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About the lot
The term Pop Art was first used around 1954 to describe a group of British artists, but by the early 1960s it had become synonymous with a new American art movement that appropriated images, techniques and materials from mass media, consumerism and popular culture. Presenting the world around them in bold, graphic formats with a heavy dose of irony, Pop artists sought to connect fine art traditions with pop culture. Their work challenged the traditional boundaries between media, often utilizing commercial methods such as silkscreen or printmaking in combination with paint, or incorporating popular imagery or consumer products to subvert the idea of originality.
Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Indiana, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann
Abstract Expressionism, or ‘The New York School’, is a term applied to a movement in American painting that flourished in New York City after World War II. The varied work produced by the Abstract Expressionists resists stylistic categorization; instead, these artists shared an interest in using abstraction to convey strong emotional or expressive content. These artists moved away from European traditions of painting to create a distinctly American kind of art, which both acknowledged and challenged the domination of early 20th century giants such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Vasily Kandinsky. While Abstract Expressionism is often considered for its advancements in painting, its ideas had deep resonance in many media, including drawing and sculpture.
Willem de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Franz Kline, Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock
The term Colour Field painting applies to works of art characterised by large expanses of colour with no strong contrasts of tone. In the 1950s and 60s, a diverse group of American painters created a new kind of abstraction, striving to achieve the ‘sublime’ through reductive means. Their goal was to free themselves from all suggestions of figuration, exploiting the expressive power of colour by deploying it in large field that might envelope the viewer when seen at close quarters. The critic Clement Greenberg referred to the movement as ‘Post-Painterly Abstraction’ and was one of its strongest advocates.
Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland
Since 1945, a modern revolution in sculpture has taken place, with the medium being an open question rather than a consistent category. The three-dimensional medium’s temporal and spatial relationship to the viewer and incorporation of everyday objects and built structures have all been expanded to the point where it might seem that any artistic practice can be dubbed a ‘sculpture.’ This has led to the emergence of major positions in sculptural aesthetics, including the geometric forms and industrial materials of Minimalism, the land art and earthworks of Post-Minimalism, Joseph Beuys’s theory of ‘social sculpture’, Jeff Koons’s mass-produced commodity objects, Gilbert & George’s static performance works, or ‘living sculpture’, and many other alternatives transforming assemblage and installation in newfound ways.
Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Gilbert & George, Kiki Smith, Mike Kelley, Felix Gonzalez-Torres