Changes during the “Pop Art” Movement
“Pop art” was a 20th century art movement that utilized consumerism and popular culture.
Andy Warhol, for example, changed the imagery of everyday objects, as well as entertainment figures, through distorted shapes, sizes, and bold colors. As the decades passed, the style of “pop art” slightly changed as well. Later artists, such as Tom Wesselmann and Allen Jones presented their subject matter in a more shocking perspective. Women, and more specifically their bodies, were often the target of graphic manipulation. This sexual presentation was seen as pleasurable entertainment for male viewers, as much past artworks often did. This paper will attempt to explain the changes made during the “pop art” movement, in addition to the specific roles women played in pop art.
First, we must discuss what is “pop art”? “Pop art,” as defined by the Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, is a movement that emerged at the end of the 1950s as a reaction against the seriousness of abstract expressionism. (Encyclopedia.com) The term “Pop” stands for “popular art” or even for “pop bottle art, depending on the frequency with which such everyday objects appeared. The movement as a whole originated in England in the fifties and then naturally spread to the United States.
This movement resulted as images were made popular through mass-media advertising and comic strips, and other everyday objects, such as pop bottles, beer cans, and other supermarket products. The images were then presented in bizarre combinations, distortions, or exaggerations in size. The original human-made object is always kept in its true form in some way. (Art Fundamentals, 305)
The introduction of American Pop art resulted in a major reaction against abstract expressionism, which had dominated painting in the United States during the later 1940s and 1950s. During the later 1950s, there were many indications that American painting would return to a new kind of figuration. Pop art brought art back to the material realization of everyday life, to popular culture in which ordinary people derived most of their visual language in what perceived to be the real world of shopping, movie stars, and car advertisements.
The term “pop art” was first used by Lawrence Alloway, a well-known critic of the art period. He used the term to describe those paintings that celebrated post-war consumerism and defied the psychology of Abstract Expressionism. This was thought of as an art that gave off a natural appeal to American artists, living in the midst of an industrial and commercial environment. Thus, the result was a more bold and aggressive display of art and advertising. While many artists duplicated beer bottles, soup cans, and comic strips in their artworks, other artists incorporated these objects in their actual artworks. In both cases of artworks, however, pop artists stressed “new” and “store-bought” in a shocking light,...