The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art

John Wilmerding. Rizzoli, $75 (248p) ISBN 978-0-8478-3967-4
This inclusive survey of the still life tradition within Pop provides a fresh take on some of the most familiar images from 20th century American art. Pop has received a new wave of curatorial and critical attention in recent years, but Wilmerding, a scholar of American art, manages to largely avoid redundancy by categorizing and considering iconic works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and many others through a specific art-historical context. Thematically organized by the objects themselves, Wilmerding brings to bear on the images their historical precedents, the artists' own methods and contemporary associations, and the broader concerns of Pop within the United States. The publication itself is striking, with many images given a lavish presentation and some important pieces appearing repeatedly for consideration alongside similar work. The accompanying critical text manages to be both informed and breezy—while steering clear of ponderous critical theory or radical revisions on the nature of Pop, the inclusion of often neglected female artists and pithy insights into traditions of Western art provide unique content fittingly married to the plates. Accompanying an exhibition at the Acquavella Galleries, the survey is an inviting opportunity to engage once again with the lingering tradition of Pop. Color illus. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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