Pop Art: US/UK Connections 1956-1966 examines the critical transatlantic cultural exchange that led to the decade-long development of classic Pop Art. This publication explores the impact on British and American artists of post-World War II American popular culture as disseminated in the mass media of film, recorded music, advertising and television. While Pop Art drew its influences from many sources, include abstract and figurative modes in painting and advertising, assemblage, and early happenings, it is these mass cultural influences that are the most crucial. The main emphasis of the book is on the resultant ''pure'' aspects of Pop--its hard-edged imagery and its use of photographic media and reproduction processes. Pop Art: US/UK Connections 1956-1966 is the first major American publication focusing on how a dialogue between British and American artists provided the genesis of Pop Art. Many readers will be surprised by this full account of the complex history of Pop Art, which involved a series of successive developments, first in London and subsequently in New York and Los Angeles. Featuring extensive documentation of works from all of Pop Art's major figures--British and American, famous and less well-known--Pop Art: US/UK Connections 1956-1966 also presents essential essays and interviews devoted to all things Pop.
This book and the exhibition that it accompanied at the Menil Collection in Houston, TX, this spring demonstrates that the British were the vanguard of what was later identified as primarily an American artistic phenomenon and illustrates how artists from both sides of the Atlantic built on one another's achievements to create the genre known as Pop Art. Brauer (art history, Glassell Sch. of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) and his fellow curators restricted the show to "pure" Pop pieces that consciously incorporate images from mass media. These images, such as those Andy Warhol put to work in "Brillo Boxes," were most often taken from U.S. sources, which is a reason this international "movement" was viewed as North American in origin. Although several good monographs have been published on the history of Pop, this goes beyond Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Claes Oldenburg to consider a broad array of artists not usually credited with contributing to the Pop ethos. Noteworthy among these are Englishmen Peter Blake, Peter Phillips, and Derek Boshier, whose paintings exemplify the satiric anti-utopianism of classic Pop Art. Although this work is adorned with essays and interviews comparing British and American versions of Pop, most readers will go for the 57 color plates and their short but densely informative commentaries. A worthy purchase for academic and large public libraries. Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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