Research Point: Pop Art

While researching Pop Art I was surprised to learn that it hadn’t started in America as I thought but in the mid 1950’s in Great Britain. It challenged the traditions of Fine Art by including images from popular culture.

According to this glossary from Tate

“A Still Life is anything that does not move or is dead in other words a Still Life painting usually features an arrangement of inanimate objects and traditionally the objects in the still life would have had a symbolic meaning.”

Still lives have a long tradition going back to Ancient Greece/Rome right up to the 20th century and Pop Art still lives are just a continuation,  although in a simplified form compared with the height of this genre, in the 17th and 18th century.

This is a late piece of what could be classed as pop art from the late 70’s in the Walker Art gallery collection in Liverpool.  Patrick Caulfield has transformed ordinary things into extraordinary things “what we call inspiration results from a careful sifting of everyday experience.”  Where he differs from American pop art is his use of interiors and everyday objects instead of advertising products and popular culture.


‘Still life: Autumn fashion’, Patrick Caulfield, 1978

Leeks in a trug and oysters on a plate (the right ones are very realistic compared to the more graphic ones to the left)  and typical 1970’2 wallpaper 🙂

You can see more of his works on the BBC Your Painting website



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