Magazine article Artforum International

Pop Art Revisited

Magazine article Artforum International

Pop Art Revisited

Article excerpt

VARIOUS VENUES

Back in the '6os, I used to think that Pop art had sprung, fully formed, from the head of Leo Castelli at 4 East Seventy-seventh Street and that its shocking, larger-than-life newness was the birthright of an exclusive club whose charter members were Lichtenstein, Warhol, Rosenquist, and Oldenburg. For most New Yorkers at the time, art across the Atlantic was so beyond the pale that it might just as well have been from another planet. Despite Sidney Janis's "New Realists" show in 1962, with its French contingent, or the realization that Richard Hamilton's little collage of 1956, Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?, had offered a quiet British preview of far brasher American things to come, Pop meant America. For parochial New Yorkers, even the California contestants--Ruscha, Ramos, Thiebaud--seemed out of bounds.

All that has changed, and now Pop art's once singular American voice is inflected by accents both international and regional. As our viewfinder keeps widening, the idea of Pop expands in every direction, seeping into our overall perspective on the art of the '60s from both sides of the Atlantic. Such is the premise, at least, of "Les Annees Pop," the Centre Georges Pompidou's spring exhibition, under the curatorial direction of Catherine Grenier. The 300-work survey promises a fresh excavation of the now-remote past, 1956-68, as seen from the retrospective threshold of a new century. The cast of characters will sweep across national boundaries, offering, for example, glimpses of Spain (Equipo Cronica), Italy (Pistoletto), France (Alain Jacquet), Germany (Richter), and England (Paolozzi); the borders of different media will be crossed as well, with nods to Pop architecture (Archigram, Robert Venturi, Disneyland), film and performance pieces (Burckhardt, Kaprow, Gianfranco Baruchello), furniture (Arman, Allen Jones), even rock music. …

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