The 60s

The 60s


An era of steady economic growth. The baby boomers come of age, giving us The Beatles, hippies, flower power and Woodstock - while Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.

Art became heavily influenced by popular culture and the consumer goods industry, the most visible expression of which is now Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup and Roy Lichtenstein's comics-inspired imagery. Unlike British Pop Art, which celebrated and satirized consumer culture, American Pop Art was characterized by stark and emblematic forms of presentation. Early representatives of the US style were Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns (see the 50s), who both showed a strong interest in working with other disciplines as well, collaborating with dancers Merce Cunningham and Robert Motherwell and composer John Cage. The major British Pop Art exponents were Richard Hamilton, David Hockney and Allen Jones.

Minimal Art, which rose in reaction to Pop Art, was characterized by impersonal austerity, plain geometry, industrially processed materials and the use of modern technology such as fluorescent electric lights. Key exponents of the movement were Donald Judd, Carl André, Dan Flavin, Sol Le Witt and Agnes Martin.

Joseph Beuys provoked the art world of the time, saying "each person is an artist". He widened and expanded his belief into the conceptual idea of a "social sculpture" - or art drawing on the creative power of each individual.

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