British Pop Art and the High/Low Divide
|Output Type:||Chapter in a book|
|Publication:||A Companion to British Art: 1600 to the Present|
This chapter explores relationships between the high/low divide, art institutions, artistic agency, and examples of British pop art with the aim of understanding how the practice of painting functioned as a means of representing popular culture during the early 1960s. The discussion of the pop artist as agent can be continued through a brief detour into recent art historical debates over artistic agency, followed by a longer discussion of the relevance of this issue to the relationship between pop art and the high/low divide. Although the authority of the high/low divide in Britain was at its height in the late nineteenth century, it continued to be of significance into the mid-twentieth century. A brushstroke in a painting by Derek Boshier or Richard Smith was the product of a specific process of painterly application and of the painter's understanding of the relationship between particular kinds of painterly marks and meaning. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.