Available next March and published by Goodman, POP! The World of Pop Art is a solid and innovative book which uncovers Pop Art’s origins in early-1950s London with The Independent Group and their fascination with American popular culture – leading to the name ‘Pop’. It’s very interesting to realise that Pop Art was actually coined in the UK and not in the US, the movement being associated so often to Andy Warhol. British art dealer Robert Fraser was probably responsible was introducing Warhol to the UK.Inside Pop! there are also several pouches containing removable items of fascimile memorabilia from the artists’ studios such as stencils used by Andy Warhol to create his Campbell’s Soup paintings, Warhol’s Cow Wallpaper first exhibited in 1966, early drawings by Roy Lichtenstein, poster for Claes Oldenburg’s first solo exhibition at the Green Gallery and a comic strip created by Peter Blake amongst many other amazing objects! These removable items make the book very special and entertaining!
Finlay explains how The Indenpendent Group within the ICA in London where Pop emerged in the early 1950s, was formed as a think-tank and cabinet for artists and intellectuals discussing topics of popular culture – including artists Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, and Nigel Henderson; how artists such as Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein and Oldenburg introduced parody, wit and enthusiasm into their work.
“Pop art seeks not only to define its place within culture and society, but also to investigate the world at large and to view itself as a major artistic and theoretical discipline. Falsifying, aping, misappropriating and replicating, Pop artists will continue to debate concepts of originality, authenticity and the high and low in art and culture in ways that evidence the lasting power of the Pop art movement half a century after it’s inauguration.” says John Finlay.
Finally, POP! considers the influence of Pop art on other genres, in particular as the precursor to post-modernism and contemporary forms of art including the influence of Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.
POP! The World of Pop Art by John Finlay, published by Goodman, March 2016, hardback with removable memorabilia, £30. http://www.carltonbooks.co.uk.