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Art in which commonplace objects (such as comic strips, soup cans, road signs, and hamburgers) were used as subject matter. The Pop art movement was largely a British and American cultural phenomenon of the late 1950s and '60s. Works by such Pop artists as the Americans Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Tom Wesselman, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana and the Britons David Hockney and Peter Blake, among others, were characterized by their portrayal of any and all aspects of popular culture that had a powerful impact on contemporary life; their iconographytaken from television, comic books, movie magazines, and all forms of advertisingwas presented emphatically and objectively and by means of the precise commercial techniques used by the media from which the iconography itself was borrowed. Some of the more striking forms that Pop art took were Lichtenstein's stylized reproductions of comic strips and Warhol's meticulously literal paintings and silk-screen prints of soup-can labels and Marilyn Monroe. Pop art represented an attempt to return to a more objective, universally acceptable form of art after the dominance in both the United States and Europe of the highly personal Abstract Expressionist movement. Its effectsincluding its decisive destruction of the boundary between high and low arthave continued to be powerfully felt throughout the visual arts to the present day.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Pop art, visit Britannica.com.
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