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AART1110 W2 Pop Art

In this lecture we consider the emergence of ideas of the postmodern in relation to Pop Art in the wake of Abstract Expressionism. This lecture will explore the proposition that Pop Art represents the beginning of postmodernism in art.

Kit Messham-Muir

on 4 August 2015

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Transcript of AART1110 W2 Pop Art

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Week 2: Pop Art
Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, 1986
In a famous interview with Gene Swenson, Andy Warhol said "Everyone looks alike and acts alike, and were getting more and more that way. I think everybody should be a machine. I think that everybody should be like everybody."

At that point the interviewer asked, “Is that what Pop Art is all about?”, to which Warhol replied "Yes, it’s liking things. The interviewer also asked, “is Pop Art a fad?” to which Warhol replied, "Yes, it’s a fad, but I don’t see what difference it makes."

Consider Warhol's responses here, and in groups of four discuss the following questions:

Are Warhol's answers genuine or is he being cynical?
What is Warhol's point when he says "everybody should be a machine?"
To what extent is Warhol engaging in a strategy of "hyper-conformity"?
How does conformity to an idea function as a critical strategy?
Mass production techniques, applied to accurately repeatable worlds, pictures and music, have resulted in an expandable multitude of signs and symbols. To approach this exploding field with Renaissance-based ideas of the uniqueness of art is crippling. Acceptance of the mass media entails a shift in our notion of what culture is. Instead of reserving the word for the highest artefacts and the noblest thoughts of history’s top ten, it needs to be used more widely as a description ‘of what art does’.

Lawrence Alloway
quoted in Daniel Wheeler, Art Since Mid Century: 1945 to the Present, Prentice-Hall, New York, (1991)122
Andy Warhol, Electric Chair, 1967
Andy Warhol, Electric Chair, 1967
Andy Warhol,
Green Car Crash,
Andy Warhol,
Self Portrait,
Andy Warhol,
album cover for
The Velvet Underground and Nico,
Andy Warhol, 200 Campbell Soup Cans, 1962
Claes Oldenburg Floor Cake, 1962
Claes Oldenburg
Pepsi-Cola Sign,
Claes Oldenburg
Falling Shoestring,
Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam!, 1963
Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke, 1965
Allen Jones, Chair from Hatstand and Chair, 1969
Mel Ramos,
Lucky Lulu Blonde,
Richard Hamilton Swingeing London 67, 1968-9
Richard Hamilton, Interior II 1964
Richard Hamilton, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, 1956
Barnett Newman Adam, 1951-52
Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimus, 1950-51
The essence of Modernism lies, as I see it, in the use of the characteristic methods of the discipline to criticise the discipline itself—not in order to subvert it, but to entrench it more firmly in its area of competence.

Clement Greenberg, quoted in Wheeler, Daniel, Art Since Mid Century: 1945 to the Present, New York: Prentice-Hall, (1991) 243
‘The Irascibles’, 1951
Clement Greenberg
Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986
Andy Warhol,
Diamond Dust Shoes,
Vincent Van Gogh,
A Pair of Boots,
I like money on the wall. Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting. I think you should take that money, tie it up, and hang it on the wall. Then when someone visited you, the first thing they would see is the money on the wall.

Andy Warhol quoted in
David Bourdon, Warhol, New York: Abrams
(1995) 384
Andy Warhol 192 One Dollar Bills, 1962
I don’t want a painting to be an expression of my personality. I feel it ought to much better than that.
I don’t want a picture to look like something it isn’t. I want it to look like something it is. And I think a picture is more like the real world when its made out of the real world.

Robert Rauchenberg, quoted in Daniel Wheeler, Art Since Mid Century: 1945 to the Present, New York: Prentice-Hall (1991)121
Robert Rauschenberg, Bed, 1955
Dr Kit Messham-Muir
Andy Warhol, Tuna Fish Disaster, 1963
Andy Warhol, Plane Crash, 1962
Theo Van Doesburg A Cow Aesthetically Transfigured, 1925
Roy Lichtenstein, Bull series, 1973
Oleski Shovkunenko, Platon Biletsky and Igor Reznik, Anthen of People's Love, 1950-1951
Boris Kolesnik, First Spring, 1954
Socialist Realism in the Soviet Union
Édouard Manet, Bar at the Folies Bergeres, 1881
Toulouse-Lautrec, Ambassadeurs: Aristide Bruant, 1892
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples, 1895-1898
Edouard Manet, The Fifer, 1866
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples, 1895-1898
Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884
We are not only at the beginning of a new stylistic phase, but at the same time on the threshold of the development of a completely new Art. An art with forms which signify nothing, represent nothing and remind us of nothing, which arouse our souls as deeply and as strongly as music has always been able to do.

Endell, August, ‘The Beauty of Form and Decorative Art, Art in theory 1900 – 1990, ed. Harrison, Charles and Wood, Paul, Blackwell, Oxford, 1992, p. 62
El Lissitzsky, Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1919
Kasimir Malevich, The Woodcutter, 1912
Kasimir Malevich, Suprematism: Self Portrait in Two Dimentions, 1915
Avant Garde
popular, commercial art and literature with comics, Tin Pan Alley music, tap dancing, Hollywood Movies
Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #99, 1968
Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, Blow Job, 1964
The Velvet Underground
Warhol and Death
9am Discussion
AART1110 Critical Studies 2
From Jorgen Leth, '66 Scenes from America, 1981
Andy Warhol, Screen Test (Edie Sedgewick), 1965
Andy Warhol, Screen Test (Lou Reed), 1965
Andy Warhol, Empire, 1964
The Merv Griffin Show, 1965
I never understood why when you died, you didn’t just vanish, and everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn’t be there. I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name.

Well, actually, I’d like it to say “figment.”

Andy Warhol
The great thing about politicians when they get involved in art is it means something to them, whether it's the Fascists or the Soviets or the American CIA. So there may be a really perverse argument that says the CIA were the best art critics in America in the fifties because they saw work that actually should have been antithetical to them - made by old lefties, coming out of European surrealism - and they saw the potential power in that kind of art and ran with it. You couldn't say that of many art critics of the time.

Philip Dodd,
quoted in Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War, New York: The New Press, 2000, 259
Don Thompson, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark:The Curious Economics of Contemporary ArtLondon: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008
Jeff Koons,
Balloon Dog (Yellow),
1994 – 2000
Jeff Koons
Read my article!
Jeff Koons,
New Hoover Convertibles
Jeff Koons,
Jeff Koons,
, 2009-12
Jeff Koons,
Hulk (Organ)
, 2004-14
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