Pop art

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Image:Roy Lichtenstein House I.jpg
House I, created by Roy Lichtenstein in 1996, is designed to be an optical illusion. The house is inverted; the point that seems to be the nearest corner is actually the farthest from the viewer.

Pop art was a visual artistic movement that emerged in the early 1950s in England and in parallel in the late 1950's in the United States. Pop art is one of the major art movements of the Twentieth Century. Characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as advertising and comic books, pop art is widely interpreted as either a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism or an expansion upon them. Pop art, like pop music, aimed to employ images of popular as opposed to elitist culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any given culture. Pop art at times targeted a broad audience, and often claimed to do so. However, much of pop art is considered very academic, as the unconventional organizational practices used often make it difficult for some to comprehend. Pop art and Minimalism are considered to be the last Modern art movements and thus the precursors to Contemporary art or Postmodern art.

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[edit] Pop art in America

Temporally, the British pop art movement predated the American one. However, American pop art is said to have its own origins that are separate from the British. The movement was a response to Abstract Expressionism. It marked a return to sharp paintwork and representational art. It was an apprectiation of theretofore unappreciated objects and images of mass culture and ordinary commerce. In the American pop art movement the groundbreakers, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, were not actually pathsetters. Roy Lichtenstein was the most popular and one of the most consistent pop art practitioners using stencil-like dots to represent comics or later the simplification/parody of fine art from the vivid pop art perspective. Andy Warhol became the most famous American pop artist using a pseudo-industrial silkscreen process for painting commercial objects such as Campbell's Soup Cans, Coca-cola bottles, for portraying raging celebrity such as Liz Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe and for portraying the deadpan and banal. Warhol extended his artistic contribution to film direction yet managed to avoid social commentary in his art. James Rosenquist brought pop art to enormous billboard painting. Lichtenstein at times extended his dotwork to this grand scale where the artist's skill is challenged by limitations on visualizing a gigantic work while attending to a small section of it. Wayne Thiebaud attended to similar subject matter (common food) as Warhol and Lichtenstein touched upon, but with the meticulous detail.

[edit] Pop art in Spain

In Spain, the study of Pop art is associated with the “new figurative,” which arose from the roots of the crisis of informalism. Eduardo Arroyo could be said to fit within the Pop art trend, on account of his interest in the environment, his critique of our media culture which incorporates icons of both mass media communication and the history of painting, and his scorn for nearly all established artistic styles. However, the Spaniard who could be considered the most authentically “Pop” artist is Alfredo Alcaín, because of the use he makes of popular images and empty spaces in his compositions.

Also in the category of Spanish Pop art is the “Chronicle Team” (el Equipo Crónica), which existed in Valencia between 1964-1981, formed by the artists Manolo Valdés and Rafael Solbes. Their movement can be characterized as Pop because of its use of comics and publicity images and its simplification of images and photographic compositions.

[edit] Pop art in Japan

Image:Aya Takano - The world after 800,000,000 years (screenshot).png
From the video The world after 800,000,000 years, by Aya Takano in 2004.

Pop art in Japan is unique and identifiable as Japanese because of the regular subjects and styles. Many Japanese pop artists take inspiration largely from Anime, and sometimes Ukiyo-e and traditional Japanese art. The most well known pop artist currently in Japan is Takashi Murakami, whose group of artists, Kaikai Kiki is world renowned for their own mass produced but highly abstract and unique Superflat art movement, a surrealist, post modern movement whose inspiration comes mainly from Anime and Japanese street culture, and is mostly aimed at youth in Japan, and has made large cultural impact. Some artists in Japan, like Yoshitomo Nara are famous for their Graffiti inspired art, and some, such as Takashi Murakami, are famous for mass produced plastic or polymer figurines. Many pop artists in Japan use surreal or obscene, shocking images in their art, which is clearly taken from Japanese Hentai. This element of the art catches the eye of viewers young and old, and is extremely thought provoking, but not taken as offensive in Japan. A common metaphor used in Japanese Pop Art is the innocence and vulnerability of children and youth. Artists like Aya Takano and Yoshitomo Nara use children as a subject in almost all of their art. While Yoshitomo Nara creates scenes of anger or rebellion through children, Aya Takano communicates the innocence of children by portraying nude girls.

[edit] Notable Pop artists

[edit] See also

Modernism
20th century - Modernity - Existentialism
Modernism (music): 20th century classical music - Atonality - Serialism - Jazz
Modernist literature - Modernist poetry
Modern art - Symbolism (arts) - Impressionism - Expressionism - Cubism - Surrealism - Dadaism - Futurism (art) - Fauvism - Pop Art - Minimalism
Modern dance - Expressionist dance
Modern architecture - Brutalism - De Stijl - Functionalism - Futurism - International Style - Organicism - Visionary architecture
...Preceded by Romanticism Followed by Post-modernism...
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Pop art

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