Did Pop Kill Art?

Posted in Inside Scoop by Rise Art on 11th July 2013

As the Lichtenstein exhibition opens at Tate Modern, Charlie Levine takes a look at the new pop generation and picks her top five for the Tuesday List.

 

Art died when Pop Art began in the 1950s — or so they say. The explosion of popular culture into our art galleries definitely shifted what we knew and understood art to be, but I’m not sure it dealt a fatal blow. Quite the opposite in fact.

 

Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, who are all synonymous with this movement, reproduced soup cans, enlarged comic books, and collaged magazines to create utopian scenes of the modern day, and, I believe, breathed new life into the art world and made us begin to question everything, including the every day and throwaway.

 

My favourite of them all, Roy Lichtenstein (I wrote my A–Level dissertation on him at school), is being celebrated this year with a huge retrospective at TATE Modern (21 February – 27 May 2013), and to celebrate I have picked my Top 5 contemporary artists, whose work nods, bows down to, and borrows from the great Pop Art Masters.

 

1. Katja Tukianen

 

I first saw Katja’s works in Helsinki last summer. I love the over the top feminist imagery, pink colours, cartoon stories and unicorns, it’s Barbie Style Pop Art at its knowing best.

 

2. Jiri Geller

 

In true Pop Art style Jiri’s inspiration is taken from comic books and cartoons, especially those by Disney. There’s something simple about these, and they act as a highly coloured key to unlock your childhood memories of these cartoons.

 

3. David Buckingham

 

Pure Pop, and straight after Lichtenstein, David’s word and symbol pieces are so similar to Lichtenstein the associations are inevitable: an enlarged cartoon caption is still exciting.

 

4. llen Ruppersberg

 

Another artist working with Disney imagery, this time stealing pieces directly from Disney comic book strips, taking the characters away and leaving the speech bubbles, new stories develop and things often turn a little sinister.

 

5. Carly Fischer

 

Turning trash into treasure, Carly makes old cans, bottles and rubbish out of paper. Though no words are on the objects you instantly recognize products. The works exist as photographs and sculptures, often strewn on the floor.