2010s Pop Art Figurative Sculptures
A Close Look at pop-art Art
Perhaps one of the most influential contemporary art movements, Pop art emerged in the 1950s. In stark contrast to traditional artistic practice, its practitioners drew on imagery from popular culture — comic books, advertising, product packaging and other commercial media — to create original Pop art paintings, prints and sculptures that celebrated ordinary life in the most literal way.
ORIGINS OF POP ART
- Started in Britain in the 1950s, flourished in 1960s-era America
- “This is Tomorrow,” at London's Whitechapel Gallery in 1956, was reportedly the first Pop art exhibition
- A reaction to postwar mass consumerism
- Transitioning away from Abstract Expressionism
- Informed by neo-Dada and artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg; influenced postmodernism and Photorealism
CHARACTERISTICS OF POP ART
- Bold imagery
- Bright, vivid colors
- Straightforward concepts
- Engagement with popular culture
- Incorporation of everyday objects from advertisements, cartoons, comic books and other popular mass media
POP ARTISTS TO KNOW
- Richard Hamilton
- Andy Warhol
- Marta Minujín
- Claes Oldenburg
- Eduardo Paolozzi
- Rosalyn Drexler
- James Rosenquist
- Peter Blake
- Roy Lichtenstein
ORIGINAL POP ART ON 1STDIBS
The Pop art movement started in the United Kingdom as a reaction, both positive and critical, to the period’s consumerism. Its goal was to put popular culture on the same level as so-called high culture.
Richard Hamilton’s 1956 collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? is widely believed to have kickstarted this unconventional new style.
Pop art works are distinguished by their bold imagery, bright colors and seemingly commonplace subject matter. Practitioners sought to challenge the status quo, breaking with the perceived elitism of the previously dominant Abstract Expressionism and making statements about current events. Other key characteristics of Pop art include appropriation of imagery and techniques from popular and commercial culture; use of different media and formats; repetition in imagery and iconography; incorporation of mundane objects from advertisements, cartoons and other popular media; hard edges; and ironic and witty treatment of subject matter.
Although British artists launched the movement, they were soon overshadowed by their American counterparts. Pop art is perhaps most closely identified with American Pop artist Andy Warhol, whose clever appropriation of motifs and images helped to transform the artistic style into a lifestyle. Most of the best-known American artists associated with Pop art started in commercial art (Warhol made whimsical drawings as a hobby during his early years as a commercial illustrator), a background that helped them in merging high and popular culture.
Roy Lichtenstein was another prominent Pop artist that was active in the United States. Much like Warhol, Lichtenstein drew his subjects from print media, particularly comic strips, producing paintings and sculptures characterized by primary colors, bold outlines and halftone dots, elements appropriated from commercial printing. Recontextualizing a lowbrow image by importing it into a fine-art context was a trademark of his style. Neo-Pop artists like Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami further blurred the line between art and popular culture.
Pop art rose to prominence largely through the work of a handful of men creating works that were unemotional and distanced — in other words, stereotypically masculine. However, there were many important female Pop artists, such as Rosalyn Drexler, whose significant contributions to the movement are recognized today. Best known for her work as a playwright and novelist, Drexler also created paintings and collages embodying Pop art themes and stylistic features.
Finding the Right figurative-sculptures for You
Figurative sculptures mix reality and imagination, with the most common muse being the human body. Animals are also inspirations for these sculptures, along with forms found in nature.
While figurative sculpture dates back over 35,000 years, the term came into popularity in the 20th century to distinguish it from abstract art. It was aligned with the Expressionist movement in that many of its artists portrayed reality but in a nonnaturalistic and emotional way. In the 1940s, Alberto Giacometti — a Swiss-born artist who was interested in African art, Cubism and Surrealism — created now-iconic representational sculptures of the human figure, and after World War II, figurative sculpture as a movement continued to flourish in Europe.
Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon were some of the leading figurative artists during this period. Artists like Jeff Koons and Maurizio Cattelan propelled the evolution of figurative sculpture into the 21st century.
Figurative sculptures can be whimsical, uncanny and beautiful. Their materials range from stone and wood to metal and delicate ceramics. Even in smaller sizes, the sculptures make bold statements. A bronze sculpture by Salvador Dalí enhances a room; a statuesque bull by Jacques Owczarek depicts strength with its broad chest while its thin legs speak of fragility. Figurative sculptures allow viewers to see what is possible when life is reimagined.
Browse 1stDibs for an extensive collection of figurative sculptures and find the next addition to your collection.