Evidence of the impact of American Pop art pervades the artistic and cultural transformations of 1960s France. The complexities of its influence have nonetheless been overlooked. Often considered an exception to the European Pop phenomenon, Paris was a central venue for the dissemination of Pop art in France and the Continent. Beginning in November 1962, the Sonnabend Gallery presented American Pop art in Paris with a clarity and purpose that was unmatched in the diverse Parisian art world of the time, establishing a center for the new American art. Overshadowing its British counterparts, American Pop grew into a French cultural phenomenon, in which its critical social vision, often downplayed in the American reception, became incorporated into efforts to forge a renewed art engagé. The longstanding integration of fine and applied arts in France amplified Pop's impact across art, advertising, graphic and interior design, while the destabilization of aesthetic hierarchies perpetuated by Beaux-Arts tradition led to Pop's prominent role in the social and political unrest of May 1968. Chapter one analyzes the Pop automobile advertisements of Robert Delpire and their thematic confluence with Andy Warhol's first exhibition in Paris; chapter two examines the debate over photographic painting generated by Robert Rauschenberg's Grand Prize at the 1964 Venice Biennial and the contemporaneous "Mythologies Quotidiennes" exhibition in Paris; chapter three analyzes the mutual turn to decoration by Warhol and Daniel Buren in 1965 as an expansion of painting and critique of modernism; chapter four analyzes the politicization of comics by the Situationist International as an anti-Pop strategy in the later 1960s; and in chapter five I suggest that Pop techniques were integral to the silkscreened posters made in the Atelier Populaire during the events of May-June 1968. Providing a counter-example to most American and British varieties of Pop art, these chapters show how the French response to Pop brought an engagement to neo-avant-garde practices that have often been considered politically inert.
|Advisor:||Crow, Thomas E., Nochlin, Linda|
|School:||New York University|
|Department:||Institute of Fine Arts|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Art, Atelier Populaire, Figuration narrative, France, French, Pop art, Situationist International, Warhol, Andy|
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