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Pop art

Great Britain and U.S., 1950s

Pop art was pioneered in London in the mid-1950s by Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi (members of the Independent Group), and in the 1960s by Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, David Hockney, Allen Jones, and Peter Phillips. It was supported by such critics as Lawrence Alloway and Reyner Banham. In the early 1960s Pop art took off in the U.S., exemplified by the work of Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Mel Ramos, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann. With its roots in Dada—and the immediate precedent of Jasper Johns’s Neo-Dada [more] adaptations of such things as beer cans and the American flag—Pop art explored the image world of popular culture, from which its name derives. Basing their techniques, style, and imagery on certain aspects of mass reproduction, the media, and consumer society, these artists took inspiration from advertising, pulp magazines, billboards, movies, television, comic strips, and shop windows. These images, presented with (and sometimes transformed by) humor, wit, and irony, can be seen as both a celebration and a critique of popular culture. In the early 1960s German artists Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter explored a Pop-related style, which they called Capitalist Realism.

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