Pop Art: all mouth, no trousers?

Sunday 20 October, 1.30pm until 3.00pm, Garden Room Artistic Battles

Pop Art’s fusion of fine art techniques with the lingua franca of commodity capitalism remains as enduringly popular and controversial over half a century since it truly began. For some, the mischievous experiments of Warhol, Hamilton and Lichtenstein breathed new life and cultural relevance into the discipline of fine art. For others, however, such experiments paved the way for a kind of celebrity artist who is more akin to a brand consultant, selling superficial work to a dubiously elite art market. Why does an art movement so attuned to the ephemera of its time still hold such iconic sway over our imagination today? Did Pop Art’s celebration of the everyday serve to liberate fine artists from stultifying tradition, or simply turn art into just another product? From album covers to interior design, what has been its true legacy?

Held in partnership with Barbican Art Gallery’s new exhibition Pop Art Design (22 Oct – 09 Feb). Discounts apply for Battle delegates

Catherine Ince
curator, Barbican Art Gallery

Sam Jacob
director, Fashion Architecture Taste; professor of architecture, University of Illinois, Chicago; blogger, Strange Harvest

Angus Kennedy
convenor, The Academy; author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination

Karl Sharro
architect; writer; Middle East commentator; co-author, Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture

Frances Spalding
professor of art history, Newcastle University; author, The Bloomsbury Group and John Piper, Myfanwy Piper: lives in art

David Bowden
associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; culture writer

Produced by
David Bowden associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; culture writer
Recommended readings
We Are Pop People

Anyone seeking a crisp argument for the importance of contemporary art history should welcome the introduction of Hal Foster’s latest book, The First Pop Age. - See more at: http://artjournal.collegeart.org/?p=3560#sthash.xaOACdBo.dpuf

Joshua Shannon, Art Journal, 2013

Pop art’s grand return

It was the art movement that swept through Britain and the United States in the 1950s and ‘60s capitalising on the changing popular culture of time.

Rowan Curtis-Nevett, Arts London News, 8 February 2013

Andy Warhol: the case against

The Warhol redemption has reached saturation point. We need a break from the man who heralded an era of made-for-market art

Jonathan Jones, Guardian, 20 June 2012

Beyond Pop’s Image: The Immateriality of Everyday Life

Nearly fifty years later, it seems we are still struggling with this first order of analysis: pinning down Pop art’s characteristics.

Christina Chang, University of Michigan,

Is it art? Museum sets up live video feed of Andy Warhol grave

The fascination for Andy Warhol still continues long after his death with his works fetching millions of dollars. But just as his prints left many contemporary critics frothing about their merits, a scheme allowing fans to watch his grave day and night could now be met with the same question: is it art?

Nick Clark, Independent,

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