Name given to art made in America and Britain from the mid 1950s and 1960s that drew inspiration from sources in popular and commercial culture

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  • Andy Warhol, '[no title]' 1967

    Andy Warhol
    [no title] 1967
    Screenprint on paper
    image: 910 x 910 mm
    Purchased 1971 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS, NY and DACS, London 2009

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  • Roy Lichtenstein, 'Whaam!' 1963

    Roy Lichtenstein
    Whaam! 1963
    Acrylic and oil on canvas
    support: 1727 x 4064 mm frame: 1747 x 4084 x 60 mm
    Purchased 1966 Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

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  • Richard Hamilton, 'Hommage à Chrysler Corp.' 1957

    Richard Hamilton
    Hommage Chrysler Corp. 1957
    Oil, metal foil and collage on wood
    unconfirmed: 1220 x 810 mm frame: 1479 x 1074 x 67 mm
    Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund and the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1995 The estate of Richard Hamilton

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Pop art began in the mid 1950s and reached its peak in the 1960s. It was a revolt against prevailing orthodoxies in art and life and can be seen as one of the first manifestations of postmodernism. Sources pop artists used for their work included Hollywood movies, advertising, packaging, pop music and comic books. Modernist critics were horrified by the pop artists’ use of such low subject matter and by their apparently uncritical treatment of it. In fact pop both took art into new areas of subject matter and developed new ways of presenting it in art.

Chief artists in America were Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol; in Britain, Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Allen Jones, Colin Self. In Europe a similar movement was called nouveau réalisme (new realism).