Pop Art

Pop Art

Bradford R Collins
Phaidon

Pop Art is by far one of the most recognisable and well-known artistic movements. Figures like Andy Warhol, Peter Blake and Roy Lichtenstein are household names. The context of the movement is simple: rather than drawing on art history, the artists in this movement looked at the culture they were living in – mass consumerism – and used it as a starting point to create some of the 20th century’s most iconic images.

There are numerous books that survey Pop Art (one could argue that there are too many), so the fundamental question is – what does Collins’ book add to the existing discussion? It’s a brave move by any publisher but, in fact, Collins’ text skilfully moves through the different eras of Pop starting with its early emergence in 1952 and finishing in 1990. He also looks at Pop Art in relation to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

Critically aware, this book offers a historical overview, and the fact that it concludes in 1990 brings more questions to the fore about Pop and its many intrinsic legacies.

Shirley Stevenson