March 4, 2022In Uncategorized

The Origins Of British Pop Art

One of the most fascinating artistic movements in both the UK and US over the past 70 years has been the evolution of pop art, and the bright colours and unique styles shaped by collage, sculptor and resin artists alike.

Both the British and American pop art movements developed in very different ways; although both started in the 1950s and focus greatly on pop culture imagery, they each interpret it in very different ways.

British pop art focused on the effects of American pop culture when viewed from a distance and was much closer to the previous avant-garde Dadaism movement of the late 1920s and 1920s.

Dada was a movement that emerged after the outbreak of the First World War that was cynical, satirical and often nonsensical, protesting the ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ of the society that led people into a war to end all wars.

Pop art came from a similar place, particularly in terms of its postmodern ideology and exploration of mass culture, propaganda, a rejection of aesthetic norms and the world after an even more destructive Second World War.

One of the earliest examples of pop art in the form we most commonly associate is ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’ by Richard Hamilton in 1956.

An ironic collage of a range of mass media artefacts of the era, it highlighted a common style used for pop art that explored the implications of pop culture imagery, particularly in the form of American mass advertising, which had by this point borrowed many elements from modern art.

The early British pop art movement was led by the Independent Group, consisting of artists such as William Turnbull, Richard Hamilton and John McHale and highlighted the different approaches their pop art took from modernist art at the time, and even from the later evolution of American pop art.

They embraced the commercialised nature of pop culture rather than adopting the modernist rejection of it or the American pop art scene’s boldness and aggression, leading to a more satirical, humourous and ironic artistic movement.