Pop Art Of The 1960's Essay

2038 words - 8 pages

Pop Art of the 1960'sWhat started as a rebellious art form against the conservative 1950's, the Pop Art movement of the 1960's set the stage for the social reform of an entire decade. A strong sense of conservatism embraced the society of the 1950's. Conservatism, defined as "an unwillingness or slowness to accept change or new ideas," 1 manifested itself in many facets of the 1950's society. Along this conservative line, art displayed itself as very traditional and abstract. Appropriately named Abstract Expressionism, the artists of this genre relied on the viewer to interpret its significance or expression of their artwork with regard to his or her emotions. This conservatism was further typified in male fashion of the fifties as it included gray flannel suits and plaid button-down shirts. Women wore dresses with tight waistlines and high heeled shoes. To solidify the strong sense of family that partnered this conservatism, Disneyland found its way into American society as families enjoyed the wholesome pastime of playing together. The weekly airing of television shows such as "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", "I Love Lucy" and "Lassie" further demonstrated this conservatism.In contrast to the traditionalism of the fifties, the 1960's encountered a mindset of change and innovativeness unlike any other decade of the twentieth century. 2 The transformations and reforms of this decade affected, education, values, lifestyles, laws, entertainment, and particularly, art. Deemed too vague and ambiguous, Abstract Expressionism of the previous decade stirred conflict in the art world. Artists rebelled against the former art form. The art reformers of this period no longer depended on the viewer to interpret or infer meaning from art. "Art," according to these dissenters, "needed to reflect the viewer." 3 As the 1960's generation became ripe for reform, these contemporary and rebellious artists of this time period aligned themselves to the society's appetite for bright, attention-grabbing art. (Craats 27) This shift from the status quo of the fifties asserted itself among the post-war baby boomers that comprised the youth of the 1960's. These were young people not content with being carbon copies of their 1950's counterparts. (Forrester 42) These baby boomers preferred listening to loud music rather than slow dancing to the more conservative ballads of the crooners, such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, or twisting to the passive and happy rock n'roll tunes of the fifties. Similar to the new art movement of the sixties, fashion demonstrated a drastic change from the conservatism of the previous decade. Women revealed legs and curves, as miniskirts or hot pants were often worn with go-go boots instead of the ankle-length poodle-skirts and flat oxford shoes of the fifties. 4 Men opted to wear beards and moustaches as their hairstyles became longer and fuller. Bright colors, double-breasted sports jackets, polyester pants suits and turtlenecks became...

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