A Timeline of Pop Art

Pop Art is an art movement inspired by images of popular culture and consumer society. Comics, advertising and mass-produced objects are the central subjects and themes in artwork created through this movement, which came to prominence in the 1950s.

There were a number of precursors to the Pop Art movement. In 1914, for example, Pablo Picasso created Au Bon Marché, which joked about society’s love affair with shopping by creating a woman out of a brand label and an ad from the department store Bon Marché. This kind of work planted the seed for the Pop Art movement.

In 1947, Eduardo Paolozzi created his collage I was a Rich Man’s Plaything. In the artwork, the word ‘pop’ inside a cloud of smoke burst from a revolver. It signalled the beginning of a new art movement. Paolozzi believed his work should respond to contemporary culture, a belief that was shared by many Pop Art artists.

General consensus places the beginning of the Pop Art movement with the creation of the Independent Group as part of the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1952. Young painters, sculptors, architects, writers and critics gathered to challenged traditional views of Fine Art within a broader move to confront modernist approaches to culture.

What followed is the Pop Art revolution, whose trajectory through the 1950s and 1960s you can see below.

A Timeline of Pop Art - An infographic by the team at PictureStore

The two decades outlined above were the years in which Pop Art reached a zenith in popularity. Prominent Pop Art artists during this time included Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Rauschenberg, and of course Andy Warhol.

Pop Art has sustained popularity even through to today, where it still has a strong influence on art. Keith Haring dominated the 1980s Pop Art scene. Even more recently, Japanese artists have embraced their own form of Pop Art, incorporating anime and manga styles into their artwork. Takashi Murakami is among the most well-known Japanese Pop Art artists.
Even today, classic Pop Art artworks continue to resonate in the world. In 1996, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired Warhol’s set of 32 paintings of Campbell’s Soup Cans from his first exhibition for $15 million. And in 2002 London’s Tate Gallery reproduced The American Supermarket project as part of its exhibition Shopping: A Century of Art and Consumer Culture.
Pop Art has clearly done what its artists intended. Its evocation of popular culture resonates so deeply with everyday people that its message is as relevant today as when the first artworks were created over 50 years ago.

Richard Tarrant - Bio

Richard Tarrant - Founder and CEO of PictureStore Pty Ltd
Richard is founder and CEO of PictureStore and has worked since October 2000 to make wall art accessible to all Australians. Google+

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