type of this collage was utilized once the cover when it comes to catalogue associated with 'that is Tomorrow' event during the Whitechapel Gallery in 1956. This tv show heralded a widening of your understanding of what culture is and encouraged a generation of young Brit musicians and artists that included Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Blake, David Hockney, Allen Jones, Joe Tilson, Derek Boshier, Richard Smith and R.B Kitaj.

United States Pop Art

JASPER JOHNS (1930-)
'White Flag', 1955 (encaustic, oil, paper, charcoal on fabric)

Pop art in the usa evolved in a somewhat differently way to its Uk counterpart. American Pop Art had been both a development of and a reaction against Abstract Expressionist artwork. Abstract Expressionism had been 1st United states art movement to obtain international recognition but, because of the mid-1950's, numerous thought it had become also introspective and elitist. American Pop Art developed as an attempt to reverse this trend by reintroducing the image as a structural unit in painting, to pull art right back from obscurity of abstraction in to the real-world once more. This is a model that were tried and tested before. Picasso had done anything similar forty years previously as he collaged 'real world' printed photos onto his still lifes, as he dreaded that his painting had been becoming too abstract. Around 1955, two remarkable designers emerged that would lay the foundations of a bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. They certainly were Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, the forerunners of American Pop Art.

JASPER JOHNS (1930-)
'Numbers in Color', 1958-59 (encaustic and newspaper on fabric)

Jasper Johns' early artworks question the way we glance at, perceive making art. He cannot distinguish between topic and item in the work, or art and life for instance. In the eyes they are both the same task. Johns believes that we should not look upon a painting as a representation or illusion but as an object with its own reality.

Just like the forerunners of Uk Pop Art, Johns was affected by Dada some ideas, in particular the 'readymades' (uncovered items) of Marcel Duchamp, whoever bottle racks and bike rims challenged the meaning regarding the art object.

But wasn't 'found items' that Johns introduced as an interest for their paintings, but ‘found photos’ - flags, objectives, letters and figures - and it also was this iconography of familiar signs that appealed to Pop. He saw them as "pre-formed, main-stream, depersonalised, informative, external elements."

Johns' depersonalized photos offered an antidote towards obscure private abstraction of late Abstract Expressionism. His use of these types of simple icons supplied him a subject that was straight away recognisable but therefore ordinary that it left him able to run various other amounts. His subjects offered him with a structure upon which he could explore the artistic and actual characteristics of his medium. The outcome had been a careful balance between representation and abstraction.

Johns painted in encaustic, an archaic medium that dates from very first century which combines pigment in hot wax. He blended encaustic with newspaper collage to create a seductive expanse of paint in which their sensitive mark-making articulates the top of work. His fascination with the general unity associated with surface plane in an image places him in a tradition that extends straight back through Cubism and Cézanne to Chardin.


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