Pop Art!


"I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me."
- Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece, 1962.











semiotics = the study of signs, symbols and how meaning is constructed

Numbers in Colour

Signifier (image or word) + signified (concept, object or emotion) = sign (whole)
 "a - p - p - l - e" + apple= apple
Relationship between the signifier and the signified is conventional – it is always dependent on social and cultural conventions
Therefore, the relationship between the signifier and the signified (the sign) is always arbitrary

Jasper Johns, Numbers in Colour, 1959.











Jasper Johns, False Start, 1959.
Jasper Johns, 0 through 9, 1960. 72 X 54 inches.










Jasper Johns, Painted Bronze, 1960.


"I was doing at that time sculptures of small objects - flashlights and light bulbs. Then I heard a story about Willem de Kooning. He was annoyed with my dealer, Leo Castelli for some reason, and said something like, 'That son-of-a-bitch; you could give him two beer cans and he could sell them.' I heard this and thought, 'What a sculpture- two beer cans.' It seemed to me to fit in perfectly with what I was doing, so I did them and Leo sold them." - Jasper Johns











A Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Ballantine Ale ad, 1962
Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, 1881 - 1882.










Historical Context
Soviet Union launches Sputnik I starting the "Space Race"

John F. Kennedy becomes President
East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall
First contraceptive pill made available to the public
First Soviet manned space flight
First US manned space flight
Cuban missle crisis
Death of Marilyn Monroe
Race riots in Birmingham, Alabama
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
1964 - 1973
Vietnam War
Assassination of Malcolm X
Foundation of the National Organization of Women
Che Guevarar killed in Bolivia
Assassination of Martin Luther King
Neil Armstrong becomes first man to walk on the moon
Elaine De Kooning,
John F. Kennedy, 1963.












"Pop should be: Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short-term solution), Expendable (easily forgotten), Low-cost, Mass-produced, Young (aimed at youth), Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big Business" - Richard Hamilton

Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different So Appealing

Richard Hamilton, Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? 1956.











Real Gold

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all.
- Ogden Nash
Eduardo Paolozzi, Real Gold, 1950.  14" X 19" collage.











Pop Art = art movement of the 1960s that dealt with images from mass culture
10,000 televisions in U.S. homes
40 million televisions in U.S. homes
Average American exposed to 1600 advertising images a day
"The average American is exposed to about 3000 advertising messages a day, and global corporations spend over $620 billion each year to make their products seem desirable and to get us to buy them."
- Union of Concerned Scientists www.ucsusa.org





















32 Campbell's Soup Cans
Andy Warhol, 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, 1961 - 1962. Acrylic on canvas.











Warhol's Soup Cans at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles


Sold for $100 each at the Ferus Gallery in 1962






















"We are attacked by radio and television and visual communications…at such a speed and with such a force that painting…now seems very old-fashioned…why shouldn't it be done with that power and gusto [of advertising], with that impact." - James Rosenquist
Wall Street Journal, "Off Duty," September 29, 2012.