Pop Art Essay

The Relevance of Pop Art to the Study of Postmodern Art

The term Postmodern Art is often used to describe art practice from the 1960's onwards. This covers art created from a wide range of medium and experimental forms and art practice which have gradually become mainstream and as a result, occupy a significant place in the art and art history of the twenty-first century. Examples of Postmodern Art are Land art, Performance work, Video, Light and Mechanical instillations and Pop art.

The cutting edge art of the early part of the twentieth century however, was   Abstract Art.
Abstract Art paved the way for movements including Expressionism – 1905 to 1930, Cubism - 1907 to 1914,   American Expressionism c. 1920, Surrealism – 1920s   and   Abstract Expressionism (incl. Action painting and Colour field painting) – 1940s.
Although these art movements were often seen as radical in their approach to conventional subject matter, they still continued to use traditional painting media on a two dimensional surface.
In the United States, up until the 1940's, modern art was for the most part, in the possession of the elite, estimated at being as few as a dozen collectors. During the forties the number of galleries specializing in the sale of American modern art was very small, only around twenty. Visitors to Peggy Guggenheim's prestigious 'Art of this Century' Gallery in New York, one of the first to exhibit the works of the Abstract Expressionists, were rare and art wasn't selling well.
(see chapter 1, page 2 The Transformation of the Avant-Garde (The New York Art World 1940-1985) Diana Crane, The University of Chicago Press, London, 1987)
American artist Stuart Davis (1892-1964), (See Fig1 and Fig 2) was probably one of the first artists to emerge in the first half of the twentieth century with work which could be termed Pop Art. In the 1930's his abstract paintings incorporated geometric areas of flat colour and advertising imagery which later became the trade mark of...