History of Pop Art

The history of Pop Art can be traced to the 1950's postwar boom. The market for consumer goods ballooned as a growing middle class began to indulge in luxury items once again. In response, products were being mass marketed and advertised like never before. The history of Pop Art began as British artists became inspired by American advertising, and set out to create a new genre of art that was influenced by common media images and symbols.

The Golden Age in the history of Pop Art took place between 1958 and 1975. It was one of the biggest art movements of the twentieth century, despite many critics denouncing this new style as "kitsch", or a tasteless and cheap imitation of true, valuable art. A man named Lawrence Alloway forever changed the history of Pop Art with an essay entitled "The Arts and Mass Media". Alloway was a 1950's art critic who was a leading proponent of this new movement as a legitimate art form, and is credited with coining the term Pop Art.

Many experts trace the history of Pop Art back to a general frustration among artists with Abstract Expressionism. Abstract Expressionism was a nontraditional art form popular in the early half of the twentieth century. It expressed ideas and emotions through abstract or nonrepresentational means. A backlash developed against this style, first in Britain and then the United States. The history of Pop Art began with the claim that Abstract Expressionism was elitist and exclusionary. Many noted that Abstract Expressionism was a high art that was only found in the galleries of renowned museums, or in the expensive homes of private collectors.

A handful of artists such as Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi were pioneers in the history of Pop Art. They recognized the value of comic book pages and modern advertising, and drew inspiration from magazines, teleivision and even film. These common images and themes defined the style and history of Pop Art, as this made art familiar to the common man.

Since this Golden Age in the history of Pop Art, a number of waves have come after it. Artists and generations have interpreted the influence of mass media on society differently. Today, artists such as Romero Britto, Carlos Navarro and Tim Rogerson are a part of the Neo-Pop Art Movement. This new chapter in the history of Pop Art utilizes vibrant colors and cartoon themes to convey often complex forms and ideas. Although the history of Pop Art spans over 50 years and has evolved greatly, the original objective of bringing art in to the home of the average American persists.

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