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Pop Art Movement


In the mid 1950’s, Pop Art was born in Britain. It was the brain-child of several subversive artist. It all began around 1952-1953, Pop Art term is occured during discussions among artist. It was Independent Group which part of the Institute of Contemporary Art in London who used Pop Art term for the first time.

Pop Art appreciates popular culture or what we also known as “Material Culture”. Pop Art doesn’t critique the consequences of consumerism and materialism; but it simply recognizes its pervasive presence as natural fact. Building more effective forms of mass communication (on that day: magazines, newspapers, movies, and television), responding to clever advertisement, and acquiring consumer goods urge energy among young people born during the post-world war II generation. They wanted to express their optimism after so much privation and hardship in a youthful visual language, with rebelling againts the esoteric vocabulary of abstract art.

Lawrence Alloway was officially christened the Pop Art movement on his article “The Arts and Mass Media” and it recorded at Architectural Record in February 1958. But it was Richard Hamilton in 1956 according to art history text books which signaled that Pop Art had arrived on the scene. In 1956 architect and writer Theo Crosby had an idea for an exhibition involving designers, theorists, artists, and architects resulted in “This is Tomorrow” exhibition which took place in Whitechapel in collabotarion with members of the Independent Group. The exhibition was based on a model of collaborative art practice with the “modern” way of living as the exhibition theme. “This is Tomorrow” mark the official beginning of the movement.

There are several key characteristic that make people easy to recognize Pop Art itself.

  1. Drawn from popular products and media, that make Pop Art recognizable imagery,
  2. It usually use a very bright colors,
  3. The flat imagery from Pop Art influenced by newspaper photograph and comic books,
  4. Pop Art frequently using images of celebrities or fictional characters in comic books, advertisement, and fan magazines; and
  5. In sculpture, an innovative use of media.

For the most part, Pop Art, completed the Modernist movement in the early 1970’s with its optimistic investment in contemporary subject matter. By holding up a mirror, self-doubt took over and the party atmosphere of Pop Art faded away. Beside that, Pop Art would continue to influence artists in later decades. As the art world shifted in the 1970’s Pop Art fell out of favor during that time. At the end of the 1970’s, the art world shifted focus from art object to performances, installations, and other less tangible art forms.

However, in the late of 1970’s and in the early of 1980’s, the art object come back into favor once again and popular culture provide subject matter that was easy for viewers to identify and understand. Jeff Koons, one of the leading figures of the leading figures of the Neo-Pop movement, whose appropiation of pop culture icons such as Michael Jackson and mass produced object like Hoover vacuum cleaners further pushed the boundaries of high art. In Japan, Takashi Murakami works has been cited as a more recent example of Neo-Pop, due to his use of popular anime imagery in his “Superflat” style and his successful partnering with fashion labels like Louis Vuitton. Such artists continue to break down the barrier between high and low art forms, while reevaluating the role art as commodity in and of itself.

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