Pop Art part of life today

Installation view - Pop Art Design

Pop Art epitomises all the glamour and confidence of a prosperous America. The colours are loud and brash, the statements playful and the spirit happy.  So much of it is infused into our daily life, that we now don’t even notice it as a thing apart. The Barbican’s Pop Art Design (until 9 Feb) highlights the period’s roots in design, and its enduring legacy. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that Andy Warhol started out as a commercial designer – hence the focus on brands, now iconic symbols of our modern age. Fifty years on, as we look back at pivotal moments in our history, like Kennedy’s assassination, Pop Art has an energetic optimism that defines the era. Lichtenstein’s comic strip images, Gaetano Pesce’s outsized floor lamp or Studio 65’s Leonardo sofa, covered in stars and stripes, hark back to a time when technology, consumerism and celebrity culture represented a seductive post-war shift. And even if the postmodern incarnation of the movement has a more jaded tone, seeing the originals is guaranteed to make you smile.

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