Pop Color Marilyn
1960s Pop Art Abstract Prints
21st Century and Contemporary Pop Art Mixed Media
Mixed Media, Magazine Paper, Canvas
2010s Pop Art Portrait Prints
Color, Archival Pigment
2010s Pop Art Color Photography
Archival Ink, Rag Paper
A Close Look at Pop Art Art
Perhaps one of the most influential contemporary-art movements, Pop art emerged in the 1950s. In stark contrast to traditional artistic practice, it drew on imagery from popular culture — comic books, advertising, product packaging and other commercial media — to create paintings and sculptures that celebrated ordinary life in the most literal way.
Pop art started in Britain as a reaction, both positive and critical, to the period’s consumerism. Its goal was to put popular culture on the same level as so-called high culture.
Richard Hamilton’s 1956 collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? is widely believed to have kickstarted this unconventional new style.
Pop art works are distinguished by their bold imagery, bright colors and seemingly commonplace subject matter. Practitioners sought to challenge the status quo, breaking with the perceived elitism of the previously dominant Abstract Expressionism and making statements about current events. Other key characteristics of Pop art include appropriation of imagery and techniques from popular and commercial culture; use of different media and formats; repetition in imagery and iconography; incorporation of mundane objects from advertisements, cartoons and other popular media; hard edges; and ironic and witty treatment of subject matter.
Although British artists launched the movement, they were soon overshadowed by their American counterparts. Pop art is perhaps most closely identified with Andy Warhol, whose clever appropriation of motifs and images helped to transform the artistic style into a lifestyle. Most of the best-known Pop artists started in commercial art (Warhol made whimsical drawings as a hobby during his early years as a commercial illustrator), a background that helped them in merging high and popular culture.
Roy Lichtenstein was another prominent American Pop artist. Much like Warhol, Lichtenstein drew his subjects from print media, particularly comic strips, producing paintings and sculptures characterized by primary colors, bold outlines and halftone dots, elements appropriated from commercial printing. Recontextualizing a lowbrow image by importing it into a fine-art context was a trademark of his style. Neo-pop artists like Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami further blurred the line between art and popular culture.
Pop art rose to prominence largely through the work of a handful of men creating works that were unemotional and distanced — in other words, stereotypically masculine. However, there were many important female Pop artists, such as Rosalyn Drexler, whose significant contributions to the movement are recognized today. Best known for her work as a playwright and novelist, Drexler also created paintings and collages embodying Pop art themes and stylistic features.
10 Reasons Art Collectors Are Obsessed with Andy Warhol
More than three decades after his death, the prolific Pop artist and cultural icon's body of work continues to captivate. Here's a primer of some of his most notable motifs and mediums.
What Would an ‘Impossible Collection’ of Roy Lichtenstein’s Art Look Like?
Assouline imagines a most impressive trove of works by the Pop art star.