Catalogue & Gifts

Pop Art Portraits Exhibition Catalogue

Pop Art Portraits - Order online
Paul Moorhouse
With essay by Dominic Sandbrook

Pop Art defined the look of the 1960s and turned the tables on high art. By reacting against the post-war trend for abstract art, Pop Art asserted itself as a brash, bold figurative art. With its groundbreaking use of familiar imagery from the world of advertising, magazines, pop music, cinema and comics, Pop Art blurred the boundaries between high and low culture. Although seen as subversive, Pop Art rapidly gained widespread appeal and its fascination with instantly recognisable medi a celebrities placed portraiture at the centre of the Pop Art movement. In his latest book, curator Paul Moorhouse explores the vital role portraiture played in the parallel development of Pop in Britain and the USA.

Pop Art Portraits traces Pop Art's complex and creative engagement with portraiture from the early 1950s to its heyday and maturity in the 1960s. This strikingly illustrated book shows how British and American Pop artists interconnected and differed. Key examples of British and American Pop are arranged as a visual conversation: for example, Tom Wesselman's Great American Nude 30 (1962) and Richard Hamilton's Pin-up (1961) are intriguingly juxtaposed. One chapter focuses on the way both British and American artists interpreted images of Marilyn Monroe - transforming a popular icon to produce works of art of great technical virtuosity, originality and enduring fascination. Dominic Sandbrook's essay gives the wider historical and cultural context in which Pop Art flourished.

Paul Moorhouse is Curator of Twentieth-Century Art at the National Portrait Gallery. He was Curator at the Tate, London from 1985 to 2005 where his exhibitions included Leon Kossoff, Michael Andrews, Bridget Riley, Anthony Caro and John Latham. He has published widely and recent publications include Richard Long - Walking the Line; John Virtue - Images of London and John Latham in focus.

Dominic Sandbrook is a freelance historian and a Fellow of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford. He is the author of two books on Britain in the 1960s, Never Had It So Good and White Heat, and writes a weekly column for The Evening Standard.

255 x 200mm, 192 pages
65 illustrations
£30 (hardback); £22.50 (paperback)
Published October 2007