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Pop art was an art movement that originally occurred in the United States in the early sixties. The epicenter of this art phenomenon was New York, the city that confirms its leading position. Although this movement erupted strongly in the early sixties, change attempts began during the late fifties in the work of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. These painters wanted to replace the abstract state of artistic expression and aimed to make the message of the art easier to understand by the public. The first pop art paintings contained easily recognizable images of common objects. The purpose of incorporating these objects was to mock gravity, the metaphysical boredom of abstract expressionism that was beginning to get out of fashion. Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg introduced entertaining objects in the first pop art paintings: flags, maps and targets or stuffed animals and rubber tires for the latter artist. The pop art movement becomes famous for its main function: mockery and irony.
Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein were the most representative artists for this new art stream. Their pop art paintings were characterized by their original display of popular cultural symbols: advertising, media images or even comics. These new, colorful, lively pop art paintings opposed the serious, spirituality of abstract expressionism. Consequently, these types of pop art paintings become very popular with the art-loving public and among the art critics. But abstract expressionism continued to be greatly appreciated, despite the pop art paintings & # 39; mockery.
Although the pop art movement was popular and influential, it proved lacking strength to completely replace abstract expressionism, but it determined the birth of two new abstraction schools: color field painting and minimalist art. The color field painting movement (mainly represented by painter Helen Frankenthaler) minimized the influence of abstract expressionism's old traits into a style that was entirely committed to using pure color.
American art in the sixties remained in art history books as a period of constant rivalries between different competing styles and ideas. Still, pop art paintings represented the best ideas and symbols of American lifestyle in the sixties.