Pop Art or A History of Now
By Andy MacKay
10th March 2021 6pm

“Emerging in 1950s London, popular art – or “Pop Art” as it quickly became known – appeared at a unique historical moment. Coming of age during a new and political convergence of industry, technology, advertising and art, Pop artists were celebrities. As playful and inventive exemplars of both the avant-garde and the mainstream, they both shaped and reflected postwar popular culture – not without controversy. With a visually arresting and diverse new vernacular realism they employed humour, irony and irreverence to explore the conflicted construction of ‘reality’. Describing the intersection of art, business and identity politics, theirs was the first international Postmodern movement – defining the world in which we still live. Pop Art remains the most recognisable of twentieth century art movements because it’s a form of cultural populism that we’re still in love with: everything is iconic, everyone’s a celebrity. To understand Pop Art is really to understand now”.  Andy MacKay

Andy MacKay

After studying Art History, Literature and Philosophy at St Andrews, London and Leiden universities, Andy worked at Tate Modern and The National Gallery in London, The British Institute Archives in Florence, Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Subsequently Andy spent fifteen years teaching the history, philosophy and political-aesthetics of Classical, Renaissance and Modern Art to international students in Berlin, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Venice, Siena, Florence, Naples, Rome, New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Later qualifying as an archivist at Glasgow University, Andy worked as a Literary Manuscripts cataloguer at The British Library in London. Alongside authoring two popular non-fiction books exploring diverse cultural legacies – The Angel of Charleston (2013) and The Story of Pop Art (2020) – Andy has written several articles on Queer art and literature.

 

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