Tag Archive | Pop Art

Modern Art Monday Presents: Tom Wesselmann, Still Life Number 36

Still Life Number 36
Photo By Gail

The enormous sandwich and pack of cigarettes in Still Life Number 36 (1964) reflect Tom Wesselmann’s nonhierarchical approach to subject matter and technique. He believed that anything could be art, including the ordinary consumer items that fill our pockets and kitchen cabinets. In 1962, Wesselmann began a series of large-scale still lifes that incorporated fragments of discarded commercial billboards, which he initially scavenged from trash cans but later procured in new, pristine condition directly from advertising agencies. The larger-than-life proportions of the objects in Still Life Number 36 at first seem to celebrate the surfeit of commercial goods in America’s postwar consumer culture. Yet the layers of collage and painted areas bring together incongruent depictions of reality, creating tensions in the composition that Wesselmann described as “reverberation.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Roy Lichtenstein, Artists Studio: Foot Medication

Artists Studio Foot Medication
Photo By Gail

By the 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-strip style of painting had become his trademark. While he had adapted his early compositions from actual comic books, here Lichtenstein referred to an art historical rather than a pop culture source: Henri Matisse’s Red Studio (1911, in the collection of MoMA), which features Matisse’s canvases casually set around a room. Into the flattened studio space of Artists Studio Foot Medication (1974), Lichtenstein similarly inserted whole of partial versions of his own real and imagined artworks across a range of subject matter, including geometric abstraction. This painting’s title calls out the 1962 print Foot Medication, reimagined as a monumental painting at the upper left. This kind of self-quotation, at once playful and thoughtful, would become anther feature of Lichtenstein’s production.

Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago.

Eye On Design: Mila Schön, Blue Double-Faced Wool Coat

Blue Wool Coat
All Photos By Gail

By the 20th century, wool suits and coats were indispensable, practical elements of fashionable daywear for women. Double-faced wool, used here by designer Mila Schön for her Blue Coat (1968) is woven almost as two separate textiles, joined by a set of interwoven yarns, creating a thick, structural, spongy fabric.

Blue Wool Coat

The textile’s density supports this A-line silhouette, while the wool’s pliability eases the inset of Pop Art circles. The hems were self-finished by opening the layers and stitching the edges to the inside.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Fabric in Fashion, on View Through May 4th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan.

Blue Wool Coat

Modern Art Monday Presents: Andy Warhol, Mona Lisa

Andy Warhol Mona Lisa
Photo By Gail

This Mona Lisa (1963) is one of the earliest works for which Andy Warhol employed silk-screening, the printing process that he adopted in 1962 to quickly and easily make multiple copies of preexisting images. Here, he revels in the rat of duplication. By replicating a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting Mona Lisa four times in two different ways, the artist reduces a masterwork epitomizing traditional notions of artistic genius and authorship to a pale shadow of its former self. Warhol’s Mona Lisa was donated to The Met by his friend Henry Geldzahler, the Museum’s founding curator of contemporary art. One year before Geldzahler made his gift, Warhol released he film Henry Geldzahler, which consists solely of ninety-seven minutes of footage of the curator smoking a cigar.Photographed in The Met in NYC.

Photographed in The Met in NYC.

Claes Oldenburg’s Monumental Paint Brush Sculpture in Downtown Philadelphia!

Claes Oldenburg Paint Torch Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

Philadelphia has no shortage of impressive public artworks and engaging street art scattered all over the city, and it’s fun to spend a day just wandering the different neighborhoods and checking it all out if you happen be visiting. Most notably, the city is also home to four large-scale public sculptures by legendary Pop artist Claes Oldenburg  — more than any other city in the world. I happened to walk by one of those iconic Oldenburg works — a 51-foot high Paint Brush sculpture entitled Paint Torch, and its accompanying 6-foot Red Paint Blob located just below it on the sidewalk — when was in Philly on a recent weekend. Paint Torch was installed on the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) Lenfest Plaza on August 20th, 2011.

Claes Oldenburg Paint Torch Sculpture

Paint Torch Can be Viewed Up Close at 118-128 N. Broad Street, just across the Street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Claes Oldenburg Paint Torch Sculpture

Modern Art Monday Presents: Custom Print 1 By Peter Phillips

Custom Print 1
Photo By Gail

Before attending the Royal College of Art in London, Peter Phillips (b. 1939) studied graphic design and technical draftsmanship. He applied his skills to establish a style marked by the juxtaposition of images, like the Pinup Model and Car Part in Custom Print I (1965), which were sourced from magazines and other mass media in montage-like compositions. The title of this print —  the first in a series three — refers to custom auto-body shops where a polished enamel sheen is appleid to cars. Phillips worked with Chiron Press, a screenprinting studio that produced posters and greeting cards. The press encouraged him experiment with nontraditional materials such as silver foil and glossy inks, which complement the artist’s brash and vibrant style.

 Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Kay Kurt, Hallelujah

Hallelujah 1995 - 2016
Photo By Gail

Kay Kurt (b. 1944) is a New Realist painter of large-scale confections. Her candies lay the foundation of her compositions, structuring her canvases abstractly, and freeing her to meditate on content. As Richard Hamilton, Robert Watts and Claes Oldenburg also used candies as subject matter — and she often enlarges the scale tenfold, like a billboard — Kurt’s work became associated with Pop Art early on. The scale of the Pop Art movement opened Kurt’s eyes to the possibility of a new vision based on objects instead of landscape.

Typical candies featured in her body of work include Licorice, Bon Bons, Jordan Almonds, Jujubes and Gummi Bears. She chooses and collects these candies from various countries, being specifically interested in those of German origin, which reflect the values, attitudes, and cultures associated with the people who produce them. She does not used mediated or advertising images like the Pop Artists, nor photographs like the Photorealists. These paintings are developed through observation. Kurt prefers painting generic-looking candy, as the luxurious ones are too refined for her taste. The sole instance of exquisite candy in her oeuvre is a Godiva chocolate box painting that she made for a friend. Her choice of subject reflects her interest in mass production and consumer culture around the world.

Compulsive and exacting to an extreme, Kurt can take years to complete a canvas. As the 1980s progressed, Kurt gradually found herself excluded from the New York art world where she had found acclaim for over a decade. Although never giving up on her painting practice, she almost completely withdrew from the public eye and it was not until her inclusion in the 2010 traveling exhibition, Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968 presented at the Brooklyn Museum, that her work was re-introduced.

Hallelujah (1995-2016) is part of the exhibit Kay Kurt: For All Her Innocent Airs, She Knew Exactly Where She Was Going, on view through February 16th, 2017 at Albertz Benda Gallery, Located at 515 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.