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What is the situation of Pop Art genre in Italy? Who were the most important protagonists at the time? And what they have left to us? We have to go back a few steps in time, into the year 1964 when, during the Venice Biennal, the American Pavillon has displayed works by Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine and Robert Rauschenberg. The already mentioned Robert Rauschenberg was the first American artist in Venice Biennal history awarded with the Venice Gran Premio in 1964.

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Since art development can always be summarized in a simple word "contamination", we can see that just a few steps away from the American Pavillon there were artists such as Mimmo Rotella, Enrico Baj, Franco Angeli, Lucio Del Pezzo, Concetto Pozzati, Tano Festa, Giosetta Fioroni, Titina Maselli and Mario Schifano; all of them being witnesses of this important passage that will bring them among the list of names of the first Italians that will use this irreverent artistic language. 

Take a glance at the latest examples of Italian Pop Art...

What do we mean by Pop Art?    

The pop-art movement (popular art or mass art) was born in England in the late fifties, and it has quickly spread around the United States and Italy with many differences. American works almost always contained a sense of sarcasm focused on consumerism and everything was important for this new generation of people. Insignia, brands or photos of famous figures were reused by artists in a cold and almost impersonal language. It is that historical context when this new revolutionary still way of life appeared inside the museum and where the subject was a single packaged product coming from advertising or a comic stip with bright and captivating colours. All these works in a certain way were driven by the wish to narrate this people's current love for the advertising world, together with the genesis of canvas' new protagonists as the product and its packaging.

 

Mimmo Rotella, Assalto nella Notte. 

 

The protagonists of Italian Pop Art...

During the Sixties, the fast established of American Pop-Art artworks inside the most important exhibitions all over the "Western block", have made the rise of different schools with various declination possible in the most vivid cities centres. In Italy this happened in Rome with artists as Mario Schifano, Franco Angeli, Tano Festa, Giosetta Fioroni, Sergio Lombardo, Fabio Mauri, Mario Ceroli (alongside figures like Jannis Kounellis and Pino Pascali); and in Turin with the activity of artists like Ugo Nespolo, Aldo Mondino, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Piero Gilardi, and Antonio Carena. 

 

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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