Pop Art

Can you celebrate consumer culture at the same time that you critique it? Pop artists thought so.

c. 1956–1980 C.E.

Beginner's guide

The term “Pop Art” first emerged in Great Britain after World War II, but the approach can be traced back even further.

videos + essays

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Harry Fonseca, <em>Two Coyotes with Flags</em>
Harry Fonseca, Two Coyotes with Flags

Cartoonish coyotes play on Fonseca's overlapping identities as queer, American, and Indigenous.

Betye Saar, <em>Liberation of Aunt Jemima</em>
Betye Saar, Liberation of Aunt Jemima

Beyte Saar boldly attempts to rescue the Mammy character from her demeaning, servile role in Jim Crow fantasy in this powerful assemblage

Richard Hamilton, <em>Just What is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, so Appealing?</em>
Richard Hamilton, Just What is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, so Appealing?

While Hamilton's Just What is It… is considered to be among the most foundational works of Pop Art, this small collage was initially not created as a work of art.

Marisol, <em>The Party</em>
Marisol, The Party

At this party, everyone has the same face and seems profoundly alone.

Warhol, <em>Coca-Cola [3]</em>
Warhol, Coca-Cola [3]

With this canvas, Coca-Cola [3], Warhol becomes Warhol.

The Case for Andy Warhol
The Case for Andy Warhol

By laying bare the relationship between commerce and art, Warhol nullified the idea of being a sell out.

James Rosenquist, <em>F-111</em>
James Rosenquist, F-111

This war machine seemed obsolete before it was finished; Rosenquist explains why he painted it with SpaghettiOs.

Why is this art? Andy Warhol, <em>Campbell’s Soup Cans</em>
Why is this art? Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans

By putting this in the museum, we see this as art. But what if it weren’t there?

Roy Lichtenstein, <em>Rouen Cathedral Set V</em>
Roy Lichtenstein, Rouen Cathedral Set V

How do you make a nineteenth-century masterpiece ask twentieth-century questions?

Claes Oldenburg, <em>Floor Cake</em>
Claes Oldenburg, Floor Cake

Oldenburg’s wonderfully floppy, sloppy cake is filthy, humorous, and not at all edible.

Andy Warhol, <em>Gold Marilyn Monroe</em>
Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn’s floating head, garishly colored, functions as the Virgin Mary in a Byzantine icon.

Claes Oldenburg, <em>Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks</em>
Claes Oldenburg, Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks

This sculpture, installed on the Yale campus during Vietnam War protests, was never meant to be permanent.

Selected Contributors