Pop Art and Andy Warhol

Word Count
Durim Koci
The Pop Art Movement and Andy Warhol
The most popular form of art consumed in America in the 1950’s was Abstract
Expressionism, which is described as “an arcane non-+gura-ve form of pain-ng”. Like many of
the previous signi+cant art styles throughout the centuries before, pop-art came as a reac-on
against the norm of society or status quo. The term “pop-art” was coined by Bri-sh curator
Lawrence Alloway in 1955 and is characterized by its use of consumerism and popular culture in
its imagery. It literally became the new form of “popular” art. The movement ini-ally began in
London in the early 1950’s and would quickly come to New York. New York ar-sts: Andy Warhol,
Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg quickly came to the forefront of the
movement but Eduardo Paolozzi created the +rst piece of art that contained the word “pop” in
his 1947 collage -tled, I Was a Rich Man’s Plaything. Since then, pop-art has been
characterized as bold, simple, everyday imagery while it
uses vibrant colors schemes and emphasizes elements
from contemporary culture. It’s considered the +rst form
of art that incorporated popular images from +lm and
television while also using photos of celebri-es,
adver-sements, and comic strips. Some consider that
the pop-art and Neo-Dada movements mark the start of
the post-modernist movement or symbolizes the
transi-on between modernism and post-modernism.
New York City in the 1950’s consisted of ar-sts who were unsure if they were to s-ck
with the current Abstract Expressionist movement or “rebel against the strict formalism
advocated by many schools of modernism”(Wolf). Ar-st Jasper Johns created abstract pain-ngs
while including “things the mind already knows” like targets, @ags, handprints, leAers and
numbers while Robert Rauschenberg incorporated found objects and images with tradi-onal
materials, like oil paint. Along with others who incorporated aspects from the world that
surrounds them into their art, this era of ar-sts is known as the Neo-Dada movement. “The now
classic New York Pop art of Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, and Andy
Warhol emerged in the 1960’s in the footsteps of the Neo-Dadaists” (Wolf). Neo-Dadaists and
Pop-Ar-sts would help transcend our society into the movement of post-modernism,
characterized by the Britannica Encyclopedia as “broad skep-cism, subjec-vism, or rela-vism; a
general suspicion of reason; and an acute sensi-vity to the role of ideology in asser-ng and
maintaining poli-cal and economic power” (Duignan).
One of the biggest and most memorable names to come out of the Pop Art movement