After Modernism Lesson 2 (Pop Art and Consumerism)


To begin the lesson we discussed the differences between these art works. I thought Kenneth Noland was more pure and was very flat whereas in Jasper Johns you could see the texture and the maximum contrast between the blue and yellow primary colours. It was interesting to see the plaster casts of body parts assumed to of be Jasper John. It made it look like a funfair ride with the big bright target and the shooting range of parts of the body.

Picture2In Clyfford Still’s painting it shows again the flat canvas with the paint not crossing and also shows the use of just a few colours whereas in Francois Dufrene’s piece you can see the ragged roughness of a day collage with many use of colours and the bright vibrant magazine/papers used. So we then though about is pop art more realistic? Realism does not depend on the presence of recognizable object but as a relation between them. Pop art is not necessarily more realistic than abstract expressionism.

Pop Art and Consumerism


Christo Pousette shows the packed supermarket cart in a shabby way all wrapped up and we feel a sense of  mystery as we can’t see what is in there which leaves us guessing whereas in Sylvie Fleury’s piece It shows the shopping cart as a pure prize like its the star of the show. What was interesting was the dates these were made and how shopping carts haven’t changed the designs. Social function needs a supermarket.

We moved on to look at value and how it be judged through an art work.

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Andy Warhol Recreated the Brillo box and displayed it in a gallery and it sold for millions where as the original created James Harvey barley had any recognition for the box. How can a reproduction sell for millions?


I really like the idea Bill Drummond had where he bought a Richard long Photograph for 20,000 dollars and cut up the photograph into 20,000 pieces and sold as a dollar each. it gives us the sense where how can a painting still keep its worth even though its cut up, does it still remain a art piece.

A Commodity= Material+Human Labour+ A Market

Tree+cut down into planks+sold is a commodity

Super markets have no personal relation to the producers or the makers so what can we trust? This is why we have brands so we feel like we know what we are getting from the product and we trust the products. Because I buy Heinz beans and I won’t buy no other that brand becomes a part of us and our own self worth. Barbara Kruger shows this in her piece “I shop therefore I am”. Food and all the things we consume we think shops are our source of consumption.

Picture71) Food


In Wayne Theibaud’s work he shows refrigerated pies, its a simplistic painting but we recognize all the flavours of the pies and it shows the endless mass production of the pies. They could go on forever, where as in Pieter Clasz’s piece we see the whole of the table and the more realistic food. It plays with our senses we can almost taste the food and hear the nuts crack smell the cheese, its more pleasurable to look at.


In this piece by Wolf Vostell entitled ‘Coca Cola’ it shows a day collage which resembles a billboard and it looks like its weathered and pealing away. To me it shows the reality breaking through almost as if like its the real life vs the mass production of the industry and the industry is just winning by continuing to plaster itself everywhere.


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Claes Oldenburg shows the reality of mass production. I think his art work becomes unique in itself and its about the messiness of the home made, not the perfect mass produced food.


3) Gender

Overinfatic and itemization,



In Rosalyn Drexler’s Images it shows vibrant backgrounds with silhouettes. To me it shows the harsh sceniaios, is that woman above being forcibly kissed?

Picture15In “it’s a Man’s world” we see a landscape with a female feature through the middle to me I think it shows that the real nature men want to be staring at when they look at a landscape.


James Rosenquist shows the combination of images from a magazine or paper combined, this portrays to the the man as the dominant figure the woman’s hands being the food giver and then the car being the electronics in his life which is more important than the female. Man= Outside world=Car.


The women’s roles were to be a domestic goddess, and sometimes the roles of the domestic appliances became more important than the females in some work, like this piece by Richard Hamilton where he shows the outlines of a female surrounded my appliances but she’s faded away and the most noticeable thing to look at is the toaster in the foreground.


I enjoyed today’s lesson as the subject was very interesting, I enjoy pop art and I had no idea how consumerism reflected and developed that. My only concern was that the lesson was very long, and I found it very difficult to concentrate and my mind started to wonder. For next lesson I will make sure to bring plenty of water and make a sugary snack to keep my mind active. I like how the group can have a free discussion with Jon and the rest of the class, this is helpful as you get a better understanding of other peoples ideas and opinions of art which can sometimes influence yours. In today’s lesson I developed my discussion and thinking skills which are always a good thing to gain.


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