Controversial, subversive and innovative – over 100 works by the godfather of Pop Art will feature in Tate Liverpool’s exciting exhibition, Transmitting Andy Warhol. Explore the history of Pop Art from its early roots in 1940s collage by British artists to US pioneers such as Jasper Johns through to the masters of Pop, Warhol and Lichtenstein. You can get 50% off Transmitting Andy Warhol at Tate Liverpool with a National Art Pass.
Scottish artist, illustrator and co-founder of the Independent Group (IG) Eduardo Paolozzi pioneers a new style in I Was a Rich Man’s Plaything, containing cut-up images of a pinup girl, Coca-Cola logo, cherry pie and the word Pop. This work is often cited as the precursor of the Pop Art movement.
Paolozzi presented a lecture to the IG at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London using a series of collages titled Bunk! The work included found objects such as advertising, comic book characters, magazine covers and various mass-produced graphics that referenced American popular culture.
The group consisted of Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, William Turnbull and art critic Lawrence Alloway.
John McHale, also a founder-member of the IG and ICA reportedly coins the phrase Pop Art although many believe it was in fact art critic Lawrence Alloway. The IG artists and critics use the phrase Pop in the mid-1950s to describe the merging of mass pop culture with high art to produce a new aesthetic in response to the commercialisation of Western culture.
The painting, which at first sight looks like a collage, depicts people holding well known works of art. On the Balcony becomes an iconic work in the Pop Art cannon which is now on display at Tate Britain.
Hamilton's collage Just What Is It that Makes Today's Home So Different and So Appealing? appears at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. The Pop Art aesthetic is born.
Art critic Lawrence Alloway publishes the essay The Arts and the Mass Media which uses the phrase ‘mass popular art’.
American Neo-Dada artists and lovers Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg set the scene for US Pop Art, using mass imagery, iconography and found objects and employing techniques such as printmaking, silkscreen and collage.
A series by Lichtenstein depicts household objects such as hot dogs and trainers using cartoon imagery.
BBC’s flagship arts show Monitor airs Pop Goes the Easel, a beautiful documentary looking at young British Pop artists of the day, including Sir Peter Blake and Pauline Boty.
Warhol’s first solo show in Los Angeles displays the now infamous 32 paintings of Campbell’s soup cans, one for every flavour.
The visual style of Pop Art is established; bright, often primary colours, iconic imagery drawn from advertising and mainstream media, use of collage, silkscreen, large-scale canvasses and the use of irony, parody and wit.
Warhol’s first New York solo show includes the Marilyn Diptych just months after Monroe’s death. The painting will take centre stage at Tate Liverpool’s Andy Warhol exhibition.
The symposium introduces the term Pop Art to the art community. Warhol and Duchamp are in the audience.
Six Painters and the Object curated by IG’s Lawrence Alloway marks the high point of Pop Art with work by Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol included.
Whaam! is exhibited at Leo Castelli’s gallery in New York City. The work epitomises Lichtenstein’s style – comic strip motifs, bright primary colours, large format, stylised form and humour. Tate Gallery bought the painting in 1966 for £3,940 and it is now on permanent display at Tate Modern, London.
The magazine publishes an article on Lichtenstein with the title ‘Is He the Worst Artist in the U.S.?’ which galvanises distrust and criticism of the Pop artists as money-making copycats.
With help from numerous assistants at his studio, the Factory in New York, Warhol maximises productivity.
The Beatles release their eighth album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with artwork created by Peter Blake and his then wife Jann Haworth. This was to become an iconic piece of British Pop Art.
Radical feminist Valerie Solanas shoots Andy Warhol which would change Warhol’s life forever; the Factory became more tightly secured and Warhol’s health never fully regained, having to wear a surgical corset for the rest of his life. The end of Pop Art is nigh.