Pop Modernism
Pop art is a visual artistic movement that emerged in the early 1950s in Britain and in parallel in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art is one of the major art movements of the Twentieth Century. Characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as advertising and comic books, pop art is widely interpreted as either a reaction to the then-dominant ideas of abstract expressionism or an expansion upon them. Pop art, like pop music, aimed to employ images of popular as opposed to elitist culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any given culture. Pop art at times targeted a broad audience, and often claimed to do so. However, much of pop art is considered very academic, as the unconventional organizational practices used often make it difficult for some to comprehend. Pop art and Minimalism are considered to be the last Modern art movements and thus the precursors to Contemporary art or Postmodern art. Pop Modernism integrates the evolution of media & technology focusing the effect of this criteria on our culture and our art. Technology advances in film & media are direct influences on art and are the common thread weaving new forms of expression.

Pop Art in America
Temporally, the British pop art movement predated the American. However, American pop art has its own origins separate from the British. The movement was a response to Abstract Expressionism and marked a return to sharp paintwork and representational art. Its use of images from mass culture and ordinary commerce was a relatively new development.

Pop Art in Spain
In Spain, the study of Pop art is associated with the “new figurative,” which arose from the roots of the crisis of informalism. Eduardo Arroyo could be said to fit within the Pop art trend, on account of his interest in the environment, his critique of our media culture which incorporates icons of both mass media communication and the history of painting, and his scorn for nearly all established artistic styles. However, the Spaniard who could be considered the most authentically “Pop” artist is Alfredo Alcaín, because of the use he makes of popular images and empty spaces in his compositions.

Also in the category of Spanish Pop art is the “Chronicle Team” (el Equipo Crónica), which existed in Valencia between 1964-1981, formed by the artists Manolo Valdés and Rafael Solbes. Their movement can be characterized as Pop because of its use of comics and publicity images and its simplification of images and photographic compositions....

Pop Art in Japan
Pop art in Japan is unique and identifiable as Japanese because of the regular subjects and styles. Many Japanese pop artists take inspiration largely from Anime, and sometimes Ukiyo-e and traditional Japanese art. The most well known pop artist currently in Japan is Takashi Murakami, whose group of artists, Kaikai Kiki is world renowned for their own mass produced but highly abstract and unique Superflat art movement, a surrealist, post modern movement whose inspiration comes mainly from Anime and Japanese street culture, and is mostly aimed at youth in Japan, and has made large cultural impact. Some artists in Japan, like Yoshitomo Nara are famous for their Graffiti inspired art, and some, such as Takashi Murakami, are famous for mass produced plastic or polymer figurines. Many pop artists in Japan use surreal or obscene, shocking images in their art, which is clearly taken from Japanese Hentai. This element of the art catches the eye of viewers young and old, and is extremely thought provoking, but not taken as offensive in Japan. A common metaphor used in Japanese Pop Art is the innocence and vulnerability of children and youth. Artists like Aya Takano and Yoshitomo Nara use children as a subject in almost all of their art. While Yoshitomo Nara creates scenes of anger or rebellion through children, Aya Takano communicates the innocence of children by portraying nude girls.

Notable Established Pop Artists
  • David Hockney
  • Sir Peter Blake
  • Derek Boshier
  • Patrick Caulfield
  • Alan D'arcangelo
  • Jim Dine
  • Marisol Escobar
  • Alfred Gockel
  • Red Grooms
  • Philip Guston
  • Keith Haring
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Robert Indiana
  • Jasper Johns
  • Allen Jones
  • Nicholas Krushenick
  • Yayoi Kusama
  • Roy Lichtenstein
  • Peter Max
  • John McHale
  • Takashi Murakami
  • Julian Opie
  • Claes Oldenburg
  • Eduardo Paolozzi
  • Sigmar Polke
  • Hariton Pushwagner
  • Mel Ramos
  • Robert Rauschenberg
  • James Rosenquist
  • Ed Ruscha
  • George Segal
  • Aya Takano
  • Wayne Thiebaud
  • Andy Warhol
  • Tom Wesselmann
  • William Eggleston
  • Richard Lindner
Emerging Pop Modern artists include some of America’s most prolific artisans represented by POP Gallery Santa Fe.

Jeffrey Herrity
Cropped Bunnies, 
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