A history of Pop Art

‘Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous’, wrote the British painter Richard Hamilton of Pop Art in 1957. Coined two years earlier by the art critic Lawrence Alloway, the genre emerged in New York as artists embraced the post-World War II manufacturing and media boom.

Following on from the Abstract Impressionist movement, Pop Art rebelled against the themes of morality and mythology found in highbrow art, instead introducing identifiable imagery drawn from mass media and popular culture. Defined edges and emotional detachment were underpinned by the belief that everything is connected, from commercial advertising to mass production and even trash.

Through its vibrant colours and unabashed brazenness, Pop Art encompassed themes of celebrity, television, magazines and comic books to represent what artist Jim Dine termed ‘…the American Dream, optimistic, generous and naïve’. Pop Art’s international variants included Capitalist Realism in Germany, Anti-Art in Japan and Nouveau Réalisme in France.

Pioneers of the movement included James Francis Gill, Roy Lichtenstein and Eduardo Paolozzi, while famous artworks include James Rosenquist’s ‘President Elect’ (1960-71) and Andy Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup I’ (1968).

Pop Art

Pascale Taurua

Mini Marilyn 1

James Francis Gill


John D Wilson

Western Pop Art

Real-life ranch sorting world champion Billy Schenck is known as the 'Warhol of the West' for his exciting fusion of Navajo culture, modern-day cowgirls and tongue-in-cheek humour. 

His debut UK tour to launch The New West in November 2018 was followed by an appearance in GQ magazine. His work also featured in the comedy-drama film Ideal Home, starring Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan. 

Billy, who is credited as the founder of the Western Pop Art movement, says: "I wanted to do with my paintings what Sergio Leone had done with film. No other genre in the last 200 years can compete."


'Posthumous Warhols'

A decade-long project to transform Andy Warhol's original acetates (film positives) has taken London-based artist Paul Stephenson around the world. 

Working alongside one of the Pop Art founder's master printers, Alexander Heinrici, Paul created his After Warhol collection using the same techniques and materials. For each piece, Paul blew up the original acetate before transferring the image to a larger canvas and using a squeegee to press the inks through a screen.

So faithful was his methodology that leading Warholian expert Rainer Crone dubbed them 'posthumous Warhols'.




From the blog

Cowboy art: Billy Schenck


As the quintessential American hero, the lone cowboy has legendary status in popular culture. Find out how artists including Billy Schenck, Richard Prince and Frederic Remington have depicted the iconic figure.

A sparkling season with the Bisaillon Brothers


The New York pop art duo bring champagne style to their Pop Collection of iconic people and brands with a group of four new champagne-themed limited edition works.

The Art of Chaos | Illuminati Neon


A homage to the punk rock genre, this release includes a selection of large-scale, mixed media artworks and two unapologetically rock 'n' roll limited edition prints with a graphic that reportedly had the approval of the late Queen herself!

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