The Death and Life of Pop Art in the 1960s Counter-Culture

19 March 2013

Che Si
The magazine cover "Che" Si, by Roman Cieslewicz (French, born Poland, 1930-1996).

Thomas Crow, Professor of Modern Art at New York University, will deliver an illuminating Sydney Ideas lecture on Tuesday 19 March on the widespread absorption of Pop Art into mainstream culture.

In the 1960s Pop drew mainstream audiences into the world of fine art, luring them into the normally off-limits worlds of museums and galleries.

But by the end of that decade, Pop seemed rapidly to fade, enduring as a set of individual artistic careers, but no longer a vital movement. Or so it might have seemed.

The success of Pop in crystallising the ambient imagery of daily life challenged young designers, musicians, and filmmakers to apply the same acuity to their own work - in the process equipping themselves to address an enlarged, better-educated, and more self-aware, youthful audience.

No reckoning with Pop is complete if it fails to include designers on the order of Milton Glaser, Rick Griffin, and Roman Cieslewicz (the magazine designer responsible for the famous image of Che Guevara 'Che Si' in 1968), musicians such as The Byrds, The Who, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles, or directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and John Schlesinger.

The international counter-culture kept Pop current but in the process surpassed, dispersed, and ultimately obscured the sources.

Thomas Crow is Provostial Fellow and the Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Most recently he served as Director of the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

He is the author of many books, including Modern Art in the Common Culture (1996); The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent (1996, 2005) and Emulation: Making Artists for Revolutionary France (1995). His numerous journal articles include: 'The Practice of Art History in America' in Daedalus (Spring 2006) and 'Marx to Sharks: The Art-Historical '80s' in Artforum (2003).

Event details

What:The Death and Life of Pop Art in the 1960s Counter-Culture, a Power Institute lecture, co-presented with Sydney Ideas and the US Studies Centre

When: 6.30 to 8pm, Tuesday 19 March

Where:Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Cost: $25, concession $17, free for all full time students and University of Sydney staff and alumni

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Contact: Jacqueline Chowns

Phone: 02 9036 5404, 0434 605 018

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