• •

?op Art is: Popular
lesigned for a mass
tldience)· Transient
'short-term solution)·
=xpendable (easily­
-rgotten) · Low cost·
lass produced· Young
aimed at youth).
Gimmicky·
Big
usiness· This is just the
...
to Al i son and Pe t er Smithson , 16 J anua ry 1957
]n t he beginning Pop artwas an Anglo­
American affairthatthrived in the latitudes
of London, New York and Los Angeles, the
primary capitals oftheconsumer society
that developed in the West after World War II.
Originally 'Pop' referred to this popular
culture at large, not to any particular style of
art. The term was first used in this general
sense in the early 1950S by the Independent
Group (I.G.) in London, a motley milieu of
y'oung artists, architects and critics (chiefly
Lawrence Alloway, Reyner Banham, Toni del
enzio, Richard Hamilton, Nigel Henderson,
John McHale, Eduardo Paolozzi, Alison
and Peter Smithson and William Turnbull),
who explored the implications of popular
culture as a dissident movementwithin the
Institute of Contemporary Arts, which was
otherwise focused on the legacies of pre-war modernis ms.
Only in the later 1950S and early 1960s did 'Pop' begin to
signify a style of art that drew on popular imagery from
com i c s, ad ve rt iseme n ts and the I; ke. It was a p p lied i nthi s
specific manner first to former I.G. artists such as Hami lto
and Paolozzi and then to a subsequent generation of Briti s
artists trained mostly at the Royal College ofArt (primari ly
Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Pauline Boty, Patrick Caulfiel d
David Hockney, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, Richard Smith and
Joe Tilson) and ofAmerican artists based mostly in New
York (chiefJy Allan D'Arcangelo, Jim Di ne, Robert Indiana,
Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Mel Ramos, James
Rosenquist, AndyWarhol, John Wesley and Tom
Wesselmann). Other figures sometimes associated with
the style emerged at this time in France (e.g., Arman, Al ai
Jacquet, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri) and a little later i n
Los Angeles (e.g., Billy AI Bengston, Joe Goode, Ed Ruscha
and i n G e r many (e. g., G e r h a r d Ric h t e r, S i g mar Pol k e ) . 1
However, these artists often diverged from the first two
waves of Pop artists, especially from their mostly affi rmat i\'e
posture vis-a-vis consumer society.2
The contexts of Pop art were different enough in the Unite
Kingdom and the United States alone. In the early 1950S
· remained in a state of economic austerity that made the brash world ofAmerican
c s merism appear seductive and exotic and I.G. artists treated its images accordingly,
: a: is, as so much cult cargo. For the American artists who emerged ten years later, this
: : s meri st landscape had become almost second nature and they often treated it
('the death ofaffect' is an important topic in Pop art) . This difference
erspective underwrote others. The Brits were attracted to new commodities as
-:=' TDingers ofthe future, while the Americans sometimes represented products that were
-_ g Iy dated, al ready touched by nostalgia. And wh iIe both grou ps were trai ned in art
ols, several Americans also worked as commercial artists: Warhol was an acclaimed
ra or, Rosenquist a billboard painter, Ruscha a graphic designer and so on - and
- seemed to transfer such techniques to their art rather directly. As might be expected,
:re ,Warh ol and company faced some resistance from an art world dedicated to the lofty
les ofAbstract Expressionism and yet the opposition encountered by I.G. artists i
s eeper still. For British Pop was a 'long front' in a general war between new and old
: : res while American Pop was already at home, so to speak, in the commercial look
e land, if not in the restricted discourse ofthe art world.
3
(The Los Angeles evoked
-cha, for example, appears as ifit were always already Pop.)
at unites the different strands of Pop art might be found right here as well: in
on recognition that consumerism had changed the appearance ofthe world,
aps even the nature of appearance, and that art must draw on new contents and
::: elop new forms accordingly. (I ronicaliy, this imperative came at a moment when
a: s ract art had won general acceptance forthe firsttime - another point of resentment
some artists and critics opposed to Pop.) Semblance as such appeared to be mediated
;: Pop found its primary subject in this new look ofthe world, in an iconic visibilitythat
2 _ J eared to transform select people and products into so many personalities with
: :;l ecial powers. The consumerist superficiality ofimages and seriality ofobjects also
affected the mediums of painting and sculpture structurally
and Pop registers these alterations as well. For instance,
much Pop painting manifests an utterconflation ofthe
painterly and photographic, the handmade and the ready­
made, in which the modernist opposition ofabstraction
and figuration is also greatly complicated. For all its visual
immediacy, the typical Pop image is usually produced through
various transfers of images and mediums (usually from
magazines, comics or news photos to painting, collage or
assemblage) that involves still othertechniques (such as
projectors and sil kscreen s) in a com plex layering ofdifferent
sources, formats and effects. juxtaposition remains central,
but the Pop image rarely possesses the material hetero­
geneity of a Dadaist collage (e.g., a Kurt Schwitters) or a Neo­
Dadaist assemblage (e.g., a Robert Rauschenberg) . Often in
Pop art collage is rendered photographic, painterly or both at
once: a diversity ofi mage might be maintained, but usually
within a consistency of surface.
under the changed conditions of a 'Second Machine Age'
in which 'imageability' becomes the principal criteri on_
And near the end ofthe period, the designers Robert Ve- : /
and Denise Scott Brown, who were influenced by Pop a. _
advocated a postmodern architectu re that returned this
imageability to the built environment from which it arose_
effect Pop exists in the interval between those two morrer :o ­
between the decline of modern art and architect ure on lC " C" ;:
hand and the rise of postmodern art and architectu re 0"" :" '=
other. Distinctive in its own right, Pop is thus also a CJU
between two great epochs oftwentieth-century culture.
Reyner Banham, the Independent Group and Pop Design
1 n [\1 ovemberl956 the I.G. arch itects AI ison a nd Peter
Smithson published an essay that included a little poe"'­
of early Pop: '[Walter] Gropius wrote a book on grain si
Le Corbusier one on aeroplanes and Charlotte Pe rria
brought a new object to the office every morning; bu
ite:::"
The greatest achievement of Pop art lies in its various
transformations ofthe pictorial image under the pressure
ofsocio-economic changes at large. Here, then, 1 will focus
on a few models ofthe Pop i mage developed by key artists
from the early 1950S to the early 1970S. Such a view comes
with its own costs, such as a scantingofsome painters (e.g.,
Blake, Hockney, Rosenquist, Wesselmann) and a bracketing
of all object-makers (e.g., Arman , Dine, Oldenbu rg, Spoerri);
but the gain in concentration may compensate a little for the
loss in coverage (certainly such figures are represented
elsewhere in the book). What 1 propose is a partial typology
ofthe Pop image, not a comprehensive history of Pop art as
such. Mydiscussion is alsoframedwith brief remarks on
design, since Pop emerges in a new space ofcult ural
presentation entailed by a new mode ofeconomic produc­
tion. N ear the begin n i ng ofthe period, the I.G. ri ngleader
Reyner Banham imagined a Pop architecture as a radical
updating ofthe modern design ofthe 'First Machine Age'
we collect ads.' The point here is more polemical tha
historical (Gropius, Le Corbusier and Perriand were as:;.
media-savvy). The Smith sons want to mark a di fferer,ce.
to open up a space: they, the old protagonists of
design, were cued by functional things, while we, the roe
celebrants of Pop cu Iture, look to 'the throw-away obje
the pop-package' for inspiration. This is done part ly
the Smithsons suggest, and partly in desperation: 'Toca'
are being edged out of our traditional role [as form- giver 5: .:;
the new phenomenon ofthe popular arts - adverti sing ._
must somehow get the measure ofthis intervention ifYo ': .:i'c
to match its powerful and exciting impulses wi th auro
Th i s was one battle cry of the 1 ndependent Group, \', :>!:: ­
formed as an informal laboratory dedicated to cultural
research through private seminars and public exhibi: 'cf 5
The seminars focused on the effects of science, techno'Gt:
and media, while the exhibitions consisted ofcollaborat \ e
displays ofoften found images and objects, where the
arrow') 8
..:. ::- = _:::;fO in th e seminars were put into practice. The crucial
5 vere 'Parallel of Life and Art', directed by Paolozzi,
-- ::. - .... and Henderson in 1953; 'Man, Machine and
- = • oroduced by Hamilton in 1955; and, most famously,
- , sc '50 orrow', which grouped artists , architects and
..:.=: ::: "'€ in twelveteams in 1956. By this timethe I.G. had
C ' leSS dissolved in order that its members might
=:= :: ootheirwork individually. In January 1957, two months
=. .:. .= -"eSmithsons published 'ButTodayWeCollectAds',
- : responded with a letter that sum med up the
:,,: "c.errsofthe I.G.: 'technological imagery' (as explored
achin e and Motion'), 'automobile styling'
a-s £ressed by Banham), 'ad images' (as investigated by
:::-: . cH ale and the Smithsons), 'Pop attitudes in
_ .. .. c desi gn' (as exemplified by the House ofthe Future
-: :: :::5= :>yth e Smithsons in 1956) and 'the Pop Artj
:. gybackground' (the entire I.G., especially in
'" .G. is known for its clai m that these different
; YnS' ons are roughly equal in value, that culture is no
_ ", era ierarchical 'pyramid' of high and low arts, but rather
-' r ::- ::0 al ' continuum' ofcultural practices.
9
This quasi­
0-: x>logi cal view, which anticipates some aspects of r.
. :.. <;1s di es today, was championed in print by Alloway,
..=. __ 0 lari zed the term Pop, as well as by Banham, who
:.ed a Pop Age.,oThis egalitarianism ofthe I.G.
e both the elitist notion of civilization (as represen­
.= J e nn eth Clark) and the academic status of modernism
;:5 re =resented by Herbert Read); it also rejected the
.".... : rrenta l regard for a folk worker culture (as represented
::- . ' : ard Hoggart). 'American films and magazines werethe
e cultu re we knew as kids,' Banham once remarked of
.G. associates. 'We returned to Pop in the early fifties like
going to Dublin orThomases to Uaregub, back to our
e li terature, our native arts .'" This comment captures
:: :>aradox ofl.G. members: they launched a return to
American Pop as if it were their mother-tongue and in doing
so they signalled the partial displacement of ,folk' by 'Pop' as
the basi s of a com mon cu Iture." For better or worse, the I.G.
was near enough to this American culture to know it well, but
also distant enough to desire it still, with the result that they
did not question it much. And th is appa rent paradox poi nts
to another also indicated by Banham: that the group was both
'American-leaning' and 'Left-orientated'.'l
'We have already entered the Second Machine Age,'
Banham wrote in Theory and Design in the First Machine Age
(1960), 'and can look back on the First as a period ofthe
past."4In this classic study, first conceived as a dissertation in
the midst ofthe I.G., Banham also exploited his distance from
the initial framers of modern design such as Gropius, Le
Corbusier, Siegfried Giedion and Nikolaus Pevsner (his
advisor at the Cou rtauld Institute). He challenged the
rationalist biases ofthese figures - that form must follow
function andjortechnique-and recovered other imperatives,
especially Expressionistand Futuristones, neglected by
them. In doing so Banham advanced the imagingof
technology as a principal criterion fordesign - ofthe First
Machine Age certainly, but also ofthe Second Machine
(or First Pop) Age. According to Banham, the modernists
had taken the machine as a model of modern architec­
ture, only to smuggle in a classical aesthetic in the
process - a move evident, for example, in Vers une
architecture (1923) where Le Corbusier juxtaposed a Delage
sports-car with the Pa rthenon. For Banham th i s was abs u rd:
cars are Futurist 'vehicles of desire', not Platon ic type-objects,
and only a designer who thri lied to the machine as ' a sou rce of
personal fulfillment and gratification' could capture its spirit.'s
In th is regard Banham the Pop prophet was not at odd s
with Banham the revisionary modernist. In the 1920S and
1930S a passion for an industrial America ofFordist produc­
tion had influenced much modernist art and architecture;
in the 1950S and 1960s this was gradually supplanted by
a fascination with a consumerist America of imagistic impact ,
sexy packagi ng and speedy tu rnover that was inci piently post­
Fordist. These qualities became the design criteria ofthe Pop
Agefor Banham. Far from academic, then, his revision of
architectural priorities sought to reclaim an 'aesthetic of
expendability', first proposed in Futurism, forthe Pop Age,
where 'standards hitched to permanency' were no longer so
relevant.'6 More than any other critic, Banham led design
_ _ "'f
theory away from a modern ist concern with abstract,
machinic forms to a Pop language ofcommercial, mediated
images and this was in keeping with a shift in influence away
from the architect as a consultant in industrial production
to the ad-man as ani nstigator ofconsu merist desi reo 'The
foundation stone ofthe previous intellectual structure of
Design Theory has cru mbled.' Banham wrote in 1961; 'there
is no longer universal acceptance ofArchitecture as the
universal analogyofdesign."7
Yet Banham did not regard the passage from the First to
the Second MachineAge as a complete break: 'The cultural
revol ution that took place arou nd 1912 has been superseded',
he wrote in Theory and Design, 'but it has not been reversed." 8
Rather, a dialectical transformation of technologies had
occurred: from 'the age of power from the mai ns and the
reduction of machines to human scale' (as in the transition
from public trains to private automobiles) to 'the age
ofdomestic electronics and synthetic chemistry' (as in
d riven by the tech nological investments ofthe La bour
Government under Harold Wilson), Banham bega n to StI__ _
imageability and expendibility above all other values. For
Banham Archigram (Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, De nni s
Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Web:)
best fitted this revised bill and in 1963 th is adventurous g. u ..
did proclaim 'throwaway arch itectu re' as the futu re of
Archigram took 'the capsule, the rocket , the bathyscope.
Zipark [and] the handy-pak' as its models" and celebrate
technology as a 'visually wild rich mess of piping and
r
c
:;;
and struts and cat-walks'. ') Its projects might appear
functionalist-the Plug-in City (1964) proposed an
framework in which parts could be changed according lO
or desire - but, finally, with its 'rounded corners, hip,
synthetic colou rs [and] pop-cultu re props', Archigram was ­
the im age business'. '4 Like the Fu n Palace project (1961-5-;
proposed by Cedric Price for the Theatre Workshop
Littlewood, Plug-in City offered 'an image-starved world a · _
vision ofthe city of the futu re, a city of
components ... plugged into netwo rks a'l ;}
grids' .'1 Herein lies the ultimate u'
Pop design for Ban ham: that it not only
contemporary technologies but also ad .cre e
them, however delirious the effects mign: =---=
Richard Hamilton and the Tabular Image
televisions and plastics), technologies had become both
more popular and more personal. 'A housewife alone often
dis poses of more horsepower today than an industrial worker
did at the beginning ofthe century,' Banham argued. '9 And
if arch itectu re was to remai n relevant in this world - where
the dreams ofthe austere 1950S had become the products of
the consumerist 1960s - it had to 'match the design of
expendabilia in functional and aesthetic performance': it
had to go POp. 20
Initially Banham supported the Brutalist architecture of the
Smith sons and James Stirling, who pushed given materials
and exposed structure to a 'bloody-minded' extreme.
'Brutalism tries to face up to a mass production society', the
Smithsons wrote in 1957, 'and drag a rough poetry out of the
confused and powerful forces which are at work.' '' Yet perhaps
this very insistence on an 'as found ' aesthetic rendered
Brutalism too modernist to serve for long as the model style
of the Pop Age. As the Swinging Sixties unfolded (in part
Ifthe Smithsons, Archigram and Price 'got the meas ure'
of Pop cultu re in arch itectu re, who did so i n What ar: s.c _
reflected on the shift from an ind ustri al vocabu la ry .­
silos and aeroplanes' to a consumerist idiom of 'throwa ....
objects and pop-packages' ? One I.G. member 'to
early on was Eduardo Paolozzi, who called the coll ages
from his collection oHragments ' Bunk' - perhaps in ar
ambivalent homage to Henry Ford, who once rem arkea : 'Ei:
'H istory is Bun k' . 26 M any post-war artists refashio ned
pre-war device of collage, such as Rauschenberg with - 's.
'com bi nes' and si Ikscreens oHou nd objects, art images. ,, " :
print reproductions, as well as the dicol/ageistes (e.g ..
Raymond Hains, Mimmo Rotella and Jacques de la
with their layered and lacerated posters taken directly : rc­
the city streets. Yet in these instances collage evoked a
distracted mind bombarded by media messages, Whereo.5
Paolozzi deployed collage to make specific connections
within Pop culture, especially between product
=- - .: ap peal. I n one early work, IWas a Rich Man's Play
5 (1947), a cover girl of Intimate Confessions magazine
- ars on the same plane as ad fragments for Coca-Cola,
-:: =:::. Cold fruit juice and cherry pie. The sexual innuendos are
s enough, as is the phallic bomber below the woman
: Its inscri ption 'Keep' Em Flyi ng'. Paolozzi keys the
",5 ,, _ ': l a ions among consu mption, sex and war by the little
':- : osion ofthe gun pointed atthe cover girl: 'The "Popl"
ot cements these terms into equivalence,
angeability', the critic Julian Myers has argued.
-eoody is a commodity; advertisement is propaganda;
_ :-: ganda is pornography.")
- ,., s pinboard aesthetic' was also practised by others within
_ _ :'.(Henderson,Turnbull,McHale ... ),butitwasPaolozzi
fie ni ght in April 1952, projected his ads, magazine
gs, postcards and diagrams , in a catalytic demon­
:--=: - r that underwrote the disti nctive method ofthe I.G.
r S to come: an anti-hierarchical constellation
II,.,
I j :
: - .: ' : r al images that are at once disparate and con nected.
=::r r "dowed in summerl951 when Hamilton projected
e photographs of natural structu res in the show 'G rowth
m' , t his collage principle was foregrounded in the
=:.1 nof1 953 when Paolozzi, the Smithsons and Henderson
:or:: .:. :ed roughly 100 reproductions of modernist paintings,
: a chil dren's drawings and hieroglyphs, as well as I
':" -" "'u;:>ological , medical and scientific photographs, in
" '" el ofArt and Life'. However, the epitome ofthe pinboard
::: :i:r E: ic was reached in summerl956 with 'This is Tomorrow' ,
- - ich Ham ilton constructed his famous little collage,Just r
;1: is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?
e
r
arged in black and white, it served as a posterforthe show).
s own words, the work tabulates the Pop iconography of
,; . Voman, Humanity, History, Food, Newspapers,
_ r ema. TV, Telephone, Comics (picture information), Words
: .Jal information), Tape recording (aural information), Cars,
_:-""'estic appliances, Space' (Richard Hamilton , Collected
Words: 1953-1982, 1985, 24; hereafter CW). Clearly indebted to
the' Bu nk' collages of Paolozzi,Just what is it? also prepares the
distinctive version ofthe Pop image soon developed by
Hamilton : a spatial compilation offound figures, commodities
and emblems that is 'tabular as well as pictorial' (CW24).
Whereas Paolozzi stuck to the material heterogeneity of
collage, Hamilton exploited the fetishistic effects of painting,
which he used to mimic the lush surfaces of media images.
These interests and strategies guided h is great suite of tabular
pictu res that followed: Hommage cl Chrysler Corp ., Hers is a lush
situation and $he.
Hommage cl Chrysler Corp. (1957) takes up the automobile
as core commodity ofthe mid twentieth century, but as a
metamorphic 'vehicle ofdesire' ala Banham, not as a
Platonic type-object as in Le Corbusier. '[The car] adopts its
symbols from many fields and contributes to the stylistic
language of all consumer goods ,' Ham ilton wrote in 1962.
' It is presented to us by the ad-man in a rounded picture of
urban living: a dream world, but the
dream isdeepandtrue-the
collective desire of a cultu re
translated into an image offulfill­
ment. Can it be assimilated into the
flneartconsciousness?' (CW35)
Hommage is his first attempt to do
so; it is also an early instance of his
'ironism of affirmation', a phrase borrowed from his mentor
Duchamp, which Hamilton defined as a 'peculiar mixture of
reverence and cyn icism' (CW 78). Here th is mixture is not as
paradoxical as it sounds, for Hommage is so affirmative of
automobile imaging, so mimetic of its moves, as to ironize its
fetishistic logic - that is, to expose the manner in which both
bodies on display, the newChrysler and the vestigial showgi rl,
are broken up into sexy details whose production is obscure.
Not only does Hamilton associate body parts by analogy (the
breast, say, with the headlight), but in doing so he
demonstrates a conflation ofcom modity fetishism with
sexual fetishism , as the two bodies exchange properties (as in
commodity fetishism according to Marx) in a way that
charges them with erotic force (as in sexual fetishism
accordingto Freud). Foreseen in Surrealism, this doubling
offetishisms is foregrounded throughout POp.'8
Signal cha racteristics of the tabula r picture a re an nou need
in Hommage. First, the composition is 'a compilation of
themes derived from the glossies ', several images each for
thecar, thewoman and the showroom (CW31). Not just
broken up, the car is also rotated for purposes of display
(headlight and bu mper from the front , fin and fender from
the rear). This manipulation is practised on female figures,
too, in other pictures such as $he, as if Hamilton wanted to
suggest that the skill of Old Master drawing had become a
device of semi-pornographic presentation. And in Hommage
he is fetish istically specific: ' pieces a re taken from Chrysler's
Plymouth and Imperial ads ; there is some General Motors
material and a bit of Pontiac' (CW31). Atthe same time
Hamilton also smoothens these parts into near abstraction:
ifthe woman caresses the car in the painting, so too does he
caress both figures in paint. Like the car, the woman is
reduced to charged parts within a curvaceous line, to breast
and lips (which Freud counted among 'the secondary sexual
characteristics'), here represented by an 'Exquisite Form
Bra' and the big Ii ps ofone 'Voluptua' , a star ofa late-night

,/
American TV show at the time. This is representation as
fetishization, an almost campy version of what Walter
Benjamin once called 'the sex appeal of the inorganic'.'9
Such is the fetishistic crossing ofthis tabulation - a car is
(like) a female body, a female body is (like) a car - and the two
commingle in this chiasmus as if naturally. (This crossing is
also suggested by the sexist lingo of the time: 'nice chassis ',
'great headlights' and soon.)
Everything here is already designed for display: 'The main
motif, the vehicle, breaks down into an anthology of presen­
tation techniques ' (CW32) and Hamilton does highlight, in
paint, the print effects ofglossy car panel and shiny chrome
fender. They appear as al ready screened by a lens , as though
there were no other mode of appearance but a mediated one.
Space is also thus transformed : it has become display-space
alone, specifically a showroom based on 'the International
Style represented by a token suggestion of[PietJ Mondrian
and [EeroJ Saarinen' (perhaps in the vestigial grid and the
curvy lines respectively [CW32]). In this showroom
have traditional line, colour and modelling become rr ea:-,
of product display, but so too have aspects of modern '" c: ,, ;-. :
architecture become devices of commercial exhibitior
'Mondrian' and 'Saarinen').3°This is another key
Pop: that avant-garde and mass cultures have inters:: c:::G
indeed converged. (As we will see, Lichtenstein shows
a modernism appropriated by the media, in his case ir + =.
comics.) Hamilton also mentions'a quotation from I';, =r ::,
Duchamp' in Hommage and at the time he was ­
translation of the Green Boxof notes that Ducha mp ha
prepared for The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bache lors, E ... ?
(a .k.a . the Large Glass, 1915-23). Perhaps, like the Large C
the conjunction ofChrysler and showgirl in Homm age
produces a kind of'Bachelor Machine', a categoryofava- ­
garde representation in which woman and machine , se c.C·.·.U•.
and commodity, are bound upwith one another.)' But if
Hommage is a pictorial updatingofthe Large Glass, s
'the bachelor' and which is ' tne
bride'? Unlike Duchamp, who
keeps the two figures separate.
Hamilton lets them meet, as if:
suggest that consumeris m had
transformed the very rapport 0 -'"
male and female, the very nature
of (heterosexual)
In his next tabular picture, Hers is a lush situation (19S8
Hamilton actually commingles the body parts
car: the curves of the implicit female driver become one
the lines of bumper, headlight, fin, windshield and whee
Another tabulation of magazine images, the paint ing ic;
generated from a sentence in an Industrial Oesign reviev.
ofa Bu ick: 'The driver sits at the dead cal m centre of al :.- IS
motion: hers is a lush situation' (CW32).3J Perhaps this
painting marks the next stage in the Pop evolution of"-
o
Bachelor Machine, one that here aligns Ham i Ito n wim :1'" t:
Surrealism of Hans Bellmer, for Hers is a lush situatioll ca r
seen as a graphic updating of Machine-Gunneress in a
ofGrace (La Mitrailleuse en etat de grace , 1937), where Be ""
renders woman and weapon one.
34
But what is st ill
in Bellmer has become almost beautiful here: a lush
not a surreal threat. Although Hamilton works to ' assi
design into 'the fine art consciousness' , the flow can
the opposite direction too and Hers is a lush situation doe­
genre of the Odalisque subsumed in an ad for a
31that remains of the nude, as with the Cheshire cat,
s -oil e) I as if a nude by Mati sse were here reworked by
:; - c obil e styl ist. In the process Ha milton presents line,
:- ' sstill individual and expressive in Matisse, a medium
-.: --s::!}ort between artist and model, as almost engineered
; =- ;;-a:lsti cal: for all its lushness, 'line' has become 'the right
-e _he new line' of Buick.
; -e is revalued here, so is plasticity, in a way that makes
--= and the inanimate difficult to distinguish. 'More
" -" a substance, plastic is the very idea of its infinite trans­
::. Roland Barthes wrote in Mythologies, his
:= ::= "on of critiques ofconsumerist 'myths' published in
• a ear before Hers is a lush situation was painted; 'the
orl d can be plasticized and even life itself .. .'35 'Sex
s= '" .here', Hamilton argued in 1962, 'symbolized in the
; ;: -':: ... r of mass-prod uced Iuxu ry - the interplay offleshy
-:: =0: ( 2nd smooth, fleshier metal' (CW36). This erotic
-:: -sa matternotonlyofcharged details butalsoof
analogies: it is as though Hamilton wanted to track
: ': ' S eye in its saccadicjumps across associated
-- s. Together these two operations inform the hybrid space
: .a:. ar pi ctu res: specific yet sketchy in content, broken
:. =:.r- Iess in facture, collaged yet painterly in technique.
r : !:ombination of effects is again atwork in She
;j..:. - ': -'. hich Hamilton describes as another 'sieved
....=- ad man's paraphrase ofthe consumer's
: OV 36).lfamagazineimageofaChryslerprovides
= Hommage, here it is one of a Frigidaire: the home
::s :lee-ome another kind of showroom.
36
Hamilton lists no
,, ::s =.r en sou rces, all cred ited to particu lar des igners and
:: -c
r
: S. !"or the fridge, the woman and the hybrid of toaster
; r :: -" co.. urn cl eaner below. Yet, like Hommage, She draws
- r :: =. yon t hemagazinegenreofthewomanorwifewho
r _ -=e s:: e vehicle or appliance; here, however, it is the
:- :02t seems to sell the person (that she has
commodity status is also signalled by the dollar sign in the
title). Thewoman is again reduced to an erotic 'essence'­
not breast and lips as in Hommage, but eye and hips. As in
Hers is a lush situation, the hips are in whitened relief, while the
eye is a plastic one taped into position: like painting, relief and
collage are exploited for fetish istic effect, not the opposite.
The eye opens and closes like the fridge, turns on and offlike
the toaster: apparently in the animate world of Pop products,
things can look back at us, even wink at us.
3
)
What are the impi ications of the tabu la r pictu re? 'Tabu la r'
derives from tabula, Latin fortable, but also for writing-tablet,
in which, in antiquity, both painting and printingfigured as
modes of inscription. This association must appeal to
Hamilton, who has used both techniques in large part
because he finds them, already combined, in the media.
'Tabular' also invokes writing, which Hamilton has involved
in his lists and titles. Moreover, his pictures contain traces
of the visual-verbal hybrid characteristic ofthe magazine
spread and the tabloid layout (perhaps 'tabular' connotes
'tabloid' as well), a hybrid that anticipates the mixed sign that
pervades electron ic space today - all the 'icons', 'pop-u ps'
and other lush images that carry insistent directivesYAgain,
some of these pictures are tabular in another sense too­
generated by a table ofterms, as withJust what is it?, or of
images, as in Hommage and She, or of jingles, as in Hers is
a lush situation or Towards a definitive statement on the coming
trends in men's wear and accessories (1962), where the title
derives from a Playboy review of male fashion.
More directly, 'to tabulate' is 'to set down in a systematic
form' (OED) and Hamilton is often concerned with an
'overlapping of presentation styles and methods' - styles
and methods that are at once commercial (as in the various
di splay tech niques that he evokes), modern ist (as in the
various abstract signs that he cites) and modernist-turned­
com mercial. In his own words, 'photograph becomes
diagram, diagram flows into text' and all is transformed
by painting. At the same time Hamilton wants 'the plastic
entities [to] retain their identity as tokens' and so he uses
'different plastic dialects', such as photography, relief,
collage, 'within the unified whole' of painting (CW 38).
Like an ad-man , then, he tabulates (as in correlates) different
media and messages and tabulates (as in calculates) this
correlation in terms of visual appeal and psychological effect.
It is not always clear when this redoubling of images is
analytical and when it is celebratory- in Hamilton in
particular or in Pop at large. Yet one thing seems clear
enough: his pastiche is not disruptively random, as it is in
much Dada and Neo-Dada work. Another insight of Pop
(or 'Son of Dada' as Hamilton calls it) is that 'randomizing'
had become a media device, a logic within the culture
industry.J9 Sometimes he pushes this logic ofthe random to
a demonstrative extreme; at other times his tabular pictures
are logical in another sense, that is, typological : for example,
rTROOPERl ... I CAN SEE THE
wHOLE ROO/M····AND
THERE'S NOBODY
IN IT/
coming trends ... is a 'preliminary investigation into specific
concepts of masculinity' (CW 46), here typified by President
I(ennedy, a Wall Street broker cum American football player,
a weightlifter cum track athlete and astronaut John Glenn,
each ofwhom is wired to a particular mechanism of sport ,
entertainment or media.'o Suggestively, the word 'tabular'
refers not only to graphic inscription; in ancient use it also
connotes 'a body of laws inscribed on a tablet ' (OED). Might
these tabular pictures be seen then as investigations into
a new body of laws, a new inscription of subjects, which the
society ofthe First Pop Age requires?
Roy Lichtenstein and the Screened Image
Hamilton intimates a historical convergence between
abstract painting and commercial design." Similarly, Roy
Lichtenstein suggests that, in composition and in effect, the
differences between a grand painting and a good comic or ad
have narrowed and, like Hamilton, he exploits this diminished
difference nonetheless . If Hamilton drewon gloss)'
magazines for his images, Lichtenstein turned to t2
newspapers, a tawdrier resource: in 1960 he began
cartoon characters such as Mickey and Popeye and ge- cr. :
products such as tennis shoes and golfballs (AndyV.'cr- ':·J'': :':
much the same thing, first independently, at much [he
time). Almost immediately Lichtenstein was cha rge
superficiality; and when he moved to comic strips, mas: '
of romance and war, the accusations grew more shrill : ( 'e::
the apparent banality of his work threatened the ass um-­
profu ndity ofart - of its cultural significa nce and it s eth: ca
effect."" His cold surfaces seemed to mock the feverish
gestures of Abstract Expressionism in particular and ma
stream critics, who had come to appreciate such painting
were not happy.' ) In 1949 Life magazine had showcased
Jackson Pollock with the not-yet-convi nced question
' Is He the Greatest Livi ng Pai nter in the United States ?'
In 1964 the same magazine profiled Lichtenstein unde

the not-altogether-ironic
--.
/., (]f .
11/1' heading 'Is He the Wars:
11,",,(
.Jr list Artist in the U.S)'
The ch arge of banali .
centred first on conten;::Jc- ·­
appeared to overwhe rr
art with commerci al de'S
Modern artists had lor f
sam pled popular cu Itu re (posters in Tou lou se-La utrec
paintings, newspaper fragments in Picasso collages s c­
on), but they did so mostly to reinvigorate staid forms ", -: r
feisty contents. With Pop , on the other hand , the low see.....,e,3
to overrun the high - despite the fact that, like Ha mil ror
Lichtenstein on Iy wa nted to 'assi m i late' his ads and car:!': r ­ r
into fine art. The accusation of banality also concerne·
procedure: since Lichtenstein seemed to reprod uces
images directly, he was branded with a lack of ori gin;::;. I' , .
and, in one case at least, accused of copyright infringe!!,,,.-:
(I n 1962 Lichtenstein adapted a few di agrams of :::
Cezanne made by an art historian named Erie Loran in
Loran surfaced to protest loudly.) Lichtenstein di d cop; . ,.
course, but in a complicated fashion. In the case ofthe
comics, he would select one or more panels from a str'p.
sketch one or more motifs from these panels, then proiB ..
his drawing (never the comic) with an opaque projector;
next he would trace the image on the canvas, adjust itto
-;: 0 an e and finally fill in with his stencilled dots, primary
=: =... 1"$ and thi ck contou rs - the light grou nd ofthe dots first,
nlack of the outlines last. Thus , while a Lichtenstein
: =. - : - g mi ght look readymade, it is actually a layeri ng of
erlical reproduction (comic), handwork (drawing),
anrcal reproduction again (projector) and handwork
racing and pai nti ng) , to the point where di sti nctions r
:"'::- -=en and and machinearedifficultto recover.
44
Again,
tOil, Warhol , Rosenquist , Richter, Polke and others
Jee related conundra ofthe painterly and the
graph ic; it is a prime characteristic of Pop art.
e stein ' s work abounds in manually made signs of
...... icali y reproduced images, but it is his signature dots
: ':: stalli ze the paradox of ' the handmade readymade' .
- - =5e stencill ed marks are a painted depiction ofa printed
:: ce : e Ben-Day dots devised by Benjamin Day in 1879 as
.2 :==r iqu e to reproduce an image through gradations of
,:r E': ngt anslated into a system of dots. The Lichtenstein
-----,
oithese dots underscores the transformation of
under mechanical reproduction into screened
-i' ;:S - pri nted , broadcast or otherwise represented
r" and. As we saw with Hamilton, this too is a central
: -- of Pop, with significant variations again wrought by
:o , r , Rosenquist, Richter, Polke and others. Butwhere
.: : ::': :.... e art ist as creator stand in th is world of rep rod uction?
-;::. ' chtenstein appropriated product images, he effaced
:: .." d ames (bycontrast Warhol retained 'Campbell's',
•a d so on); as the critic Michael Lobel has argued, he
_ ::- :ensteinized' his sources in order 'to make the comics
. e his images'.4
s
This tension between traces of
orshi p and signs of its eclipse is pronounced in
_-= '" .enstei n, but it was not very anguished for hi m. ' I am
:agai nst industrialization', he remarked modestly in 1967,
-:: ' t must leave me something to do ... I don't draw a picture
!:If er to rep rod uce it - I do it in order to recompose it. Nor
.rying to change it as much as possible. I try to make the
min im um amount of change.' 4
6
This is the ambiguous line
that Lichtenstein hewed: to copy images from print media but
to adaptthem to the parameters of painting; to recompose
them in the interest not only of pictorial unity but ofartistic
subjectivity; or, more precisely, to recompose them in such
a way as to register these values of unity and subjectivity­
to register them precisely as pressured.
The other charge of banality, the one concerning the
content ofads a nd com ics , is more d ifficu It to deflect, but
here too the Lichtenstein case is not as simple as it seems .
His lowly subjects did offend aesthetic taste attuned to
Abstract Expressionism, but, formally speaking, Lichtenstein
did not put his content to very contrarian purposes. In fact he
worked to show that comics could serve some ofthe same
lofty ends set for high art from Rembrandtand Jacques-Louis
David to Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman: not only pictorial
unity and dramatic focus (as advocated since Diderot and
Lessing, if not before) but also 'significant form' and 'the
integrityofthe picture plane' (as urged by Clive Bell and
Clement Green berg respectively) . Jasper Joh ns had
played a similar trick with his paintings offlags, targets
and numbers ofthe mid to late 1950S: those works met
the Greenbergian criteria for modernist painting (that
it be flat , self-contained, objective and immediate) by
mean s that Greenberg fou nd utterly alien to such
painting (the kitschy images of mass culture) ."
Lichtenstein pushed together the poles offine art and
commercial design with equal force: his comics were almost
as flat as any flag or target and more vu Igar to boot.
Thus Lichtenstei n seemed to challenge the oppositions on
which pure painting was founded : high versus low, fine versus
commercial, even abstract versu s flgu rative . Consider GolfBall
(1962), a circle outlined and dim pled in black on white - to
signify shadow and light - on a light grey ground. A golfball is a
prime object of suburban banality, but here it also recalls the
pristine plus-and-minus abstractions that Mondrian painted
forty-five years before. On the one hand, the near abstraction
ofGolfBall tests ou r sense of realism, which Lichtenstein
shows to be a conventional code, a matter of signs that
sometimes possess only scant resemblance to actual things in
the world.4
s
On the other hand, when a Mondrian begins to
look like a golfball , then the category of abstraction is surely in
trouble too. Modernists like Mondrian worked to resolve
figure and ground in painting, to collapse illusionist space into
material flatness. Lichtenstein gives us both the impression of
space and the fact ofsu rface (as do most com ics) and ifthere
is a radical edge in his Pop it lies here: less in his thematic
opposition of low content and high form and more in his
structural superimposition of cartoons and commodities with
exalted painting. One can see why, when Mickey and Popeye
popped up in the metaphysical space once reserved forthe
numinous rectangles ofRothko and the epiphanic 'zips' of
Newman, art lovers were rather upset.
In this way Lichtenstein performed a visual short-circuit:
he delivered both the immediate effect of a modernist
painting and the med iated look of a pri nt image.
49
Consider
another early work, Popeye (1961), which shows the s pinach­
strong sailor knocking out his rival Bluto with a roundhouse
left, like a Pop upstart taking a tough Abstract Expressionist
to the canvas with a single blow. Most i m porta nt here is the
blow: nearly as impactful as a Pollock painting, Popeye smacks
the viewer in the head as well. (Lichtenstein liked to
in upstate New York, he worked through several styles -"
modernism: he painted along Expressionist lines, the- I I"" 3
faux-naifmanner (in which he adapted America na ther-es
in Washington Crossing the De/aware, I, c. 1951) and brie:"

abstract mode. I n other words, he became adept in aVe --. :­
garde devices, not only the expressionist brushstfOl<e a'- - - r =
cubist play with signs (black Ii nes to signify a shadow, a ... .- c..
patch to signify a reflection and so on), but also the
monochrome painting, the readymade object an d the rmr=­
image, all of which he received as second-hand
literally so in art magazines). These devices appear in his. ... ·­
in the same way, as mediated, as if quoted; and they are he ::;
together by the icon ic shapes suppl ied by the ad or the co'"
that is , ironically, by the very representational mode tha
avant-garde art had worked so hard to overthrow. This is.
another aspect of his Pop that retains a critical edge - cr"Lei.'
in the sense that a historical condition is revealed to us
through the very form ofthe work.
Like Hamilton, then, Lichtenstein derror ­
strates a commonality between the codes 0 [",,':: 5
and comics and the styles of the
'Mine is linked to Cubism to the extent cr..: .
cartooning is,' Lichtenstein once re marke ::
of his pictorial language. 'There is a - '7.
between cartooning and people li ke U03(
and Picasso which may not be u nderstooc
underscore this blow with the onomatopoeic terms of
the comics: his punches go 'Pow', his guns go 'Blam',
'Takka-Takka', ' Brattata'.)SOThus atthe level ofeffecttoo,
he suggests that Pop is not so different from modernist
painting: they propose a similar viewer, one that is projected
as all eye, one that takes in the image in a single flash or
'pop', s' But to what end is this demonstration made? For
the most part Lichtenstein put high and low together less
to undo the opposition than to reconcile it; he was proud
ofh i s formal sense, his tasteful abil ity to ma ke good painti ngs
out of mawkish stuff. Yet this 'reconciliation' was hardly his
doing alone; like Hamilton, Lichtenstein registered a
convergence of old binaries of high and low, modernist and
mass, a historical process that transcended all the Pop artists
as individuals (perhaps the implaca bi lity ofthis process ca n
be sensed in the impersonality of their canvases).
Li chtenstein was well prepared to gauge the convergence
!' t..jgh a nd Iowa rts. I n the 1950S, fi rst in Cleveland a nd then
cartoonist, but it definitely is related even in the earf'Y Dr<:;r ;
He might have added Matisse, Mondrian and Femar G _tog;;;"
(among others), forthey all appea r in his pai nt ings, rea
through the language of the comics: the ambiguous 5:
5
- >::=
light and shadow in Picasso, the bold but suave conto..;'" r
Matisse, the strict primary colours in Mondrian , the a fi:,,::
semi-cartoonishflgures in Leger. Ofcourse,
are put to different purposes: ifin Mondrian the prirnaricc
signify pure painting, in Lichtenstein yellow mi ght
a beautiful blonde, red a flashy dress, blue a perfect sk't <: '-:
so on. Certainly he recomposed his ads and co mics in s_.c- =:
way as to fit them to the picture plane, but, more impor:::;-:
he did so both to expose and to exploit these modemis:
connections Y One can draw a dire conclusion from th' "
commingling of modernist art and comic strip: that b
early 1960s most devices of the avant-garde had becorr e
more than gadgets ofcommercial design, This is a predica­
ment for Pop, indeed for any post-war avant-ga rde: aga;­
: 0"l1 e of the anti-art measures of old avant-gardes like Dada
:L become the stuff not only of the art museum but of the
=oJ : ' re ind ustry. Or one can take a benign view ofth is
~ :_ladon: that both fine art and commercial design benefited
thi s exchange oHorms in the interest ofvalues that, in
:r :: en d. are rather traditional- unity ofimage, immediacy of
~ = e c t and so on. Evidently this is how Lichtenstein saw things .
_ichtenstein was adept not only in modernist styles but
,: s in different modes ofseeing and picturing, some of
~ i c h date from the Renaissance, if not antiquity - adept in
,JeCi{i c genres like portraiture, landscape and still life, all
=:- .nich he Lichtensteinized, as well as in general paradigms
::-' ainting, such as painting as window, as mirror and
-. in modernist art) as abstract surface. Not long before
. Rauschenberg and Johns had suggested a further
:::a adigm, 'the flat bed picture plane' (as itwas termed by
_:: o Steinberg): the picture no longer as a vertically oriented
-:...ame to look at orthrough as on to a natural scene, but as a
horizontally worked site where
different images might be
brought together textually,
a 'flat documentary surface
thattabulates information' .'4
Lichtenstein proposed his own
variant of this model: the picture
as an already-screened image
c.
r
3 S such, a telling sign ofa post-wa r world in wh ich •
,:: erythi ng seemed subjectto processing through mechanical
"e- roduction. This screening bears on the actual making of
"- ' 5 art, its commingling of handmade and readymade; yet it
" -o addresses the mediated look of the consumerist world at
-3'ge. which affects perceiving and imaging perse. Emergent
re e, then, is a mode ofseeing that has become dominant
cnly in our own time of the computer screen, in which (as we
sa' vi th Hamilton) reading and lookingtake on the hybrid
c aracter of scanning. (Lichtenstein often chose comic-strip
!"igures pi aced in front of gu n sights, televisual mon itors,
indsh ields and dashboards, as if to 'compa re or correlate
the surface of the canvas' with such screens.) SS Todaythis is
how we are trained to sweep through information , visual,
verbal, or both: we scan it and it scans us, tracking keystrokes,
counting web hits and so forth. Might Lichtenstein have
sensed this shift, both in semblance and in seeing, already
latent in the com ic stri p?
SURVEY
AndyWarhol and the Seamy Image
Andy Warhol also drew on comic strips and newspaper ads,
but to different effects. If Lichtenstei n worked to recom pose
his Pop sources in the interest of pictorial form, Warhol
tended to decompose such form through repetition and
accident. Moreover, when Lichtenstein put Popeye in the
place of Pollock, itwas a lite sort ofsubversion; when Warhol
repeated photographs ofgruesome car crashes or poisoned
housewives in the exalted space of such pai nting, it was
scabrous and it remains so forty-plus years later.
For all his radical ity, Wa rhol is the one Pop artist whose
name resonates well beyond the artworld (he has Pop status
in th is extended sense too). From his rise in the early 1960s to
his death in 1987, he served as the often-still centre of various
sub-worlds ofart, advertising, fashion, underground music,
independent filmmaking, experimental writing, gay culture
and star cu ltu reo Along with art work that ranges from the
extraordinary to the bathetic, Warhol made movies that are sui
generis, produced the first album ofThe Velvet Underground
and founded Interview magazine, among many other ventures
(his studio was appropriately dubbed 'The Factory'). He
exploited a new way ofbeing in a world of commodity-images
where fame is often subsumed by celebrity, newsworthiness
by notoriety, charisma by glamour and aura by hype. A native­
informant in this spectacle, Warhol had a look of blank
indifference that concealed an eye for killer images.
Born in 1928 in Pittsburgh to immigrants from eastern
Slovakia (his father worked in coal mines, then in construc·
tion), Warhol studied design atthe Carnegie Institute of
Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon). In 1949 he moved to l ev.
York, where he achieved early success as a commercial artist
with magazine ads, window displays, stationery, book covers
and album jackets for a range of classy clients from Vogue and
Harper's Bazaarto BergdorfGoodman and BonwitTelier.
He had money enough to buy work by Duchamp, Johns and
Stella before he could sell his own art; and he collected all
kinds ofother things as well: everyday was a time capsule fo'
Warhol (he left 612 boxes ofephemera at his death). He did
his first paintings of Batman, Nancy, DickTracy and Popeye
in 1960, theyear before he saw Lichtenstein canvases with
similar subjects; yet whereas Lichtenstein was clean an d ha d
in his copies ofcomics and ads, Warhol initially played with
manual mistakes and media blurrings. His wonder year was
1962-63: he did his first 'Campbell's Soup Can ' and 'Do It
Yourself' paintings, his first silkscreens of Elvis, Marilyn and
otherstars, his 'Death and Disaster' images and his first films
(Sleep, BlowJob and Kiss , the titles ofwhich declare about all
the action that appears on the screen) . In 1963, too, Warhol
used a Pola roid for the fi rstti me and he moved The Factory
to East 47th Street , where it became a notorious hangout for
bohemian scene-makers and wannabe 'superstars' (the term
is anotherWarhol invention).
His greatest period of art work occurred between his first
si lkscreens in 1962 and his near-fatal shooting in 1968
(on the third ofJ une, two days before Robert Ken nedy was
assassinated, Valerie Solanas, a Factory hanger-on, shot
Warhol several times) .5
6
Most important readings focus on
this early body of images, especially on the' Death and
Disaster' silkscreens, which are based on news photographs,
often too gruesome for publication, of car wrecks and
suicides, elect ric chairs and civil -rights confrontations.
These accounts tend either to connect these images to actual
account referential depth and subjective interiority are aL
victims of the sheer superficiality ofWarhol ian Pop.
The referential view ofWarhol is advanced by critics base!:
in social history who relate the work to diverse
such as the civil rights movement, gay culture, the fashior
world and so on. In ' Saturday Disasters: Trace and Refere--=::
in Early Warhol' (1987), Thomas Crow disputes the si mu i2c"".=
account of Warhol as impassive and his images as
in ate. Underneath the glamorous surface of commodi'l
fetishes and media stars lies ' the reality of suffering an
death' : the tragedies of M a ri Iyn Mon roe, Liz Taylor and )2C-"
Kennedy prompt ' straightforward expressions offeeli ng' C
the artist. Here Crow finds not only a referential object for
Warhol but an empathetic subject in Warhol and here he
locates the artist ' s criticality as well. For Crow th is
lies not in an attack on ' th at old th i ng art' made th rough c',
embrace of the simulacral commodity-image (as Barthes
and others would have it); rather, it rests in an expose of
events in the world or, conversely, to propose that the world
of Warhol is nothing but image, that Pop images in general
represent only ot her images. Most readings of Wa rhol­
indeed of post-war art based on photography - divide some­
where along thi s line: the image is seen either as referential,
a document t ied to the world, or as simulacral, a copy without
an apparent original i n the world.
The simulacral readingofWarholian Pop is advanced by
critics for whom the notion of the simulacrum i s crucial to
the critiq ue of representat ion as bound di rectly to the world.
' What Pop art wants' , Barthes writes in 'That Old Thing, Art'
(1980) , ' is to desym bol ize the object ' , th at is, to relocate the
meaning of the image away from any deep significance
(within the image, beyond the image) towards its own blank
surface. In the process, Barthes argues, the artist is also - '
repositioned: 'The Pop artist does not stand behind his w; ':k
and he hi mselfhas no depth: he is merely the su rface of his
pictures, no signified, no intention, anywhere.'57I n this
'complacent consumption' made th rough 'the brutal :-,, ::
of accident and mortality. In this way Crow pushes W::. ';-. :
beyond humanist sentiment to political engagement. '1..: ..
was attracted to the open sores in American poli ticallf.e
Crow writes, in an interpretation of the
as agit-prop aga i nst the death penalty a nd of the race-' c:
images as a t estimonial for civil rights. 'Far from a pure : =:
of the signifier liberated from reference' , Warhol
the popular American tradition of'truth-telling' .!!
I n part this reading ofWarhol as empathetic and e g,,:­
is a project ion, but so is the account ofWarhol as € 1(.
and impassive, even though Warhol seemed to agree t-'"'"- -- ;.
latter view: ' Ifyou want to know all about Andy WarhOl .... 0
look at the su rface of my painti ngs and fi I ms a nd me ::-:: -:c
I a m. There' s noth i ng beh i nd it.' 59 Wa rhol was very saw J a::-: .;.
th i s process of projection, of the way th at we fa bricate scars
and celebrities through our idealization of their iconic {on:::
In any case, neither argument is wrong; in fact they are
£' . : early images ofdeath and disaster are both
=':-:0 _- . 31 and simulacral, connected and disconnected,
=-::___ eand affectless, critical and complacent.
o be a machine' is a famous utterance ofWarhol
.:,,_ .: . s usually taken to confi rm the blankness of artist and
=:-c:" e. But it might point less to a blank subject than to
= ed one, who takes on what shocks him as a defence
=. ;"- r,st hi s same shock. 'Someone said my life has
. ated me,' Warhol told Gene Swenson in an important
=-:: ·e" of1963. 'II iked that idea. '60 I n this conversation
cl ai ms to have had the same lu nch every day for the
".0: : . venty years (what else but Campbell's soup?). Together,
. e two statements suggest a strategy of pre-em ptive
="'- race ofthe very compulsive repetition that a consumerist
!c::..:-ery demands of us all. Ifyou can't beat it, Warhol implies,
II '-;more,ifyouenterittotally, youmightexposeit;you
= reveal its enforced automatism through your own
= example. Deployed critically by the Dadaists vis·
order, a life narrative. Yet the Warhol repetitions are not
restorative in this way; they are not about am astery oftrau ma,
for his repetitions not only reproduce traumatic effects but
sometimes produce them as well. Thus several contradictory
operations can-occur in his work at one time: a warding away
of trauma tic significance and an opening out to it, a defending
agai nsttrau matic affect and a produci ng of it.
Repet ition in Warhol, then, is neither a simple represen­
tation of a worldly referent nor a sheer simulation of a
superficial image. Often his repetition serves to screen
a reality understood as traumatic ('screen' in the senses
of both 'view' and 'filter') ; but it does so in a way that po i nts
to this traumatic reality nonetheless. In Camera Lucida (1980)
Barthes calls this traumatic point ofthe photograph its
punctum , which he locates strictly neither in the image nor
in the viewer. 'It is this element which rises from the scene,
shoots out of it like an arrow and pierces me,' he writes. ' It is
what I add to the photograph and what is nonetheless already
there.' 'It is acute yet
muffled, itcriesoutin
silence. Odd
contradiction: a floating
flash.' 6s Barthes is
concerned here with
straight photographs
and so he relates the
s - e military-industrial catastrophe ofWorld War I, this
::::-"os:egy of ' capitalist nihilism' was performed ambiguously
a hoi vis-a-vis Cold War consumerism after World
2( II.­
- '"' ese remarks reposition the role of repetition in Warhol.
e boring things ' is another signature saying. ' Ilike things
;: e actly the same over and over again.' 62I n POPism
:;80) Warhol glossed this embrace of boredom and repe­
: ' I don't want it to be essentially the same - I want it to
::.e exactly the same. Because the more you look at the same
e actt hing, the more the meaning goes away and the better
".0 - d emptier you feel .'6J Here repetition is both a draining of
s gnificance and a defending against affect, and this strategy
ided Warhol as early as his 1963 interview with Swenson:
hen you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it
_o-e sn't really have any effect .' 64 Clearly this is one function
r repetition in our psychic lives: we recall traumatic events
orderto work them into a psychic economy, a symbolic
'E-.. VEY
effects of the punctum to details of content. This is seldom the
case in Warhol; yet a punctum does exist for me in the
indifference ofthe passer-by in White Burning Car, III (1963).
This indiffer-ence to the crash victim impaled on the
telephone pole is bad enough, butthe repetition ofthis
indifference is gall ing and th is points to the distinctive
operation ofthe punctum in Warhol: it works less through
content than through technique. Often it appears in the
'floating flashes' of the silkscreen process, in the repetitive
'popping' of the images: it is in these ruptures and repetitions
- these nasty seams - that a traumatic reality seems to poke
through. In th is way different ki nds of repetition a re put into
play byWarhol: repetitions that show a traumatic reality, that
screen it and that produce it. And this multiplicity makes for
the paradox not only of images that are both affective and
affectless, but also of viewers who are made to feel neither
whole (which is the ideal of most modern aesthetics : the
subject composed in contemplation) nor dissolved (which
is the effect of much popular culture: the subject given over to
the dispersive i ntens ities ofthe com modity-i mage). 'I never
fall apart', Warhol remarks in The Philosophy ofAndy Warhol
(1975), 'because I neverfall together.'66This is often the effect
of his work as well.
The punctum is not only a private affair; it can have a public
dimension too. Indeed, the breakdown ofthe distinction
between private and public is also traumatic and no one
points to this breakdown as incisively as did Warhol. 'It's just
Iike taking the outs ide and putti ng it on the inside', he once
said of Pop art in general, 'or taking the inside and putting
it on the outside.'6
7
However cryptic this remark is, it does
suggest that a historically novel confusion between private
fantasy and public reality is a primary concern ofWarhol ian
Pop. Clearly he was fasci nated by the su bjectivity produced
in a mass society. 'I want everybody to think alike,' Warhol said
in 1963, at the height ofthe Cold War. 'Russia is doing it under
government. It's happening here all by itself.' 68 'I don'tthink
Donahue, and portraits ofcriminals such as Thirteen Mo5/.
Wanted Men (1964) can be double entendres for gay viewers.
However, Warhol did more than evoke the mass su bject
through its kitsch, commodities and celebrities. Parad oxica
enough, he also represented it in its very absence and
anonymity, in its very disaster and death, the democratic
levellers offamous media icon and unknown mass subject
alike. Here again is Warhol in the 1963 interview:
'I guess it was the big crash picture, the front page ofa newspap'!r
129 DIE. Iwas alsopainting the Marilyns. Irealized that
ellerything I was doing must halle been Death. It was Christmo5
or Labor Day - a holiday - and ellery time you turned on the
radio they said something like, '4 million are going to die.'
2
That started it. '7
And here is Warhol in a 1972 conversation:
'Actually you know it wasn't the idea ofaccidents and things I i , , ~
that ... I thought ofall the people who worked on the pyram ids
and ... Ijust always sort ofwondered what happened to them ...
. ~
art should be on Iy for the select few,' he added in 1967. 'I thin k
it should be for the mass ofAmerican people.' 69 But how does
one represent 'the mass ofAmerican people'? One way at
least to evoke this 'mass subject' is through its proxies - that
is, through its objects ofconsumption, as Warhol did in his
serial presentations ofCampbell's soup cans, Coke bottles
and Brillo boxes from 1962 on, and/or through its objects of
taste, as he did th rough h is kitschy flower paintings of1964
and folksy cow wall papers of1966. But can onefigure this
mass subject-that is, give it a body? 'The mass subject
cannot have a body', the critic Michael Warner has argued,
'except the body it witnesses.'7
o
This pri nci pie suggests why
Warhol evokes the mass subjectthrough its media icons­
from celebrities and politicians such as Marilyn and Mao to all
the lurid people that he placed on the covers of Interview. At
the same time Warhol was also concerned to specify this
su bject, often along subcultu rail ines: the Factory was a vi rtual
workshop of queer reinventions of heart-throbs such as Troy
Well, it would be easier to do a painting ofpeople who died i
car crashes because sometimes you know, you neller know
who they are ... ' 7J
Here his primaryconcern is not disaster and death so
much as the mass subject in the guise of the anonymous
victims of history- from the drones of the pyramids to the
statistics ofthe highways. Yet disaster and death are
necessary to evoke th is mass subject, for in a society of
spectacle this subject often appears only as an effect of the
mass media (e.g., the news paper), or ofa catastrophi c fa · .;re
oftechnology (e.g., the plane crash), or, more precisely. o ~
~
both - that is, of the news of such a catastrophic fa ilu re AI
with icons ofcelebrity such as Marilyn and Mao, reportso(
disastrous death such as '129 Die' is a pri ma ry way that I <iSS
subjecthood is produced.
For the most part, then, Warhol evoked the mass subjec:
in two opposite ways: iconic celebrity and abstract anony
But he might have come closest to this subject throu gh a
- -
: '" £ome\' here between celebrity and anonymity, that is,
- - "::5 -: e fi gu re of notoriety, the fame offlfteen minutes
- ::! r a a _her famous remark, Warhol predicted for us all.
':::: - : e- hi s implicit double-portrait of the mass subject:
anted men and the empty electric chairs, the first
_ merican icon , the second a kind of American
: .. .: - - :Vhat more exact rep resentat ion of the dark side
. - -- vbl ic sphere at this time could there be than this
g of iconic criminal and abstract execution?74
ard Richter and the Photogenic Image
points to an unexpected discovery of Pop: affect is
r c: : -ccessarily blocked by banality; in fact a traumatic charge
conveyed through banality. This effect is probed
"" by Gerhard Richter, perhaps the greatest art ist
-'·<Ledwith Pop outside its main axis of London, New
.: r. ",, - d Los Angeles. Born in East Germany in 1932, Richter
,, ' ed in Socialist Realist painting at the Kunstakademie
>:':': 'J en. In 1959 he travelled for the first time to West
.::: ....... "' ... . .... here he visited the international survey of
: : ary art, documenta 2, in Kassel ; there hewas
e gestu ral abstractions of Pollock and Lucio
:=.. =.among others . Two years later Richter moved to
in orderto retrain in such modernist art at its
_ 5.:-= -'sde ie (he began to teach there a decade later);
s : e e met Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke and Bl inky
ofthe charismatic Joseph Beuys, who was
in Fluxus performance. Richtercollaborated
: l ueg and extensively with Polke in various events
- es du bbed 'Capitalist Realist' or 'German Pop'.
::.s :.- _s in a double crucible - of East and West and of
.: : r... ing, Fluxus performance and Pop art - that
: .:.i: de eloped his com plex aesthetic.
: -":er e compasses not only different styles, from
to abstract, but also diverse classes of
- , uenced byWarhol in part icular, many of his early
c:.es are blurry renditions of banal photographs of
-: e - ay li fe, such as newspaper photos , magazine ads ,
-=. -
s naps, soft-porn shots and aerial views ofvarious cities
.e is best known for these images) , while many of his
a vases recall the old genres ofacademic painting seen
_ J
g a fuzzy optic: stililifes, landscapes, portraits, even
aintings. Richter does not collapse low and high
=-=::=?:>ri es, as many Pop artists do, so much as he ranges
from low to high and back again - back again in so far as
his high genres, the landscapes in particular, sometimes
approach low forms once more, such as the pretty postcard
orthe sentimental photo.
In this way Richter places photography and painting at the
same level ('I consider many amateur photographs better
than the best (ezan nes,' he rema rked in 1966), even as he
also affirms the fragile autonomy of'traditional art' as such
('in every respect, my work has more to do with traditional art
than anything else,' he commented in 1964, not long after the
blurry representations first appeared).75 Along similar lines
Richter shows contradictory allegiances to divergent
traditions ofart, historical and avant-garde, with echoes ofthe
romantic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich as well as the
conceptual provocat ions ofDuchamp, ofthe colour-field
abstract ions of Newman as well as the murky media images
of Warhol. It is as though Richter wanted to run these different
strands together, to put the exalted pictorial formats of the
'Northern Romantic Tradition ' from Friedrich through
Newman through the anti-aesthetic paces ofWarhol ian POp.7
6
'All that I am tryingto do in each picture', Richter has stated in
a characteristic manner at once modest and grand, ' is to bring
together the most di sparate and mutually contrad ictory
elements, alive and viable, in the greatest possible freedom '
(Gerhard Richter, The Daily Practice ofPainting: Writings
1962-1993, 1995, 166; hereafter DP). Yet to what ends does
he juxtapose painting and photography, handmade and
readymade, abstraction and figuration? Often his Pop peers
seem to celebrate the convergence ofthese terms; Richter
also registers th is convergence, but on Iy to compl icate it-
as if to demonstrate that lyrical painting can still exist not only
after Auschwitz but after Warhol as well.
Richter presents not only different kinds but also great
numbers of images. In 1962 he began to assemble his Atlas ,
a vast compendium of public and private photos, a fraction of
which has served as the basis of his paintings. In 1989 Richter
described the Atlas as ' a deluge of images' with no 'individual
images at all ', that is, as a compendium whose sheer number
of pictures relativizes each one (DP 199) . Benjamin Buchloh
has written incisively ofthis archive as an 'anomic' repertoire
without apparent law or rule and , except for an early
juxtaposition ofconcentration-ca mp and porn photos, it does
not contai n much in the way of sign iflca nt montage." 'It's not
a just image' , Jean -Luc Godard once remarked, famously, in
his 1970 film Vent d'est, 'it's just an image'; and throughout
his early period Richter seemed to participate in this same
questioning ofthe truth-clai m s of photographic represen­
tation. In 1964, for exam pie, he a ppea red to su bscribe to a
Warholian aesthetic of indifference: ' Ilike everything that has
no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my
paintings' (DP3S). And in 1972 he spoke of the photograph
as a 'pure picture' 'free of all the conventional criteria I had
always associated with art: It had no style, no composition,
no judgment' (DP 73) . This indifference was a common
stance in the 1960s a nd it was often approached through
' deskilling' operations , such as the appropriations of media
images in Pop paintings; the use of everyday photos was a
related move. 'I hate the dazzlement of skill,' Richter stated
in 1964; painting from photos was 'the most moron ic and
inartistic th i ng that anyone cou Id do' (DP 23) . At the same
time, ofcou rse, he is a vi rtuoso painter and his pai ntings are
painstakingly produced. Thus Richterworked not to undo the
----.
truth-claims of representation so much as to suspend the
Godardian alternative mentioned above - to make 'a just
painting' (a la Lichtenstein perhaps) that is also 'just a
painting' (a la Warhol perhaps).
More is involved in Richter, then, than the cool pose of
the typical Pop artist. For one thing he regards the partial
disconnection between work and self effected by his found
images and mechanical facture as a kind of protection.
Th roughout the 1960s he spoke of his encou nter with
photography in traumatic terms: ' For a time I worked as
a photogra ph ic laboratory assistant: the masses of photo­
graphs that passed through the bath of developer every day
maywell have caused a lasting trauma' (DP 22). The trauma
here is not simply the photographic usurpation of the
representational function of painting anticipated long ago
by Baudelaire; in fact Richter unsettles the certainty ofthis
historical fact. Nor is it quite the psych ic shock delivered to
the subject by the camera as described by Barthes in Cam era
Lucida. Rather, the trau ma of photography for Richte r li es or'-'­
in its sheer proliferation ('the masses of photographs') ana
in its transformation of appearance ('the bath of develope
As Buchloh has suggested, this reaction brings him closer
to Siegfried Kracauerthan to Baudelaire orto Barthes.
'The world itselfhas taken on a "photographic face", '
Kracauer wrote in his great essay on photography (1927):
'It can be photographed because it strives to be absorbed into
spatial continuum which yields to snapshots ... That the wort,
devours them is a sign ofthe fear ofdeath. What the photograpnr;
by their accumulation attempt to banish is the recollection of
death, which is part and parcel ofevery memory image. ' 7&
Like Warhol, Richter documents the ' photographic face'
the modern world disclosed by Kracauer; in some ways he
accepts the Kracauerian opposition between the
and the 'memory image'. Yet, intermittently, Richter also
works to reveal the deathliness of this photographic face. t
overcome the apparent opposition of photography and
memory, indeed to renderthe photograph
mnemonic in painting, as painting.79 For inst ance. r s
1988 suite ofi mages concerning the dem ise of tile
radical Baader-MeinhofGroup, 18. Oktober1 977,
revives, however momentarily, the old categorvo
history painting, for here Richter effectively
transforms ephemeral media photographs into
potent memory images. These paintings reveal a
historical condition of post-war Germany - that these radicas
remain 'unburied ', that the question offascism persists.
How are we to understand his intimation of both a
traumatic dimension in photography and a protective po··
ent ial in pai nti ng? For Richter the trau ma seem s to involve
banality - this is a key concern of his Pop too - which he trea:s
both in content and in form. One instance of banal conten: ' s
the candelabra in Flemish Crown (196S), an epitome nota
of a homey th i ng but of petit-bou rgeois taste at its homelies:
Yet Richter is also interested in banality that is formal, sua: ",5
when a camera turns us into an image, congeals
into a cliche. This banalization occurs in the existent ial
flashing of the camera stressed by Barthes, but also, even
before, in our automatic posing in front ofthe apparat us ­
that is, in ourformal conformity with the photographic face
of the world . Richter has long tracked ou r self-fash ionings
accord i ng to stereotypes, someti mes ina ma n ner that
borders on artistic travesty. For example, his can-can
Ii . =
34
Ballet Dancers (1966) and soft-porn Bathers (1967) are
degraded descendants of related subjects by Degas and
Cezanne and the travesty is patent in the young strip-teaser
ofOlympia (1967), which updates and transplants the Manet
prostitute to the middle-class home. This formal banality is
most evident in Eight Student Nurses (1966), his Warhol ia n
rendering of the young victims ofthe serial killer Dr Richard
Speck who were al ready 'shot' serially in the n ursin g yearbook
that Richter used as his media source. Yet such banality
is perha ps most chilli ng in Three Sisters (1965): posed in
matching dresses on a family couch, these girls appear
nearly cloned, as if conform ity in appea rance were the
only way for them to attain social recognition, to be seen,
at all.
'It's all evasive action,' Richter once remarked of such
banality in his art (DP62). Perhaps its role, then, is defensive
as well as traumatic; and perhaps the same holds forthe
function of photography in his art. Paintingfrom photographs
.. . has a great deal to do with imprecision, uncertainty,
transience, incompleteness' (DP74).
'All that is, seem s and is vi si ble to us because we perce ive
it by the reflected light of semblance. Nothing else is visible.
Painting concerns itself, as no other art does, exclusively with
semblance (I include photography, ofcourse) , (DP181). For
Richterthe photograph cannot deliver semblance because
'the camera does not apprehend objects, it sees them'
(DP 35). That is, he regards photography as too im pi icated
in contemporary semblance to capture it on its own; indeed
it provides the very consistency of'reflected light' that it is
the task ofthe painter in turn to reveal; and it is this 'photo­
genesis' ofthe world that Richter strives to pai nt.
So
Th us
his art is less a critique ofspectacle than a phenomenology
of mediated appearance, of a world become Pop. The
sembla nce that concerned the Roma ntic pa inter Fried ri ch
is of a pri ma ry nature still i Ilumi nated by the I ight of God; t is
light is still numinous. The semblance that concerns the
freed Richter from 'conscious th inki ng', he wrote early on;
it is 'neutralized and therefore painless' (DP 30). Again like
Warhol, he transforms the photograph, the very vehicle ofthe
traumatic threat here, into a defence againstthis same threat;
certainly the greys and the blurs in his painting, both ofwhich
register as photographic, can be muting in effect. Ofcourse
these elements can function in other ways too: the greys can
suggest both the material actuality of paint and the mediated
appearance of print, and the blurs can evoke both a memory
and a fading of memory, both an obscene scene and an
occluded one a nd so on. Yet, however different these effects,
they are all common aspects ofthe photographic face ofthe
world: they suggest how our very perception, memory and
unconscious have become, at least in part, photographic in
semblance, and again this is a fundamental demonstration
of Pop. For Richterthis photographic semblance produces
a form ofdoubt (epistemological, even ontological) that his
painti ng also works to register: 'My own relation sh ip to real ity
SURVEY
painter Richter is ofa second nature bathed in the
med ia, a culture of vi sual ities that a re photograph ic and
filmic, videographic and electronic. 'Photographs are al 0 'S :
Nature,' Richter has commented (DP 187) and many ofh i5
natural subjects are presented as already mediated - th 0 ; ,­
magazi ne ads, tou rist scenes and otherworldly landscapes
such as h is brill iant Moonscapes (1968), images th at exi st
in the first instance only as relayed.
The penetration ofappearance not only by photograp
but by the commodity-image is a given ofthe Pop momen,
out of wh ich Richter developed. Just as Min imali st art ofte
adapted the serial logic of industrial production, so Pop a
often adapted the simulacral nature ofthe commodity-i age.
As we saw with Warhol, such simulation is often taken to
trump representation, to undercut its referential claims.
Yet, like Warhol, Richter does not simply surrender painti ng
to the simulacral order ofour image-world: just as he
sometimes wrests an auratic uniqueness from tacky
abstraction (two broad fields of primary colours - ye
above, blue below) and ofdesign (both the name oftr '=
Little Orphan and the plump font of hereom ie, here ir
ii i
on the yellow field). In his formats Ruscha registe rs 2
convergence between abstract painting and commerc ~
design that is even more thorough than in Hamilton or ...
Lichtenstein. Yet in his procedure there is no such
reproductions, so too does he sometimes restore a piercing
referentiality to flimsy representations . Even more than his
Pop peers, then, Richter insists on painting as the medium
that ca n still reflect on sem blance. 'I n order for history to
present itself', I<racauerwrote, 'the mere surface coherence
offered by photography must be destroyed.,g, Similarly for
Richter 'the picture is the depiction and painting is the
tech n ique for shatteri ng it' (DP 227). I n other words, the
photograph del ivers a resembl ance that the painti ng in
turn must open up, even break apart, in order that semblance
- the characteristic natu re ofcontemporary appearance­
might be revealed to us. I n Richter Pop art reflects not on lyon
how appearance is transformed in consumer society, but also
on howwe can see, even understand, this transformation:
here Pop becomes a philosophical art.
Ed Ruscha and the Cineramic I mage
Ed Ruscha also reflects on a world transformed in appearance,
but in his case the primary medium ofthe transform-ation is
not the magazine, the comics, the news photo or
the snapshot, but a combination of the automobile, the
storefront, the bi II board and the ci nema, or rather the effects
of thi s combi nation on the distinctive vi suality of Los Angeles,
the ca pital of spectacle in post-war America. Ru sch a varies
some themes of his Pop colleagues and invents others: like
Lichtenstein, he presents banal subjects, but with an
enigmatic twist and, like Hamilton, he superimposes design
and painting, but with an apparent integration that seems
finally to resolve seeing and reading into one form of
scanning. 'I began to see the printed word', Ruscha once
remarked, 'and ittookoverfromthere.'g,
Born in 1937, Ruscha left Oklahoma in 1956 to attend
Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Duringthe
Depression and after World War II, Okies often struck out for
California, buta,rtists have tended in the opposite direction,
towards New York.g) His relative di si nterest in the East
includes Europe (Ruscha travelled there in 1961 , only to
remark, rhetorically, that 'there was no art anywhere excel:
in America' -Ed Ruscha, Leave Any Information at the SIfT'-1
Writings, Interviews, Bits, Pages, 2002, 121; hereaft er LA) ar :.
it was indeed in L.A. that the two events most formati ve to " :,
art occurred: the first Warhol exhibition at the Ferus Ga e
summer 1962 (where the full array of single 'Campbell' s
Cans' was first exhibited) and the Duchamp retros pec(·. e
curated by Walter Hopps at the Pasadena Museum ofArt
in the autumn of 1963.84 An earlier catalyst was his disco... € :
ofJohns (specifically Flag, 1954-55, and Target w ~ h FO!'r ~ , , - -
1955) in Print Magazine in 1957; tell ingly, th i s i nfl uence carr.':'
to him through reproduction.
During this initial period Ruscha worked as a grapnlC
artist: he designed ads briefly, then book covers an d maga2 '"E
layouts (i ncl uding Artforum from 1965 to 1967). Whil e otc: C' <
Pop artists used fragments of print sources, Ruscha ofter
adapted an entire graphic look. As a result some of his ear
pai nti ngs, such as Annie (1962), partake eq ually of
convergence at all: 'Abstract Expressionism co II apSe(Hlle
whole art process into one act' , in a manner foreign to tee
methodical calculation ofdesign work, Ruscha has
suggested; 'I wanted to break it into stages, wh ich is ..... lI d .
now' (LA 228) .
His work is indeed premeditated, especially the pho
books, wh ich incl ude Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1 962)
Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965), Every Building on rr.e
Sunset Strip (1966), Thirtyfour Parking Lots (1967). NiT
Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass (1968) and Real fstQC
Opportunities (1970). 'I don't even look at it as photogra;: '"
Ruscha com ments; 'they're just i mages to fi II a book' (L!. __ ~
the parameters of which are set beforehand. Alt hough
the subjects are hardly random - several books s urvey
characteristic spaces ofL.A - the presentation is as
'neuter general' as possible: 'they're a collection of "facts
a collection of"readymades'" (LA 40,26). Like Wa rhol a
Richter, the young Ruscha dampened his style and staterr ::r";
• ' mportantwho took the photos' - LA 25) in a way
. -: ' ,. ::-"'etheless conveys ad i sti nctive vers ion of both .
- : "'=-= ;:oanness - fu nny, desolate, us ually both - is conveyed
- '::: namely shots of solitary gas stations, the aerial images
parkin g lots and so on; and the apparently arbitrary
. (why exactly nine pools?) only add to the effect
:.::- :.
- :.- ough his designs are predetermined, an ambiguity
E Istswithintheimagesorthewordsor(moreoften)
O'er the two: both the photo-books and the paintings can
:: - _ce 2 flat sort of enigma (here too one feels a con nection
nos) . Ruscha speaks ofthis effect as 'a kind of "huh?" ':
:c a ays had a deep respect for things that are odd, for
:'" v.hi ch can not be expla i ned ' (LA 65, 305). Often the
s:ems from his use ofwords, which, as in a ' misspelled
sign ', might appear both obvious and incorrect, as
:...: 'i ncomplete sputterings' or noisome puzzles (LA 91 ,
e-Al ain Bois has underscored how often Ruscha is
_
in yellowon dark blue in the space above. This image renders
the common odd, to say the least (it is als o a joke - early
astronauts were called ' spam in a can' - that takes on
additional meaning with junk e-mail today), and its ambiguity
persists: one reason why Ruscha depicts words is that they
'exist in a world of no size' (LA 231) and his juxtaposition of
'actual size' and 'no size' renders the pictorial space very
uncertain. Does the lower space ofActual Size suggest outer
space? Does the upper space convey commercial space?
How do the two spaces, with paint d rips from the upper to
the lower, relate to one another?
The potential role ofthe common as an ambiguous term
somewhere between the folk and the Pop is important to
consider here. ' Duchamp discovered common objects'
(LA 330), Ruscha has suggested and , like Johns, Ruscha
made them 'the foreground central subject' of his art
(LA289).87 Hedid so, moreover, in a period when the
common had become ever more commodified, the ordinary
REAL
ESTATE
OPP ORTUNITIES
.. _0 ' noi se', to cracks in communication, and some of
_ =r:l31 wo rks do evoke the poetic figure ofthe calligram ,
- :r the shape ofthe text is designed to reinforce the
· .= c" -r g. only to unravel th is figu re altogether (as Michel
=.: ::::- ... on cearguedthatthewordpaintingsofRene
c&. i: -::e do as well) .85 In Ruscha images a nd words do not
SJpport one a nother; rather they sta nd apart or even
- ::nositi on and these crossings cross up the viewer as
.:: _ - requ ently his words are as suspended in meaning as
- are in space. In 1985 he did a painting for a library rotunda
-a i th at borrowed a line from Hamlet: 'words without
.Jg t s neverto heaven go'. This might be taken as his
::0, mi nus the possibility of heaven.
- e interest in the odd thing began as an appreciation
.:. -- thing. Early on Ruscha painted some objects
..I.e. size' (as they are often painted in folk art). For
;. :: ...... p e, in Actual Size (1962; see page 91) a fiery can ofSpam
-- :s rough the space below, while the word 'Spam' appears
ever more standard. (Warhol once suggested the term
'Common ist' as a replacement for ' Pop', as if a collective
viewer might still be wrested from consumerism.)88 Like
Hamilton, Lichtenstein and Rosenquist, Ruscha also plays
with reified language -with slogans, jingles and the like. He is
drawn to term s that hover on the edge ofcl iche and
sometimes he paints them as if to pull them back from this
condition via ambigUity and sometimes to push them over,
once and for all, into the status ofa logo or a brand, along with
'Standard' , ' 20th Century Fox' and the other trademarks that
he has depicted. Occasionally, too, Ruscha underscores the
paradoxical an i mation that word sand th ings assu me as they
become reified in this way: he presents them, sometimes
keyed up like special effects, as ifthey were the only public
figu res left to portray, the truly dom i na nt features of the
landscape, an d in LA this some-times seems to bethe case
(t he famous Hollywood sign that presides overthe city recurs
in his work). Ruscha is attracted to hybrid word-images, or

what he calls 'the icon/logo concept' (LA 275); perhaps, like
Ham i Iton, he antici pates ou r contem pora ry vers ion ofthis
mixed sign in the computer icon and pOp_Up. 8
9
Ruscha also
depicts other th i ngs in the gri p of com modification; indeed,
he renders landscape in toto as so much real estate (e.g.,
'some los Angeles apartments'). Perhaps in landscape
painting, at least since Thomas Gainsborough, land has
appeared as property, but with Ruscha landscape becomes
real estate tout court: in some ofthe photo-books it is even
gridded and numbered as such (e.g., 'every building on the
0
Sunset Strip') . 9
Ruscha often features structures typical ofl.A., that
'ultimate cardboard cut-out town': 'los Angeles to me is like
a series of storefront planes that are all vertical from the street
and there's almost like nothing behind the fa<;ades' (LA 244,
223). Th i s flat frontal ity ma kes his strange photo-books I ike
Ellery Building on the Sunset Strip sudden Iy a ppear to be
obvious ways to presentthe materi al (here the even bu iId i ngs
appear ina stri p along the top edge ofthe book a nd the odd
appear, upside down, along the bottom edge). His lA is also
a city of billboards and Ruscha seems to fashion his painting
after these large screens suspended in the landscape too. Like
a painting, Ruscha comments, a billboard is 'paint on a lifted­
up surface', 'a backdrop forthe drama that happens' and this
is how the s pace in his pai nti ngs often serves as well (LA 165,
265). Certainly his focus on storefronts and billboards implies
an automotive point ofview and as Rosalind Krauss has
suggested, the car might be his primary 'medium', the unseen
vehicle ofthe l.A. paintings that depict various signs at
different scales amid broad horizons and vast skies. The car
is also 'a missing link in the [photo] books', Henri Man
Barense remarks , 'the conduit between the pools, apartments
and, of course, the parking lots and gas stations' (LA 213).
'I think of your work', Bernard Blistene comments to Ruscha,
' as a huge field in which you drive - and ofthe canvas as a kind
of windsh ield' (LA 304) 9 ' Along with the billboard, Ruscha
does rethin k the old window model of painting in terms 0 :
windshield. More than most cities, los Angeles is a horizor :.z.
expanse across which one drives from horizon to ho rizo
'It's the idea ofthi ngs ru n n i ng horizontally and trying to
take off, ' Ruscha remarks. 'The scale and the motion bo
take pa rt in it' (LA 161) .9' Th is spatial ity is a pri me subject
of his art.
Ruscha also evokes a design culture characteristic ofL
' ''Hollywood'' is like a verbto me,' he has commented.
'They do it with automobiles, they do it with everything tha­
we man ufactu re' (LA 221). Clea rly such con noisseu rsh ip oT
car models, surfboards and the like is important to Rusch<.
(among his studio notes is this one worthy of Ban ham or
Hamilton: 'Core of my aesthetic is the shape of48 Ford
gea rsh ift knob vs 48 Chevy gea rsh ift knob' - LA 39 9)-;'
Yet even more than this customizing of special cons umer
items, Ru scha d raws on the specific visual ity of ci nema, ' : 5
'cell uloid gloss' a nd space (LA 277). Th is vis ua Iity is at once
deep and s uperficia
illusionist an d flat:
the movies spaee is
su rface a nd vice verse.
and the words
credits and subtit ,es
can appear in the
register as the imagc_
This is to say, simply, that film is projected space and Ruse, ,,,
intimates this space often in his work. In Large Tmdema
Eight Spotlights (1962) the yellow spotlights see m to =
in the distance, cut diagonally across the deep space tOW,""':'5
us and arrive on the picture plane as though on a movie
screen: the lights align with its surface, around the emb e
of20th Centu ry Fox, wh ich also a ppea rs to be projected ­
as if pictorial light and space were here subsu med by the
cinematic versions of these qualities. 'I've been in fl uem:c
by the movies, particularly the panoramic-ness ofthe wiCe
screen,' Ruscha has remarked. 'Most of my proport lonsa.-e­
affected by the concept of the panora m a' (LA 291 , 308).
Committed to the landscape mode, he shows us horizor :cl
spaces transformed by Cineramic spectacle, with brilli a-­
sunsets and vast dimensions that often convey a ' deep
Cal ifornia n version ofi nn nity'. 94 'Close your eyes and wha,
does it mean, visually?' Ruscha asks about this Holl YWOOd
Sublime; 'it means a way of light.' It is a light that is true arc::
at once, the stuffof Hollywood dreams : ' If you look
20th Century Fox, you get this feeling ofconcrete
orr ali ty' (LA 221) _Yet at the sa me ti me Ruscha presents
earn-space as thin and fragile (one of his stretch
: 'eternal amnesia' in small print
.=: : -re bottom) and sometimes there is a hint ofcatastrophe
r.:.sh' in his pictures too (LA 214)- Like Nathaniel West and
Didi on, Ruscha suggests that Los Angeles is a mirage
:= - Cali forn ia a myth - a fa<;ade about to crum ble into the
eser: _a set about to liquefy into the sea_
Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and the Postmodern
_sorption of Pop
-- :.1' .. 5 - a regi sters how the nexus ofcars, com mod ities,
:: -: er:-sing and movies had transformed the built environ­
- the moment of Pop , RobertVenturi and Denise Scott
j ' n tu rn assume this transformation as the basis of
", r archi tecture and urbanism. Ifh is Complexity and
is a symbol,' Venturi and Scott Brown write in a famous
definition; 'the decorated shed is the conventional shelter that
applies symbols ' (LV87).
Learningfrom Las Vegas originated as a studio, conducted
atYale and in Las Vegas, in autumn 1968. Like Banham a
decade before them, Ventu ri and Scott Brown ma rk thei r
difference from the modern movement through a strategic
turn to Pop imageability:
'We came to the automobile-oriented commercial architecture of
urban sprawl as our sourcefor a civic and residential architecture
ofmeaning, viable now, as the turn-of the-century industrial
vocabulary was viablefor a Modern architecture ofspace and
industrial technology 40 years ago' (LV 90).
Yet Banham soughtto update the expressionistic imperative
of modern arch itectu re vis-a-vis a futu ri stic com m itment to
tech nology - as such h is position is tru Iy Pop. For thei r part
Venturi and Scott Brown shun both the expressionistic and
the futuristic; indeed they oppose any 'prolongation' ofthe
;rc;:1iction (1966) was an early critiq ue ofthe apparent
::. .... ection of modern design from society and history
- ;: : I1 ei r Learningfrom Las Vegas (1972; hereafter LV) was
ad ocacy of postmodern design as a rapprochement
-- :>oth. and Pop influenced their thought (Learningfrom
....-:.:. cites Ruscha in particular).95 Accordingto Venturi
: - S-: ott Brown, modern design lacked 'inclusion and
-= -, 5 r ' - inclusion of popular taste and allusion to
.=.-::- :ec ural tradition - and postmodern design came into
-.;. .-g:o correct these fau Its . Above a II, the fail ure of modern
.= f - - stemmed from its refusal of'symbolism', or
- s:orical ornament, in favour of 'expressionism', or the use
-:: .2rchitectural elements ' alone to convey the meaning ofa
:l ing (LV101).ln this way, they claim, the modern
::;: it'J igm of ' the duck', in which the form expresses the
_ j . g abstractly, must cede to the postmodern paradigm
- - edecorated shed', a building with 'a rhetorical front and
ell ional behind'. 'The duck is the special bUilding that
modern movement and as
such their position is
distinctly postmodern (LV
xiii) . They accept, not only as
given but as desired, the
identification of'the civic'
with 'the commercial':
however 'ugly and ordinary'
the stri p and the s u bu rb are, they a re taken not merely as
normative but as exemplary. I n short, theirs is an
architectu ral-u rbanist apologia for the consumerist
landscape produced by the nexus ofcar, commodity,
advertising and movies.
'Architecture in this landscape becomes symbol in space
rather than form in space,' Venturi and Scott Brown declare.
The big sign and the little building is the rule of Route 66'
(LV 13). Given this 'rule', Learningfrom Las Vegas often
conflates trademarks with public symbols: The familiar Shell
and Gulf signs stand out like friendly beacons in a foreign
land' (LV52). 96 It also often leaps to conclusions: given the
vast and fast ' autoscape' , only a scenographic architecture
can ' make connections among many elements, far apart and
seen fast' (LV 9) . I n effect , Ventu ri and Scott Brown tra nslate
important insights concerning this 'new spatial order' into
an affirmation of 'the brutal auto landscape ofgreat distances
and high speeds' (LV75). This is to naturalize a landscape that
.. =====:::
is neither natural nor necessary; it is also to instrumentalize
a sensorium of consumerist distraction in design, as they
urge architects to th ink in terms of'a sequence played to the
eyes of a captive, somewhat fea rfu I, but partly inattentive
audience, whose vision is filtered and directed forward'
(LV 74) .97 Here the M iesian motto of modern ist clarity in
architecture - 'less is more' - becomes a mandate of post­
modern ist di straction in design - 'less is a bore' (LV 139).
Despite its critique of modern architecture, Learningfrom
Las Vegas draws its strategy from Le Corbusier. Again, in Vers
une architecture and elsewhere, Le Corbusier juxtaposed
classica I structu res and machi n ic com modities, such as the
Parthenon and the Delage sports car, in orderto advance the
new monumentality ofthe Machine Age. Here, unlike
Banham again, Venturi and Scott Brown propose a series
of related analogies and they are not altogether ironic:
'Las Vegas is to the Strip what Rome is to the Piazza' (LV18);
billboards punctuate Las Vegas as triumphal arches
punctuate ancient Rome; signs mark the Strip as towers
mark San Gimignano; and so on (LV106, 107, 117).
(I s it coi ncidental that Venturi and Scott Brown favou r the
Rome ofthe Counter-Reformation, the capital of churchly
spectacle?) IfLe Corbusier moved to classicize the machine
(and vice versa) in the First Machine Age, Venturi and Scott
Brown move to classicize the commodity-image (and vice
versa) in the First Pop Age. Sometimes the analogy between
Las Vegas and Rome slips into an equation: the Strip is our
version ofthe Piazza and so the 'agoraphobic' autoscape
might as well be accepted (LV 49). 'Americans feel uncom­
fortable sitting in a square,' Venturi and Scott Brown tell us;
'they should be working at the office or home with the family
looking attelevision.'9
8
On this point Learningfrom Las Vegas is nothing if not
straightforward: Venturi and Scott Brown wish to 'enhance
what is there', that is, to affirm the common-as-commodified
- a slight yet sign iflcant difference from the ' Com mon ist' Pop
ofWa rhol, Ruscha a nd others (LV 3). And here they quote : - ":
developer Morris Lapidus as a guide: 'People are looki ng =-u
illusions ... Where do they find this world of illusions? ...
Do they study it in school? Do they go to museums? Do the.
travel to Europe? Only one place - the movies. They go to : '"i:
movies. The hell with everything else' (LV80). A new mooe
of social inscription is affi rmed here, one th at Pop works to
explore, if not critically, then at least ambivalently (as we
saw with Hamilton especially). For its part post modern
architecture ala Venturi and Scott Brown is placed i n its
service - to design its appropriate byways, in effect. Here.
too, the postmodern critique of cultural elitism becomes
a problematic form of manipulative populism. And yet ho
popular, let alone sincere, is this If Hamil ton
practised a n 'iron ism of affi rmation' , Ventu ri a nd Scott Bn
propose an affi rmation ofi rony: 'I rony may be the tool wit;-­
which to confront and combine divergent values in
arch itectu re for a plu ralist society' (LV 161). Butth is 'dou:I :oc,­
functioning' of postmodern design is actually a double­
coding of cu Itu ral cues - 'a II usion' to arch itectu ral t radit"or­
is offered to an educated elite, 'inclusion' of commercial
kitsch to everyone el se - that reaffi rms rather tha n over­
comes class lines. This pseudo-populism only became
dominant ten years later under Ronald Reagan, as di d the
neo-conservative eq u ation of political freedom a nd free
markets presented in Learningfrom Las Vegas. 1n this regarc
Venturi and Scott Brown do count as an avant-garde, buta­
avant-garde ofthe Right.
Venturi and Scott Brown cycle Pop icons backto the
consumerist environment from which they first emerged ­
they are bu i It back in, as it were, structurally. Here, t hen. Po c:
becomes tautological and the popular no longer chall enges
the official. I n the form of postmodern design, Pop becorr E­
a recipe of accom modation to the' ugly and ord i nary ' reli e-. c:,
aga i n for elite taste, by a spici ng of historica I all us ions. A: ,T "
point Pop loses whatever edge it had: in its postmodern
make-over it is a style ofthe status quo.

and theAesthetics of Plenty', ICA, subjugation as much as control. Manet the art museum becomes the werelikecollages' (in David
London, '990; 'Pop Art: An 20 Banham in 1960cited inWhiteley, i nstit utional frame of painting, and Robbins, ed., The Independent
International Perspective', Royal Reyner Banham, 162. Benjamin that It s primary value Group: Postwar Britain and the
Academy of Arts, London, 1991; 21 Alison and Peter Smithson, becomes exhibition value; with Aesthetics ofPlenty [Cambridge,
'Hand-Pai nted Pop: Amer ican Art in 'Thoughts in Progress', Architectural Hamilton thi s frame is more purely Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1989!
Transition 1955- 1962' , Museum of Design (April 1957). "3· one of exhibition - the showroom­ 21). On the culture industry see
Contemporary Art , Los Angeles, 22 Peter(ook, 'Zoom and "Real" and exhibition value is pushed Theodor Adorno and Max Horkhe·
'993; ' Les Annees Pop' , Centre Archi tecture' , Archigram, 4 (1964). towards consumption value. See mer, The Dialectic ofEnlightem>ur :
Georges Pompidou, Pa ris , 2001 ; 23 Reyner Banham, Megastructure: Michel Foucault, ' Fantasia of the (1944), trans. john Cummi ng (N""
and 'Pop Art : US/UK Conne<tons, Urban Futures a/the Recent Past Library' (1967), in Language, York: The Seabury Press, 1972)­
- . a beginning. For 1956-1966', Menil Collect ion, (New York: Harperand Row, 1976) , Counter· Memory, Practice (Ithaca: 40 Perhaps more than any others.
re.c "5s oftni s text I thank Houston, 2001. Besides thecatalo­ 17· Cornell Uni versi ty Press, 1977). i mages recal l the media
=i'"" ,a.-,..: :'ark Francis. gues ofthese exhi bit ions, the key 24 Banham i n Peter Cook, ed., Benjamin writes of exhibition value. Rauschenberg, yet the tabul ar
:. r.JC:...,IZI rUe of French histories and sou rce books (again in Archigram (London: St udio Vista, of course, in the 'Artwork' essay picture should not be confused .... i.
_ : 'lists. Ifsome English alone) include: Lucy R. 1972),5. (1936) and alludes toconsumpt ion his ' flat-bed picture plane', as e<
Lippard, ed., Pop Art (1966; revised 25 Reyner Banham, 'A Clip-On value in other notes Steinberg termed it i n ' Other
1970); john Russell and Suzi Gablik, Architecture', Design Quarterly, no. 31 See Michel ( arrouges , Les Machines Criteria' (Other Criteria INewYor c
eds, Pop Art Redefined (1969); Si mon 63 (1963),30. ct libataires (Paris: Editions Arcanes, Oxford University Press, 1972]) ­
Frith, Art into Pop (1987); Paul Taylor, 26 Paolozzi also made a collage titled 1954) · Both types of picture might be
ed., Post-Pop Art (1989) ; Marco Bunk! Evadne in Green Dimension 32 Perhaps Hamilton also had in mind 'horizontal' in operation, not or:1, -
Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing (1952), which looks ahead tothe another note concer ning the Large the practical sense t hat they migl'\;
History (1990; revised 2000); Steven famous Hamilton collageJust what is Glass in which Duchamp speaks of be assembled on the st udio Awr
Henry Madoff, ed ., Pop Art:A Critical it that makes today's homes so 'the interrogation of the shop but also in the cultural sensetha!
History (1997); and Cecile Whiting, A different, so appealing? (1956); it also window' and 'the coition through they might scan across 'lhefiM/
Tastefor Pop: Pop Art, Genderand seems to include the image of a the glass pane.' Ifthis is the case, art continuum' (asAliowaycalleo'
Consumer Culture (1997) . Ford. To say 'history is bunk' might then the 'interrogation' here in 'The Long Front of Culture' ).
Al ison and Peter Smithson, ' But be, here, to suggest that 'hi story' can becomes the enticement of the Nevertheless, as Hamilton st ates 11
TodayWe Collect Ads' , Ark, no. 18 also be made from 'bunk' - i.e., from showroom, a total environment. early asJust what is it?, the tabula.
(November 1956) . Also see Beatriz the apparent 'nonsense' (one mean· See The Ess ential Writings ofMareel image remains pictorial : it is S[ I I;:
Colomina, Privacy and Publicity: ingof 'bunk') of media images. Duchamp (London:Thames & vertical picture of a semi-lIIusio, _
Modern Architecture as Mass Media 27 jul ian Myers, 'The Future as Fetish', Hudson, 1975), 74· space, even though this ori enta
(Cambridge, Massachuset ts: MIT October. 94 (Fal l 2000). 70. 33 Banham ci ted thi s line in 'Vehicles of might be associated with the mag>'
Press, 1994) . 28 For an earl y criti que of thi s doubling Desire' zine layout as much as wi th the
Richard Hamil ton, Collected Words offet i shisms - as a compoundi ng 34 The tabular pictures also suggest an paint ing rectangle (this
'953- 82 (London: Tha mes & rather than as a cri tique - see Laur a updati ng of The Story ofthe Eye might also be di stincti ve of Pop
Hudson, 1982), 28; hereafter Mulvey, ' Fears, Fantasies and the (1928), where Bataille plays with especiall y i n Rosenquist and
abbreviated CW Male Unconscious, or "You Don't different conjunctions of sexual Ruscha) . Moreover, the t ab l ar
Alloway, 'The Long FrontofCulture' KnowWhat is Happening, Do You, objects, human and not. pict ure is iconographic in a way, r
10 Banham revised the notion of a Mr jones"", in Spare Rib (1973) ; 35 Roland Barthes, Mythologies (1957), Rauschenberg images are nO!·
cultural continuum slightly: he reprinted in Laura Mulvey, Visual and trans. Annette Lavers (New York: in keepi ng with the I.G., it is also
thought in terms of a plurality of Other Pleasures (Bloomington: Hill & Wang, 1972), 99. The relation communicative, almost pedag-c;­
hierarchies, which safeguarded Indiana University Press, '989) . here is one notof direct influence cal, again as Rauschenbergs are r. ...
critical judgment . For an excellent Alongwith the institutional but of parallel responses to similar Further, thedesirouseye tnat .­
account see Nigel Whiteley, Reyner inequality of the art world at the changes I n the object-world. ton charts in h is pictu res tS d a'=-l:
Banham: Historian ofthe Immediate time, this hyper-feti shism might 36 Perhaps not coincidentally, the from 'the vernacu lar glance
Future (Cambridge, Massachusetts: account for the scarcity of Pop famous 'Kitchen Debate' between Rauschenberg evokes In
MITPress,2002) . artists who are women, though, as Khruschev and Nixon at the Moscow collages. For further discuss
11 Reyner Banham, ' Who is This Pop" Surrealism suggests, women can World's Fair occurred in 1959. Rauschenberg see ! .
Motif, no. 10 (Wintefl962-63), '3 also produce feti shi stic 37 In thi s way Hami lton evokes a world joseph, Random Order:
12 One except ion here i s folk music, the represent ati ons of women. One can in which artistic aura, feti sh objects Rauschenberg and til, No",,"'...,..;·
basis of much pop music and count prominent female Pop artists and the gaze have become Garde (Cambridge, Manaer_=-'"
common culture from Elvis to Dylan on one hand: Paul i ne Boty (whose confused. For a discussion of this MIT Press, 200)) and Brandl!­
and beyond. life was cut short by leukemia i n confusion emergent in Surrealism, joseph, ed., Robert Rau,"'.""''''
'3 Reyner Banham, ' The Atavism ofthe '966) , Niki de Saint Phalle, Marisol see my Compulsive Beauty (Cambridge, Massachusetts:
Short·Distance Mini-Cyclist ', Living ... Perhaps the economic (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 200 2) .
Arts, no. 3 (1964) , 92. The second redomest ication of middle·class Press, 1993), 192-206.1 stress the 41 Also in 'Other edt."a' St ••
paradox is only apparent i n t he women as housewives after the war fetishi st ic use of relief and collage argues that , for all its claim :o
sense that the embrace of American also made Pop representat'lons of here because, in the different autonomy, late-modernist .2: -stl'ZZ .
culture was construed as a cr it ique consumpt ion less available to context of Constructivism after the ion (e.g., Kenneth Noland a--" 0 -0
of high art and to this extent 'Left­ women. There is, however, the Russian Revolution, they were taken Stella) is inforr.led by a log""'­
orientated'. partial exception of women who up precisely to defet ishize the design, in fact by t he 'Jery log : 0-+=
14 Banham, Theory and Design, 11. were designers - though t he best · 'bourgeois fetishism' of painting. styling so admired by Banh. ·-
15 Reyner Banham, 'Vehicles of Desire' , known, such as Alison Smithson 38 See T.j. Clark, 'Modernism, Hamilton - agai n, Imagistl[ - ;0=
Art, no. 1 (1 Septembe(1955). 3; and Ray Eames, were partnered with Postmodernism and Steam', fast lines and speedyturnova. - -;0::
useum, Theory and Design, '32. their husbands. See Cecile Whiting, October, 100 (Winter2002). Earlyon is, he suggests that under Ih.
16 Banham, 'Vehicles of Desire', 3· A Taste for Pop: Pop Art, Genderand Hamilton calls this hybrid 'a poster' historical pressure of consu ·nf­
17 Reyner Banham , 'Design by Choice', Consumer Culture (Cambridge:
(CW104)· society an ironic ident ity was
The Architectural Review, '30 (july Cambridge University Press, 1997) . 39 As William Turnbull recalled in 198): between modernist painting 2.....;0.
1961) , 44.1 am indebted to Whiteley 29 Walter Benjamin, ' Paris, the Capital 'Magazines were an incredible way mass·cultural other,
on this point. of the Nineteent h Century' (1935), in of randomizing one's thin king (one other is called 'kitsch' (Gree-- k­
18 Banham, Theory and Design, 12. The Arcades Project, trans. Howard thing the Independent Group was 'theatrical ity' (Michael Fried) o'
The 50S and 19 This sentence appears i n the original Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin interested in was breaking down ' des ign' In t his regard wlm
introduction to Banham, Theory and (Cambri dge, Massachusetts: logical thinking) - food on one page, Greenberg and Fr ied theori ze as::
' 987; 'The Design, 10. Banham betrays little Harvard Uni versity, Press, 1999) , 8. pyramids in the desert on the next, a strictl y optical space of pure
':-e".G: _D- j ostwar Britain sense t hat this shift might invol ve 30 Foucault once remarked t hat with good-looking girl on the next; they paint ing, Hamil ton pictures.5;

octl)' scopophi lic space of pure 'Oxidations' (1978) , to name just World's Fa ir in New Yo rk, me n in California with mattresses on th eir tha t they seen., to ..", ..e J
i ' E'1; and wha t Greenberg and two series, are mag nificen t. power - such as Governor Nelson ca rs rath erth an stay in Oklaho ma (LA,304j ,
theo rize as a mode rni s t 57 Roland Barthes , 'That Old Thing, Rockefeller, Com missioner Robert and stanve. 1 faced a sort of black­ 93 Oraga ln: ' Ib«lie,,,, - :;'c'
, ":' . fully autonomous and Art', in Pa ul Tay lor, ed., Post -Pop Moses and elite architect Philip and·white cinematic ide ntity cris is piece
-=: alert . Hami lton projects as (Cambri dge, Massachusetts: MIT Joh ns on, who not only helped to myselfin this respect - sort ofa
a fetishistic Pres s, 1989). 26. Wi th variati ons this design the SOC iety of the spec tacle, sh owdown wi th myself - a littl e li ke
" "':1. openly desirous . reading is repeated by ot her but also sough t to represent it (in trading dust fo r oranges. On the way
· -ie'.:) 'Is a li ghtni ng-rod term of theor ists suc h as M iche \ Foucault , symbol ic events slJch as th e World's to California I disc overed the
wit ness the controversy Gill es Deleuze and Jean Baudrillard. Fair) as the fulfilment of th e im portan ce of gas stati ons . They are
r .. Hannah Arendtwith her 58 Thomas Crow, 'Saturday Disasters', Ame rican dream of success and self­ like trees because they are there .. .'
il Eichmann on Trial (New in Annette Michelson, ed . Andy rule - could not tolerate it . Warho l (LA,250). 1965 Mu sta ng,
",jng Press, 1963), of'the Warhol (Cambridge, Massachusetts: was ordered to cover up the imag e, 84 The ret rospective co in cided with the carburetor, ln th e g,
:j ofevil'. MIT Press, 2001) , 5', 55, 58, 60. litera lly to repres s it (whic h hedid, in second Warho l show at Ferus crude mechanic ; but Jo e
f"" 05 t American Pop artists 59 Andy Wa rhol in Gretche n Berg, mockery, with his signature s il ver Ga llery, which incl uded silkscreens transform ati on from bemg :;.s
to the Abstract 'Andy: My True Sto ry', Los Angeles paint) and they we re not amused of El vis and Liz. At th is time Ruscha crude mec hanic to being a Ii!:!
, ,,,",sionists , whom they felt they Free Press (March '7, 1963), J when he o ffe red to su bstitute a als o met Richa rd Ham ilton) who technicia n' (LA, 172) ·f ir::sr­
,,,,-orkth rough, which they 60 Andy Warhol in Gene Swenso n, portrait of Robert Moses ins tead . was in town for the Duchamp show. the artistic versi on oft hi5.
- ",'mes did by way o f John s.
••I Lobel, Image
' What is Pop Art? Answers from
Eight Painters, Part I', ARTnews, 62
75 Gerhard Richter, The Daily Practice of
Painting: Writings 1962-1 993. ed .
85 Yve-Alain Bois, 'The rmom eters
Should Last Forever', in Ed Ruscha:
... ,-o:or: Roy Lichtenstein and the (Nove mber 1963), 26 . Hans·Ulrich Ob rist, tran s. David Romance with Liquids 1966-1969 AI Bengston, Ron Daws 31"0 :::::,rL
'S.,,'" of Pop Art (New Ha ven: 61 Cynical art ists such as Jeff Koo ns Britt (Cambridge, Massachusetts: (New York: Rizzol i, 1993); Mich el Ka ufmann, to name ont: a
. ,,>ersit)' Press, 20 0 2) ; and and Damien Hirst have since MIT Press /London : Th ames & Foucault, This is Not a Pipe, trans . experimented wilh
I ,,:Ritch .. r, 'Teaching the Late exhausted itvis·a·vis our own Hudson, ' 995). 55, 23; hereafter Richard Howard (Berkeley: Univer­ pol ym ers, fibre glass, P1"",,,;';.HO :
Arti s.t From Mnemonics to hyperconsu mer· ist moment. On abbreviated DP in the text . I am s ityofCalifornia Press , '983) ,19-31. th e like. O n th is cult u,e
l - . dmol ogy of Gestalt' (PhD. 'capitalist nihilism' see Benjamin indebted here, as all engaged Ruscha is sometim es called 'the izing see the titl e essa) - T: , ......
Ui'i IOO, Graduate Cen ter, City Buchlo h, 'The Andy Warh ol Line', in viewers of Ric hter are , to the writings Mag ri tte oftheAmerica n Highway'. Wo lfe, The KOll dy·Kolord
, "S .ty of New York , 1989). Gary Ga rrel s, ed ., The Work ofAndy of Benjamin Buchloh on the artist. 86 Even his early paint in gs th at spell
' c '."age Duplicator, 47. Warhol (Seattle: Bay Pres s, 1989) 76 See Robert Rosenblum , Modern out onomatopoeic utterances like
. c.,te nstein in John Coplan s, and my'Dada Mime' , October, 106 Painting and the Northern Romantic 'oof' and 'smash' do not app ear
with Roy Licht ens tei n', (Fa il 2003) . Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko (New motivated or grounded .
'.", (MaY 1 967), 34· 62 AndyWar hol , un dated state me nt York: Harpe r& Row, 1975). Especia l­ 87 Above I suggested a shift from folk York: Harper & Row, 191'
S-'. - be rg, 'Jasper Johns: the cited in Kynas ton McShine, ed., Andy ly i n his colour·chart pai nt ings to Pop as the basis of a com mon
94
Years o( Hi sArt ', in O ther Warhol: ARetrospective (New York: Richter seems to fold the et io lated culture; althoug h first gli mpsed by
Museum of Modern Art, '989),457. tradition ofconstr uctivist painti ng Banha m, thi s process was more
:5: € Li chtenstein is 63 Andy Warh ol and Pat Hac kett, (e.g., Max Bil l) into his mi x as well. pronounced in th e US than in the 2000),9. Rusc'>a: 't h .e ••_
1 v,-rth the invest iga ti on of POPism: The Warhol 60S (New York: 77 Benjamin Buchloh , 'Gerhard UK. It is registered, for exam ple, by 10cked"ln __
.'" :hat Barthes begins to Harco urt Brace Jovanovich, ' 980) , Richter's Atlas: The Anomic John s and, more stro ngly, by thrngs in a honzonta I
In the early 19605 o r, in a 50. Arch ive', October, 88 (Spring 1999) . Rusch a. His first group show, also I'm
I=e -a::-­-:\.eln. with that of Ernst 64 Warh o l in Swe nson, 'What is Pop 78 Siegfried Kracauer, The Mass curated by Hopps, was calle d 'New ho ri zontal. ' Alre.
:­'=­ 'U1 , wh ose Art and Illusion Art)', 60. Ornament, tra ns. and ed . Th omas Y. Painting of Comm on Objects' and it 'eve ry th i ng \'!as he'
;;.:, .-!! at the ti me. 65 Roland Barthes, Cam era Lucida, Levin (Ca m bridge, Mass achu setts: in cl uded other connoisseurs ofthe 300).
see, Ruscha achieves a tran s. Rich ard Howard (New York: Ha rvard University Press, 1995) , 59. common such as his fri end Joe 95 Ve nturi and Scott B·.o ...... ,e. •• -
effect with different means. Hill and Wang, 1981), 26, 55, 53. For 79 Perhaps this ambiti on is im plied, Goode . On the affirmat ion of the share less With
kept a hand-w ritte n list an ac count of this co nnecti on cryptic all y, in hi s intent ion 'no t [to] o rdi nary in Ruscha see Dave Hi ckey. Angeles than Wit:" TO)·... \1....: '?.... I!...B
1 :..:'- :erms that begins with between Barth es and Lacan. see use [photography] as means to 'Avai lab le Light', in The Works of Vegas , especiall) tM
:;" k' and ends with 'P ok Pok ' . Margaret Iversen, ' What is a pain ting but Itol use pai nting as a Edward Ruscha {San Francis co: San ofhi s Gonzo
:::;;tentl), he was interested in how Ph otograph)' Art History , '7, no . 3 means to phot ography' (DP, 73). Francisco Museum of Modern Art , 'Las Vegas (Whati)liis ''''5<5 .c."
tCr .... can also be (September 1994). 80 Fo r Richter the semblance of the ' 982 ), 24. hear you! Too nO lsyJ LZS
..... 66 AndyWarhol, The Philosoph yofAndy world is not given; the painter must 88 War hol in Swenson, 'Wha t is Pop The
S point see the exchange Warhol (New York: Harcourt Brace ' re peat' it or, more exactly, 'fabricate ' Art?', 6o.
""', MIchael Fried and Rosalind Jovanovich, '975), 8,. it in order to capture 'reRected light' 89 As early as 1967 Ruscha depict ed the
:i-i.S;O Hal Fo ster, ed ., Discussions 67 Wa rh ol in Berg, 'Andy: My True as we experie nce it today, to make it numbers '1984' in a font suggest ive in 'A Justification fo'. Po';
:j;<n, porary Culture (Seattle: Bay Story',3· 'valid' . (' I would like to make it va lid, of th e computer to come. In a late
1387). 68 Warhol in Swenson, ' Wh at is Pop ma ke it visible,' he remarked early text, 'The Infor mation Ma n', he
in Copla ns , 'Talking Art)', 26. on of the photograph, in th e sense moc ks, hil ari ou sly, an othe r kind o f 'Learnin g from Pop' 0 ( ,
- 36 . 69 Warhol in Berg, 'A ndy : My True less of affirmat ion than of rein ed language that is s tatistica l 359-360
begins to Lichten stei nize Story', 3· understanding [DP, 33 ].) Se mblance and bureaucratic in natu re (see Los 96 One might argue thAI,;"',. :o
::.. J1f1 hese masters directly, with 70 Michael Warne r, 'The Mass Public according to Rich ter is th us about Angeles Institute of Co ntemporary Art
after Picasso, Matisse, and the Mass Subject', in Bruce our apprehension ofappea rance; it Journal, no . 6 Uune-J uly 1975]. 21)
"':::nan and others , these Robbins, ed. , Th e phantom Public is about huma n perception, 90 Here the suburban, eastern
become too obviou s. Sphere (Minneapolis: University of e m bodim ent , ag ency - not as they com plement oft he real-est ate
- !>erg 'Other Criteria ', 88; also Minnesota Pre ss, '993), 242 . are for all tim e but as th ey are photo-books is the Dan Graham
!.i!: r'O"tt" 40 above. For Steinberg 71 See Richard Meyer, 'Warhol's transformed with social change and piece Homesfor America made for
'S Da, ad ' gm signa lled a Cl ones" Th e YaleJournalofCriticism, technological develo pment. the Decembe r 1966/January 196 7 rad ical c : s.....:.c- i.
.: -xmodern ist' break with 7, no. 1 (1994). 81 Kracauer, The Ma ss Ornament, 52. issue ofArts Magazine. substituti on is unde:'"IT!:-e:::
;:;;:,,"is\ models o f picturing (he 72 Wa rhol in Swenso n, 'What is Pop 82 Ed Ruscha, Leave Any Information at 91 In at least one instance in Ruscha' s 97
n one of the first critics to use the Art )' , 60. the Signal (Cambridge, work a painting shows a rear·view
- cogently). 73 Andy Warh ol in Da vid Ba iley, Andy Massachu setts: MIT Press, 2002) , mi rror perspecti ve, with th e Holly. from the Road (C, ma ' : 5"
"" lobel, Image Duplicator, 11 8-19 . Warhol: Transcript (Lon don, 1972) , 15'; hereafter abbreviated LA . wood sig n seen in reverse at sunset.
;Jggested , Hamilton is als o alert quoted by Benjamin Buchloh in 83 Ruscha: 'I n the ea rl y ' 950S I was 92 Also important here is the distracted
9
8
: eme rgence ofa hybrid word­ 'Andy War hol's One· Dimensional awakened by the photographs of attention of the dr iver, whic h Ruscha
·.:::ge that we sca n, as is Ruscha . Art', in McShine, ed ., Andy Warhol, Walker Evans and the movies of John also evokes with det ails that lea p out
• is not to say that w arho l did no 27· Ford, especially Grapes ofWrath from expanses that go by almost 19 66) , '3
'
.
·eat work after hi s shooting: on the 74 When Warhol made his Thirteen whe re the poor ' Ok ies' (mostly unseen: in the car 'things are
JI:'trary, his 'Skul ls' (19 76) and Most Want ed Men for the 1964 farmers whose land dried up) go to automat ic ... They go byyo u so fa st
you rathtudes o f :rrelllt·c-.··-"; (,..­
story abo ut a guy I',
Architecture ofFo", E",'
and Stains (Cologne:
Ve n!uri made 1ne- cc " - "­
Arc hitecture' in AA.!r;;"";;',.
oftradema ,k a ndou"J •
From Don ald Applto·,."
,.
-5.L :: _

]n t he beginning Pop artwas an Anglo ­ Am erican affairthatthrived in the latitudes of London, New York and Los Angeles, the primary capitals oftheconsumer society

that developed in the West after World War II. Originally 'Pop' referred to this popular culture at large, not to any particular style of
art. The term was first used in this general sense in the early 1950S by the Independent Group (I.G.) in London, a motley milieu of y'o ung artists, architects and critics (chiefly Lawrence Alloway, Reyner Banham, Toni del
enzio, Richard Hamilton, Nigel Henderson, Jo hn McHale, Eduardo Paolozzi, Alison and Peter Smithson and William Turnbull), w ho explored the implications of popular culture as a dissident movementwithin the Institute of Contemporary Arts, which was

these artists often diverged from the first two waves of Pop artists. Derek Boshier. especially from their mostly affi rma t i\'e posture vis-a-vis consumer society. Arman. G e r h a r d Ric h t e r. Robert Indiana . Pauline Boty. Daniel Spoerri) and a little later i n Los Angeles (e. In the early 1950S . John Wesley and Tom Wesselmann). artists such as H am ilto and Paolozzi and then to a subsequent generation of Britis artists trained mostly at the Royal College ofArt (primarily Peter Blake. Joe Goode. Patrick Caulfiel d David Hockney.. Claes Oldenburg. It was a p p lied i nt h i s specific manner first to former I. Ed Rusc ha and i n G e r man y (e. Jim Di ne. Richard Smith and Joe Tilson) and ofAmerican artists based mostly in N ew York (chiefJy Allan D'Arcangelo. Only in the later 1950S and early 1960s did 'Pop' begin to signify a style of art that drew on popular imagery from co m i c s. Other figures sometimes associated with the style emerged at this time in France (e.. g. 1 However.2 The contexts of Pop art were different enough in the U n ite Kingdom and the United States alone. Mel Ramos.g.g. Al ai Jacquet. Si g mar Pol ke) .B.otherwise focused on the legacies of pre-war modernis ms . Roy Lichtenstein. ke. Martial Raysse.G. Allen Jones. James Rosenquist. AndyWarhol. ad ve rt is em e n ts and the I.. Billy AI Bengston. Kitaj. R.

artists ~s eeper still. and that art must draw on new contents and : : res while American Pop was already at home.seemed to transfer such techniques to their art rather directly. Ruscha a graphic designer and so on .another point of resentment some artists and critics opposed to Pop. The Brits were attracted to new commodities as -:=' TDin gers ofthe future. artists treated its images accordingly. as so much cult cargo .) Semblance as such appeared to be mediated . while the Americans sometimes represented products that were . This difference e rspective underwrote others.) at unites the different strands of Pop art might be found right here as well: in o n recognition that consumerism had changed the appearance ofthe world. aps even the nature of appearance. The consumerist superficiality ofimages and seriality ofobjects also . if not in the restricted discourse ofthe art world. so to speak. And wh i Ie both grou ps were trai ned in art _ ols.Warh ol and company faced some resistance from an art world dedicated to the lofty i les ofAbstract Expressionism and yet the opposition encountered by I. (I ronicaliy. For British Pop was a 'long front' in a general war between new and old e land. for example. al ready touched by nostalgia .: Pop found its primary subject in this new look ofthe world.G. this : : s meri st landscape had become almost second nature and they often treated it s~2 ssionately ('the death ofaffect' is an important topic in Pop art) .lecial powers. in an iconic visibilitythat to transform select people and products into so many personalities with 2 _ J eared : :. :re . in the commercial look ~ ::: elo p new forms accordingly. several Americans also worked as commercial artists: Warhol was an acclaimed ra o r. : a: is.G. this imperative came at a moment when a: s ract art had won general acceptance forthe firsttime . For the American artists who emerged ten years later.and .g Iy dated. As might be expected. appears as ifit were always already Pop. Rosenquist a billboard painter. 3 (The Los Angeles evoked -ch a.· c ai ~ remained in a state of economic austerity that made the brash world ofAmerican s meris m appear seductive and exotic and I.

ce. under the changed conditions of a 'Second Mac hin e Age' in which 'imageability' becomes the principal criterion_ And near the end ofthe period. Dine. comics or news photos to painting. while we. look to 'the throw-away obje the pop-package' for inspiration. This is done partly I ~ : e'~ -­ the Smithsons suggest. the Independent Group and Pop Design 1n [\1 ovemberl956 the I. 1will focus on a few models ofthe Pop image developed by key artists from the early 1950S to the early 1970S. Wesselmann) and a bracketing of all object-makers (e. bu ite:::" ~. Distinctive in its own right. to open up a space: they. since Pop emerges in a new space ofcult ural presentation entailed by a new mode ofeconomic produc­ tion. _ advocated a postmodern architectu re that returned th is imageability to the built environment from which it arose_ between the decline of modern art and architect ure o n lC " other. ri ngleader Reyner Banham imagined a Pop architecture as a radical updating ofthe modern design ofthe 'First Machine Age' we collect ads. tech no'Gt: and media. not a comprehensive history of Pop art as such. the roe celebrants of Pop cu Iture.G. the I. Pop is thus also a CJU between two great epochs oftwentieth-century cu lture. The Smith sons want to mark a di fferer.:i'c to match its powerful and exciting impulses wi th auro Th is was one battle cry of the 1ndependent Group. effect Pop exists in the interval between those two morrer :o ­ C" . but usually within a consistency of surface.g.give r 5: the new phenomenon ofthe popular arts . Here.G. a Kurt Schwitters) or a Neo­ Dadaist assemblage (e . Le Corbusier and Perriand were as:. For all its visual immediacy.affected the mediums of painting and sculpture structurally and Pop registers these alterations as well. who were influenced by Pop a. the designers Robert Ve. For instance. Often in Pop art collage is rendered photographic. in which the modernist opposition ofabstraction and figuration is also greatly complicated..: / and Denise Scott Brown. such as a scantingofsome painters (e. formats and effects. Arman . juxtaposition remains central. Oldenbu rg.' The point here is more polemical tha historical (Gropius.. Such a view comes with its own costs. Hockney. painterly or both at once: a diversity ofi mage might be maintained. \'.. the handmade and the ready­ made. :>!:: ­ formed as an informal laboratory dedicated to cultural research through private seminars and public exhibi: 'cf 5 The seminars focused on the effects of science.: hand and the rise of postmodern art and architectu re 0"" :" '= The greatest achievement of Pop art lies in its various transformations ofthe pictorial image under the pressure ofsocio-economic changes at large. the typical Pop image is usually produced through various transfers of images and mediums (usually from magazines. Spoerri). . but the gain in concentration may compensate a little for the loss in coverage (certainly such figures are represented elsewhere in the book). but the Pop image rarely possesses the material hetero­ geneity of a Dadaist collage (e. Blake. where the i d e ~5 .g. Near the begin n ing ofthe period. much Pop painting manifests an utterconflation ofthe painterly and photographic. the old protagonists of moae rr ' ~­ design. and partly in desperatio n: 'Toc a' are being edged out of our traditional role [as form.adve rti sing . while the exhibitions consisted ofcollabo rat\ e displays ofoften found images and objects.:. media-savvy)._ must somehow get the measure ofthis intervention if Yo ': . a Robert Rauschenberg) . then. arch itects AI ison a nd Pete r Smithson published an essay that included a little poe"'­ of early Pop: '[Walter] Gropius wrote a book on gra in si ~ _ Le Corbusier one on aeroplanes and Charlotte Pe rria brought a new object to the office every morning. collage or assemblage) that involves still othertechniques (such as projectors and sil kscreen s) in a com plex layering ofdifferent sources.g... were cued by functional things. What 1propose is a partial typology ofthe Pop image. Rosenquist.g. Mydiscussion is alsoframedwith brief remarks on design. Reyner Banham.

'" This comment captures ..'s In th is regard Banham the Pop prophet was not at odd s with Banham the revisionary modernist. Banham also exploited his distance from the initial framers of modern design such as Gropius.1s di es today. 9 This quasi­ 0-: x>logical view...::. directed by Paolozzi. .=. For Banham th is was abs u rd: cars are Futurist 'vehicles of desire'.· ~ -son s and Henderson in 1953. According to Banham. These qualities became the design criteria ofthe Pop Agefor Banham. gybackground' (the entire I. sexy packagi ng and speedy tu rnover that was inci piently post­ Fordist. And th is appa rent paradox poi nts to another also indicated by Banham: that the group was both 'American-leaning' and 'Left-orientated'. neglected by them. a l 'continuum' ofcultural practices. not Platon ic type-objects. but also distant enough to desire it still. .: 'technological imagery' (as explored a-s £ressed by Banham). but also ofthe Second Machine (or First Pop) Age. Siegfried Giedion and Nikolaus Pevsner (his advisor at the Cou rtauld Institute). 'ad images' (as investigated by ::-. is known for its clai m that these different architecture (1923) where Le Corbusier juxtaposed a Delage sports-car with the Pa rthenon. and.: "c.era ierarc hical 'pyramid' of high and low arts. especially in arrow') 8 ~ '" . his revision of architectural priorities sought to reclaim an 'aesthetic of expendability'. only to smuggle in a classical aesthetic in the process .=~ : responded with a letter that sum med up the achin e and Motion'). . YnS'on s are roughly equal in value. first proposed in Futurism. c cH ale and the Smithsons).G. Machine and -~ = •orod uced by Hamilton in 1955. ~= e both the elitist notion of civilization (as represen­ e nn eth Clark) and the academic status of modernism .G.folk' by 'Pop' as the basi s of a com mon cu Iture. that culture is no _ "..". In the 1920S and 1930S a passion for an industrial America ofFordist produc­ tion had influenced much modernist art and architecture. He challenged the rationalist biases ofthese figures . :. especially Expressionistand Futuristones.G.:.G.ofthe First Machine Age certainly. 'Pop attitudes in design' (as exemplified by the House ofthe Future _ .:. but rather -' r ::::0 r.= : ::: "'€ in twelveteams in 1956.:5 re =resented by Herbert Read). associates. back to our e literature.G. In doing so Banham advanced the imagingof technology as a principal criterion fordesign . was near enough to this American culture to know it well. in the 1950S and 1960s this was gradually supplanted by a fascination with a consumerist America of imagistic impact.= -" eSmithsons published 'ButTodayWeCollectAds'. 'and can look back on the First as a period ofthe past... and only a designer who thri lied to the machine as 'a sou rce of personal fulfillment and gratification' could capture its spirit. Le Corbusier.3<="' ~ "' 5 ~: ~ :: :>arad ox ofl. -: :: :::5 = :>yth e Smithsons in 1956) and 'the Pop Artj :..= _:::. 'American films and magazines werethe e cultu re we knew as kids.G.' Banham once remarked of ~. was championed in print by Alloway.that form must follow function andjortechnique-and recovered other imperatives.. . first conceived as a dissertation in the midst ofthe I. .G. as well as by Banham. members: they launched a return to "'f _ _ . most famously. .. The crucial 5 American Pop as if it were their mother-tongue and in doing so they signalled the partial displacement of .. : rren ta l regard for a folk worker culture (as represented : . which anticipates some aspects of larized the term Pop. with the result that they did not question it much. 'automobile styling' :. 'Man.ed a Pop Age. .'6 More than any other critic. for example.= J .errsofth e I. our native arts .. who .oThis egalitarianism ofthe I..~ :: ..G. it also rejected the ..fO in th e seminars were put into practice.." For better or worse.a move evident. the modernists had taken the machine as a model of modern architec­ ture. had ~-. the I. where 'standards hitched to permanency' were no longer so relevant. 'We returned to Pop in the early fifties like going to Dublin orThomases to Uaregub.<. ' : ard Hoggart). ::.. which grouped artists . architects and . in Vers une vere 'Parallel of Life and Art'.: ~ C ' leSS dissolved in order that its members might =:= :: ooth eirwork individually.. two months =."4In this classic study.: :.. Far from academic.:... By this timethe I.G. -. Banham led design . _ _ 0 . sc '50 orrow'. In January 1957.' Banham wrote in Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960).'l 'We have already entered the Second Machine Age._~ :::-: . forthe Pop Age... . then.

hip. W here o. 'A housewife alone often dis poses of more horsepower today than an industrial worker did at the beginning ofthe century. who once rem arkea : 'Ei: 'H istory is Bun k' . objects and pop-packages ' ? One I.u ...where the dreams ofthe austere 1950S had become the products of the consumerist 1960s . who did so in art~ What ar: s. Raymond Hains. technologies had become both more popular and more personal.. who pushed given materials and exposed structure to a 'bloody-minded' extreme.cre e them. the Smithsons wrote in 1957. such as Rauschenberg with . " : print reproductions."7 Yet Banham did not regard the passage from the First to the Second MachineAge as a complete break: 'The cultural revol ution that took place arou nd 1912 has been superseded'. with its 'rounded corners.5 Paolozzi deployed collage to make specific connections within Pop culture.') Its projects might appear functionalist-the Plug-in City (1964) proposed an i mrr.it had to 'match the design of expendabilia in functional and aesthetic performance': it had to go POp. 'there is no longer universal acceptance ofArchitecture as the universal analogyofdesign. Ron Herron and Michael Web:) best fitted this revised bill and in 1963 th is adventu rous g.. Archigram and Price 'got the me as ure' of Pop cultu re in arch itectu re. member 'to co l l e~ ~~ early on was Eduardo Paolozzi. 2 0 Initially Banham supported the Brutalist architecture of the Smith sons and James Stirling. Yet in these instances collage evoked a distracted mind bombarded by media messages.G. As the Swinging Sixties unfolded (in part Ifthe Smithsons.} grids' . ~ contemporary technologies but als o ad . : ~ ~ Zipark [and] the handy-pak' as its models" and cele brate technology as a 'visually wild rich mess of piping and and struts and cat-walks'.' Banham argued.g. Plug-in City offered 'an image-starved world a · _ vision ofthe city of the futu re. '9And if arch itectu re was to remai n relevant in this world ." 8 Rather.. he wrote in Theory and Design. who called the co ll ages ~ .' '' Yet perhaps this very insistence on an 'as found ' aesthetic rendered Brutalism too modernist to serve for long as the model style of the Pop Age.c _ reflected on the shift from an ind ustri al vocabu la ry of'~ra . c Richard Hamilton and the Tabular Image televisions and plastics). synthetic colou rs [and] pop-cultu re props'.­ silos and aeroplanes' to a consumerist idiom of 'throwa . 'and drag a rough poetry out of the confused and powerful forces which are at work. 'com bi nes' and si Ikscreens oHou nd objects.but. the rocket . David Greene. especially between product sa l e s m c:.. proposed by Cedric Price for the Theatre Workshop ofJ o ~ " Littlewood. g~ . 'Brutalism tries to face up to a mass production society'. 'but it has not been reversed. Banham bega n to StI__ _ imageability and expendibility above all other values. Archigram was ­ the im age business'. finally.'1 Herein lies the ultimate impe ra t~e u' Pop design for Ban ham: that it not only eA:J r= =. however delirious the effects m ign: =---= r :.. For Banham Archigram (Warren Chalk. . the bathyscope. did proclaim 'throwaway arch itectu re' as the futu re of d. as well as the dicol/ageistes (e. a city of components .perhaps in ar ambivalent homage to Henry Ford.' Banham wrote in 1961..2 Many post-war artists refashio ned : r ~ 6 pre-war device of collage. ~ .es~g'" Archigram took 'the capsule. plugged into netwo rk s a'l.~ s. e ~"5" framework in which parts could be changed accord ing lO or desire . machinic forms to a Pop language ofcommercial. mediated images and this was in keeping with a shift in influence away from the architect as a consultant in industrial production to the ad-man as ani nstigator ofconsu merist desi re o'The foundation stone ofthe previous intellectual structure of Design Theory has cru mbled.:~ from his collection oHragments ' Bunk' . art images.theory away from a modern ist concern with abstract." the city streets . Peter Cook.. a dialectical transformation of technologies had occurred: from 'the age of power from the mai ns and the reduction of machines to human scale' (as in the transition from public trains to private automobiles) to 'the age ofdomestic electronics and synthetic chemistry' (as in d riven by the tech nological investments ofthe La bo ur Government under Harold Wilson). Mimmo Rotella and Jacques de la V...l~ ~ with their layered and lacerated posters taken directly :rc­ . '4 Like the Fu n Palace project (1961-5-.'s. De nni s Crompton.

magazine ~ :~ situation and $he. Newspapers.1 : nof1 953 when Paolozzi.' Ham ilton wrote in 1962. the epitome ofthe pinboard ::: :i:r E: ic wa s reached in summerl956 with 'This is Tomorrow'..=.butitwasPaolozzi fie ni ght in April 1952. but in doing so he demonstrates a conflation of com modity fetishism with sexual fetishism . r "dowed in summerl951 when Hamilton projected e photographs of natural structu res in the show 'G rowth m' .. this collage principle was foregrounded in the = :. Food. s own words. 1985.that is. I j : Hommage is his first attempt to do so.. with the headlight)..") . but as a metamorphic 'vehicle of desire' ala Banham. a cover girl of Intimate Confessions magazine ~_ . Cars. are broken up into sexy details whose production is obscure. as is the phallic bomber below the woman : Its inscri ption 'Keep' Em Flyi ng'. projected his ads. (1957) takes up the automobile as core commodity ofthe mid twentieth century. hereafter CW). Telephone. the newChrysler and the vestigial showgi rl. However. Hers is a lush 5 (1947). an geability'.5 . s pinboard aesthetic' was also practised by others within _ _ :'..ars on the same plane as ad fragments for Coca-Cola. it served as a posterforthe show). -eoody is a commodity.. ~3 I ':" -" "'u.McHale . . as to ironize its fetishistic logic . the work tabulates the Pop iconography of .:>ological . ' It is presented to us by the ad-man in a rounded picture of urban living: a dream world. Words : . medical and scientific photographs.: osion ofthe gun pointed atthe cover girl: 'The "Popl" ~ ~ -" ~:Er ot cements these terms into equivalence.:. postcards and diagrams .: ' : r =::r al images that are at once disparate and con nected. Foreseen in Surrealism. the composition is 'a compilation of : .Just what is it? also prepares the distinctive version ofthe Pop image soon developed by Hamilton : a spatial compilation offound figures. Space' (Richard Hamilton .Jal information). IWas a Rich Man's Play Words: 1953-1982. but the dream isdeepandtrue-the collective desire of a cultu re translated into an image offulfill­ ment.Turnbull. Here th is mixture is not as paradoxical as it sounds . which Hamilton defined as a 'peculiar mixture of reverence and cyn icism' (CW 78). _ :-""'estic appliances.'8 Signal cha racteristics of the tabula r picture a re an nou need in Hommage. .. TV. _ r ema. commodities and emblems that is 'tabular as well as pictorial' (CW24). it is also an early instance of his 'ironism of affirmation'. Comics (picture information). a phrase borrowed from his mentor Duchamp... in a catalytic demon­ :--= : . this doubling offetishisms is foregrounded throughout POp. for Hommage is so affirmative of automobile imaging..1: is it that makes today's homes so different. The sexual innuendos are s enough. Can it be assimilated into the flneartconsciousness?' (CW35) gs.. advertisement is propaganda. Paolozzi keys the ". First.. Hommage cl Chrysler Corp. In one early work. '[The car] adopts its symbols from many fields and contributes to the stylistic language of all consumer goods . so mimetic of its moves . sex and war by the little ':.Just . History. Collected .(Henderson. Whereas Paolozzi stuck to the material heterogeneity of collage. not as a Platonic type-object as in Le Corbusier. as well as :or:: . to expose the manner in which both bodies on display. say. so appealing? e r arged in black and white. which he used to mimic the lush surfaces of media images. in " '" el ofArt and Life'. :ed roughly 100 reproductions of modernist paintings. These interests and strategies guided h is great suite of tabular pictu res that followed: Hommage cl Chrysler Corp . Not only does Hamilton associate body parts by analogy (the breast. _ ': l a ions among consu mption. _ :-:ganda is pornography. Humanity.G. Cold fruit juice and cherry pie. Clearly indebted to the' Bu nk' collages of Paolozzi. the Smithsons and Henderson a children's drawings and hieroglyphs. Hamilton exploited the fetishistic effects of painting.~x ap peal.r th at underwrote the disti nctive method ofthe I.. -:: =:::.. r S to come: an anti-hierarchical constellation II. as the two bodies exchange properties (as in commodity fetishism according to Marx) in a way that charges them with erotic force (as in sexual fetishism accordingto Freud).: .. ).r ich Ham ilton constructed his famous little collage. Voman. the critic Julian Myers has argued. 24. Tape recording (aural information).

.-.=---. as if Hamilton wanted to suggest that the skill of Old Master drawing had become a curvy lines respectively [CW32]).themes derived from the glossies '. Lichtenstein shows j~ device of semi-pornographic presentation. are bound upwith one another. ofa Bu ick : 'The driver sits at the dead cal m centre of al :. an almost campy version of what Walter Benjamin once called 'the sex appeal of the inorganic'. 34 But what is still in Bellmer has become almost beautiful here : a lus h s not a surreal threat. (As we will see.. thewoman and the showroom (CW31). the flow can rur ~ "" pe rve~ :. as though there were no other mode of appearance but a mediated one.IS motion: hers is a lush situation' (CW32). fin and fender from the rear). t'~ = . who keeps the two figures sepa rate.o Bachelor Machine. Like the car. Hamilton lets them meet. _I. Perhaps. : architecture become devices of commercial ex hibitior . In this showroom no:. _. This manipulation is practised on female figures. headlight. colour and modelling beco me rr ea:-. so too does he caress both figures in paint. windshield and whee Another tabulation of magazine images .'9 Such is the fetishistic crossing ofthis tabulation .a car is (like) a female body. 3~ • . several images each for thecar. in other pictures such as $he..C·..: . too.and the two commingle in this chiasmus as if naturally. one that here aligns Ham iIto n wim :1'" t: Surrealism of Hans Bellmer. comics. Duchamp' in Hommage and at the time he was b usy\''' : '-~' ­ translation of the Green Boxof notes that Ducha mp ha prepared for The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bache lors. in paint. in his case ir + =. This is representation as fetishization. for Hers is a lush situatioll ca r :~ ~~ :. generated from a sentence in an Industrial Oesign reviev. They appear as al ready screened by a lens . the woman is reduced to charged parts within a curvaceous line. Not just broken up. Hers is a lush situation (19S8 Hamilton actually commingles the body parts ofwo m a ~ car: the curves of the implicit female driver become one the lines of bumper.3 °This is another key in s i gr..!~ Hommage is a pictorial updatingofthe Large Glass. the very nature of (heterosexual) desire. the print effects ofglossy car panel and shiny chrome fender./ American TV show at the time. a categoryofava . but so too have aspects of modern '" c: . the car is also rotated for purposes of display (headlight and bu mper from the front .3 Perha ps this J painting marks the next stage in the Pop evolution of". the Large Glass.~ ofGrace (La Mitrailleuse en etat de grace . =r ::. as if: suggest that consumeris m had transformed the very rapp ort 0 -'" male and female.) Everything here is already designed for display: 'The main motif. 1937). seen as a graphic updating of Machine-Gunneress in a S. Although Hamilton works to 'assi design into 'the fine art consciousness' .) Hamilton also mentions'a quotation from I'.­ garde representation in which woman and machine .. ~~ have traditional line. of product display. 1915-23). a star ofa late-night a modernism appropriated by the media. '~ the opposite direction too and Hers is a lush situatio n doe ­ . breaks down into an anthology of presen­ tation techniques ' (CW32) and Hamilton does highlight.a .·. a female body is (like) a car . E... to breast and lips (which Freud counted among 'the secondary sexual characteristics').k. the paintin g ic. there is some General Motors material and a bit of Pontiac' (CW31).)' But if c. specifically a showroom based on 'the International Style represented by a token suggestion of[PietJ Mondrian and [EeroJ Saarinen' (perhaps in the vestigial grid and the In his next tabular picture.U•. se and commodity. (This crossing is also suggested by the sexist lingo of the time: 'nice chassis '. ? (a . Space is also thus transformed : it has become display-space alone. fin. 'great headlights' and soon.~ Pop: that avant-garde and mass cultures have inte rs:: c:::G indeed converged.~a 'Mondrian ' and 'Saarinen'). Atthe same time Hamilton also smoothens these parts into near abstraction: ifthe woman caresses the car in the painting. whi c~ s 'the bachelor' and which is 'tne bride'? Unlike Duchamp. like the Large C the conjunction ofChrysler and showgirl in Homm age produces a kind of'Bachelor Machine'. here represented by an 'Exquisite Form Bra' and the big Ii ps ofone 'Voluptua' . And in Hommage he is fetish istically specific: 'pieces a re taken from Chrysler's Plymouth and Imperial ads . whe re Be renders woman and weapon one. the vehicle.

in a way that makes --= . rr =~'on . his pictures contain traces of the visual-verbal hybrid characteristic ofthe magazine :.'35 'Sex s= '" .. while the eye is a plastic one taped into position: like painting.. Thewoman is again reduced to an erotic 'essence'­ not breast and lips as in Hommage. ' Roland Barthes wrote in Mythologies. s -o ile) as if a nude by Mati sse were here reworked by I :.. as in Hers is an alogies: it is as though Hamilton wanted to track in its saccadicjumps across associated : ': =. in antiquity.urn cl eaner below. the woman a nd the hybrid of toaster -" co.: --s::!}ort between artist and model.r en sou rces. I n his own words. the hips are in whitened relief.-a:lstical: for all its lushness. a hybrid that anticipates the mixed sign that pervades electron ic space today . Moreover. ::s ~ . a medium -.~ ' mat e and the inanimate difficult to distinguish.. however.all the 'icons'.styles and methods that are at once commercial (as in the various di splay tech niques that he evokes). =.a ear orl d can be plasticized and even life itself . 'photograph becomes diagram. This erotic -: ==~ ~ .~ r~ genre of the Odalisque subsumed in an ad for a commodity status is also signalled by the dollar sign in the title). Hamilton argued in 1962. not the opposite.c j ~ ~ o bil e styl ist. 'More " -" a substance. More directly. !"or the fridge. as in Hommage and She.: ~' J "1ofth e ad man's paraphrase ofthe consumer's a lush situation or Towards a definitive statement on the coming trends in men's wear and accessories (1962). Togeth er these two operations inform the hybrid space : . As in 3 1th at remains of the nude.:. Hamilton lists no . I n the process Ha milton presents line. collaged yet painterly in technique. The eye opens and closes like the fridge. but also for writing-tablet. 'symbolized in the . 'to tabulate' is 'to set down in a systematic form' (OED) and Hamilton is often concerned with an 'overlapping of presentation styles and methods' . who has used both techniques in large part because he finds them.. Yet. ar pi ctu res: specific yet sketchy in content.:-':: . Latin fortable.here'. where the title derives from a Playboy review of male fashion. which Hamilton has involved in his lists and titles.. or of jingles.Iess in facture. he . 3) What a re the im pi ications of the tabu la r pictu re? 'Tabu la r' derives from tabula. r :: : S.=. 'the := ::= "on of critiques ofconsumerist 'myths' published in • ::~ . or of images. 'line' has become 'the right -e :~:H _ new line' of Buick.. in the media. 'pop-u ps' and other lush images that carry insistent directivesYAgain.. r of mass-prod uced Iuxu ry .. both painting and printingfigured as modes of inscription.j. all cred ited to particu lar des igners and :: -c r .r :: =. Hers is a lush situation. hic h Hamilton describes as another 'sieved . ~: ::7~= -sa matternotonlyofcharged details butalsoof spread and the tabloid layout (perhaps 'tabular' connotes 'tabloid' as well).' sstill individual and expressive in Matisse.a:. modern ist (as in the various abstract signs that he cites) and modernist-turned­ com mercial. as almost engineered . plastic is the very idea of its infinite trans­ ::. -e is revalued here. in which. here it is one of a Frigidaire: the home 36 ::s :lee-ome another kind of showroom. diagram flows into text' and all is transformed : ~= ~ OV 36). it is the :- -~~== :02t seems to sell the person (that she has . but eye and hips. y on t hemagazinegenreofthewomanorwifewho r _ -=e s:: e vehicle or appliance. relief and collage are exploited for fetish istic effect. ~ =. even wink at us. turns on and offlike the toaster: apparently in the animate world of Pop products.=:. so is plasticity.lfamagazineimageofaChryslerprovides " ~= = =-~: of Hommage.::ro ' S eye -='~ s. things can look back at us. as with the Cheshire cat. like Hommage. ..': -'.. 'Tabular' also invokes writing. She draws ..~. some of these pictures are tabular in another sense too­ generated by a table ofterms. r : !:ombin ation of effects is again atwork in She . . here. as withJust what is it?..the interplay offleshy -:: =0: ( 2nd smooth. This association must appeal to Hamilton. already combined. .r. his before Hers is a lush situation was painted. broken :. fleshier metal' (CW36). .

. is a 'preliminary investigation into specific concepts of masculinity' (CW 46). his drawing (never the comic) with an opaque projector.. and.cr. Might these tabular pictures be seen then as investigations into a new body of laws. It is not always clear when this redoubling of images is analytical and when it is celebratory. At the same time Hamilton wants 'the plastic entities [to] retain their identity as tokens' and so he uses 'different plastic dialects'. as it is in much Dada and Neo-Dada work. accused of copyright infringe!!. collage. relief.S)' The ch arge of bana li .: . (]f . With Pop . 'within the unified whole' of painting (CW 38). --.. Another insight of Pop (or 'Son of Dada' as Hamilton calls it) is that 'randomizing' had become a media device.. -: to overrun the high .::Jc-·­ appeared to overwhe rr ~" = art with commerci al de'S Modern artists had lor f £~ 11/1' 11. Yet one thing seems clear enough: his pastiche is not disruptively random. he would select one or more panels from a str'p. typological : for example.in Hamilton in particular or in Pop at large. I CAN SEE THE wHOLE ROO/M····AND THERE'S NOBODY IN IT/ difference nonetheless .3 have narrowed and. centred first on co nten.e.~ time). but they did so mostly to reinvigorate staid forms ".J9Sometimes he pushes this logic ofthe random to a demonstrative extreme... but in a complicated fashion. in one case at least. The accusation of banality also concern e· procedure: since Lichtenstein seemed to reprod uces images directly. he tabulates (as in correlates) different media and messages and tabulates (as in calculates) this correlation in terms of visual appeal and psychological effect. newspaper fragments in Picasso collage s a~Q s c­ on). like Hamilton. the low see . the differences between a grand painting and a good comic or ad sam pled popular cu Itu re (posters in Tou lou se-La utrec paintings. then. at much [he S? . entertainment or media. the accusations grew more shrill : ( 'e :: the apparent banality of his work threatened the ass um-­ profu ndity ofart . next he would trace the image on the canvas. which the society ofthe First Pop Age requires? Roy Lichtenstein and the Screened Image Hamilton intimates a historical convergence between abstract painting and commercial design... adjus t itto ~r. a logic within the culture industry.Jr list coming trends .( . who had come to appreciate such pa inting were not happy. at other times his tabular pictures are logical in another sense.-: (I n 1962 Lichtenstein adapted a few di agrams of p ortr2 '~s ::: Cezanne made by an art historian named Erie Loran in l :.~~ Loran surfaced to protest loudly. like Ha mil ror Lichtenstein on Iy wa nted to 'assi m ilate' his ads and car:!': r into fine art.".) Lichtenstein di d cop..of its cultural significa nce and its eth: ca effect. If Hamilton drewon gloss)' magazines for his images." Similarly.. each ofwhom is wired to a particular mechanism of sport. that is. Like an ad-man ...'oSuggestively. in composition and in effect. I' .. a Wall Street broker cum American football player.. the not-altogether-ironic heading 'Is He the Wars: Artist in the U.by painting. : products such as tennis shoes and golfballs (AndyV. such as photography."" His cold surfaces seemed to mock the feverish gestures of Abstract Expressionism in particular and ma stream critics. the word 'tabular' refers not only to graphic inscription.. and when he moved to comic strips.. In the case ofthe comics .. in ancient use it also connotes 'a body of laws inscribed on a tablet ' (OED). Roy Lichtenstein suggests that.... Almost immediately Lichtenstein was cha rge superficiality. on the other hand .') In 1949 Life magazine had showcased Jackson Pollock with the not-yet-convi nced question ' Is He the Greatest Livi ng Pai nter in the United States ?' In 1964 the same magazine profiled Lichtenstein unde _~ ·· oi /.. mas: ' of romance and war. here typified by President I(ennedy.. a new inscription of subjects. a tawdrier resource: in 1960 he began toC?~ ~Z cartoon characters such as Mickey and Popeye and ge . .'cr. Lichtenstein turne d to t2 newspapers. a weightlifter cum track athlete and astronaut John Glenn. he was branded with a lack of ori gin.despite the fact that. first independently. sketch one or more motifs from these panels. course. rTROOPERl .':·J'': :': much the same thing. "r ­ r feisty contents. the n proiB. he exploits this diminished . ...

: =-. Thus . In fact he worked to show that comics could serve some ofthe same lofty ends set for high art from Rembrandtand Jacques-Louis David to Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman: not only pictorial unity and dramatic focus (as advocated since Diderot and Lessing.:S . His lowly subjects did offend aesthetic taste attuned to Abstract Expressionism . Rosenquist. ~r.pri nted .. Polke and others :"'::. a circle outlined and dim pled in black on white . the near abstraction ofGolfBall tests ou r sense of realism.4 s On the other hand. which Lichtenstein shows to be a conventional code. while a Lichtenstein 6 min im um amount of change.to under mechanical reproduction into screened -i' . as the critic Michael Lobel has argued. to recompose them in such a way as to register these values of unity and subjectivity ­ to register them precisely as pressured. Thus Lichtenstei n seemed to challenge the oppositions on which pure painting was founded : high versus low. The Lichtenstein -----. he remarked modestly in 1967. Jasper Joh ns had played a similar trick with his paintings offlags.on a light grey ground . this too is a central of Pop. Nor . Richter. . targets and numbers ofthe mid to late 1950S : those works met the Greenbergian criteria for modernist painting (that it be flat .. self-contained. but here too the Lichtenstein case is not as simple as it seems . e art ist as creator stand in th is world of rep rod uction? -." d ames (bycontrast Warhol retained 'Campbell's'. when a Mondrian begins to look like a golfball . but. On the one hand. I try to make the -:: ~ : ' t mu st leave me something to do . it is actually a layeri ng of that Lichtenstein hewed: to copy images from print media but to adaptthem to the parameters of painting. the one concerning the content ofads a nd com ics . . a matter of signs that sometimes possess only scant resemblance to actual things in the world.. Richter. then the category of abstraction is surely in trouble too. but here it also recalls the pristine plus-and-minus abstractions that Mondrian painted forty-five years before. Polke and others. to the point where di sti nctions Warhol .:: "1 oithese ~-. to collapse illusionist space into :: .. primary nlack of the outlines last. broadcast or otherwise represented :-~. : : =. _ ::.r . formally speaking.=5e stencilled marks are a painted depiction ofa printed :: ce : e Ben-Day dots devised by Benjamin Day in 1879 as . e his ~ ~_ images'. As we saw with Hamilton .:ensteinized' his sources in order 'to make the comics .. . r~ 0 an e and finally fill in with his stencilled dots.enstei n. to recompose them in the interest not only of pictorial unity but ofartistic subjectivity.g mi gh t look readymade." erlical reproduction (comic). even abstract versu s flgu rative . more precisely.the light grou nd ofthe dots first. fine versus commercial.'4 This is the ambiguous line = =..::. The other charge of banality. Rosenquist. handwork (drawing). r racing and pai nti ng) . Modernists like Mondrian worked to resolve figure and ground in painting. ' I am ~ :agai nst industrialization '. 44 Again.I do it in order to recompose it.ryin g to change it as much as possible.-=en and and machinearedifficultto recover. Consider GolfBall (1962). 1"$ and thi ck contou rs .a icali y reproduced images. I don't draw a picture !:If . he effaced •a d so on). : ~ :: 'chtenstein appropriated product images. Lichtenstein did not put his content to very contrarian purposes. e stein 's work abounds in manually made signs of .: : = aran c e dots underscores the transformation of Lichtenstein pushed together the poles offine art and commercial design with equal force: his comics were almost as flat as any flag or target and more vu Igar to boot. anrc al reproduction again (projector) and handwork ~ ~=.. if not before) but also 'significant form' and 'the integrityofthe picture plane' (as urged by Clive Bell and Clement Green berg respectively) . :-~ . Jee related conundra ofthe painterly and the graph ic.. . er to rep rod uce it ..2 :== r iqu e to reproduce an image through gradations of .~~ tOil. Butwhere .:. : r" and. or.. A golfball is a prime object of suburban banality. it is a prime characteristic of Pop art. objective and immediate) by mean s that Greenberg fou nd utterly alien to such painting (the kitschy images of mass culture) .-.~ :o . is more d ifficu It to deflect. but it was not very anguished for hi m. with significant variations again wrought by : -..4 s This tension between traces of orshi p and signs of its eclipse is pronounced in _-= '" .:r E': ngt a nslated into a system of dots. he signify shadow and light .: : ::': :. but it is his signature dots : ':: ~ stalli ze the paradox of 'the handmade readymade' .

Li chtenstein was well prepared to gauge the convergence !'t.=: way as to fit them to the picture plane. he suggests that Pop is not so different from modernist painting: they propose a similar viewer. . I.c.. 'Takka-Takka'. the strict primary colours in Mondrian . This is a predica­ ..' Lichtenstein once re marke :: of his pictorial language . . together by the icon ic shapes suppl ied by the ad or the co'" that is . Yet this 'reconciliation' was hardly his doing alone.:: semi-cartoonishflgures in Leger.' in the sense that a historical condition is revealed to us through the very form ofthe work. He might have added Matisse.. . when Mickey and Popeye popped up in the metaphysical space once reserved forthe numinous rectangles ofRothko and the epiphanic 'zips' of Newman.~ are put to different purposes: ifin Mondrian the prirnaricc signify pure painting.'" Matisse. one that is projected as all eye. blue a perfect sk't <: '-: so on.c.>::= light and shadow in Picasso. art lovers were rather upset. modernist and mass. as mediated. the readymade object an d the rmr=­ image. forthey all appea r in his pai ntin gs. not only the expressionist brushstfOl<e a'. another early work. but. Most im porta nt here is the blow: nearly as impactful as a Pollock painting.jgh a nd Iowa rts. (Lichtenstein liked to underscore this blow with the onomatopoeic terms of the comics: his punches go 'Pow'. then. but also the monochrome painting.. fi rst in Cleveland a nd then cartoonist. These devices appear in his.material flatness.s -r = I I"" 3 faux-naifmanner (in which he adapted America na ther-es _~ ~~ cubist play with signs (black Ii nes to signify a shad ow.~ .." (among others).s' But to what end is this demonstration made? For the most part Lichtenstein put high and low together less to undo the opposition than to reconcile it.. all of which he received as second-hand (so met i ~. Popeye (1961).. Ofcourse. a historical process that transcended all the Pop artists as individuals (perhaps the implaca bi lity ofthis process ca n be sensed in the impersonality of their canvases). he was proud ofh is formal sense. One can see why. c. which shows the s pinach­ strong sailor knocking out his rival Bluto with a roundhouse left. 1951) and brie:" abstract mode. and they are he ::. In other words.. In the 1950S. ·­ in the same way. he became adept in aVe --.: . the a r fi:. Mondrian and Fem ar G _tog. the bold but suave conto.­ :-:. by the very representational mode tha avant-garde art had worked so hard to overthrow. a . his guns go 'Blam'.patch to signify a reflection and so on). '7. Popeye smacks the viewer in the head as well. another aspect of his Pop that retains a critical edge .cr"Lei. red a flashy dress. like Hamilton. cartooning is. one that takes in the image in a single flash or 'pop'. Lichtenstein derror ­ strates a commonality between the codes 0 [".. Lichtenstein gives us both the impression of space and the fact ofsu rface (as do most com ics) and ifthere is a radical edge in his Pop it lies here: less in his thematic opposition of low content and high form and more in his structural superimposition of cartoons and commodities with exalted painting.. his tasteful abil ity to ma ke good painti ngs out of mawkish stuff. This is.. indeed for any post-war avant-ga rde: aga. rea through the language of the comics: the ambig uous 5:5. 'There is a fel at ~or'5 between cartooning and people li ke U0 3( and Picasso which may not be u nderstooc :. ironically.-: he did so both to expose and to exploit these mo demis: connections Y One can draw a dire conclusion from th'" commingling of modernist art and comic strip: that b early 1960s most devices of the avant-garde had becorr e ment for Pop. Consider 49 in upstate New York. literally so in art magazines).r .:.¥ .. he worked through several styles -" modernism: he painted along Expressionist lines . as if quoted. more impor:::. Lichtenstein registered a convergence of old binaries of high and low. in Lichtenstein yellow mi ght a l s o s -::. ' Brattata'.)SOThus atthe level ofeffecttoo.:­ garde devices. like a Pop upstart taking a tough Abstract Expressionist to the canvas with a single blow. r ~ a beautiful blonde. In this way Lichtenstein performed a visual short-circuit: he delivered both the immediate effect of a modernist painting and the med iated look of a pri nt image. but it definitely is related even in the earf'Y D r<:. Certainly he recomposed his ads and co mics in s_.~ more than gadgets ofcommercial design. Like Hamilton...':: 5 and comics and the styles of the ava n t -ga 'c ~_ 'Mine is linked to Cubism to the exte nt cr. these e l e lTe. the in Washington Crossing the De/aware.

For all his radical ity. stationery. This screening bears on the actual making of ". Might Lichtenstein have sensed this shift. Warhol tended to decompose such form through repetition and accident.' 5 art.JeCi{i c genres like portraiture. as mirror and -. when Warhol repeated photographs ofgruesome car crashes or poisoned housewives in the exalted space of such pai nting. yet whereas Lichtenstein was clean an d ha d in his copies ofcomics and ads. book covers and album jackets for a range of classy clients from Vogue and 3S such.: 0"l1 e of the :L anti-art measures of old avant-gardes like Dada AndyWarhol and the Seamy Image become the stuff not only of the art museum but of the 're ind ustry. in modernist art) as abstract surface. advertising. but as a horizontally worked site where different images might be brought together textually. in Andy Warhol also drew on comic strips and newspaper ads. where he achieved early success as a commercial a rtist with magazine ads. yet it " -o addresses the mediated look of the consumerist world at -3'ge. If Lichtenstei n worked to recom pose his Pop sources in the interest of pictorial form. Warhol studied design atthe Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon). A native­ informant in this spectacle. Warhol made movies that are sui =oJ ~ : :_ lado n: that both fine art and commercial design benefited :r :: en d. televisual mon itors. Warhol had a look of blank indifference that concealed an eye for killer images ..adept in . as if to 'compa re or correlate the surface of the canvas' with such screens. window displays. Warhol initially played with manual mistakes and media blurrings. then in construc· tion). itwas a lite sort ofsubversion. already latent in the com ic stri p? Harper's Bazaarto BergdorfGoodman and BonwitTelier. From his rise in the early 1960s to his death in 1987..nich he Lichtensteinized. DickTracy and Popeye in 1960. gay culture and star cu ltu reo Along with art work that ranges from the extraordinary to the bathetic. or both: we scan it and it scans us. 'the flat bed picture plane' (as itwas termed by _:: o Steinberg): the picture no longer as a vertically oriented :. Moreover. He did his first paintings of Batman . Or one can take a benign view ofth is thi s exchange oHorms in the interest ofvalues that. in which (as we sa' vi th Hamilton) reading and lookingtake on the hybrid c aracter of scanning. but to different effects. fashion.ame to look at orthrough as on to a natural scene. He had money enough to buy work by Duchamp.) SS Todaythis is how we are trained to sweep through information .'4 Lichtenstein proposed his own variant of this model: the picture as an already-screened image c. when Lichtenstein put Popeye in the place of Pollock. r • generis. indsh ields and dashboards. Born in 1928 in Pittsburgh to immigrants from eastern Slovakia (his father worked in coal mines. His wonder yea r was 1962-63: he did his first 'Campbell's Soup Can ' and 'Do It SURVEY . charisma by glamour and aura by hype. then. such as painting as window. _ichtenstein was adept not only in modernist styles but . a telling sign ofa post-wa r world in wh ich . theyear before he saw Lichtenstein canvases with similar subjects.rod uction . Wa rhol is the one Pop artist whose name resonates well beyond the artworld (he has Pop status in th is extended sense too). a 'flat documentary surface thattabulates information' . both in semblance and in seeing. Evidently this is how Lichtenstein saw things . and he collected all kinds ofother things as well: everyday was a time capsule fo' Warhol (he left 612 boxes ofephemera at his death). counting web hits and so forth. immediacy of ~=ect and so on. it was scabrous and it remains so forty-plus years later. among many other ventures (his studio was appropriately dubbed 'The Factory'). all =:. if not antiquity . York. Johns and Stella before he could sell his own art.. Rauschenberg and Johns had suggested a further :::a adigm . independent filmmaking. he served as the often-still centre of various sub-worlds ofart. underground music. are rather traditional. (Lichtenstein often chose comic-strip !"igures pi aced in front of gu n sights. produced the first album ofThe Velvet Underground and founded Interview magazine. landscape and still life. experimental writing. its commingling of handmade and readymade. which affects perceiving and imaging perse. He exploited a new way ofbeing in a world of commodity-images where fame is often subsumed by celebrity. visual. some of ~ ich date from the Renaissance. Nancy. tracking keystrokes.unity ofimage.:: erythi ng seemed subjectto processing through mechanical "e . verbal. Emergent re e. as well as in general paradigms ::-' ainting. Not long before . In 1949 he moved to l ev. is a mode ofseeing that has become dominant cnly in o ur own time of the computer screen.: s in different modes ofseeing and picturing. newsworthiness by notoriety.

-. rather. to relocate the meaning of the image away from any deep significance (within the image. th i s process of projection .: . Valerie Solanas . it rests in an expose of C (Sleep. two days before Robert Ken nedy was assassinated.'57I n this 'complacent consumption' made th rough 'the brutal :-. In the process. 0 look at the su rface of my painti ngs and fi Ims and m e 2 r~ ::-:: -:c I am . embrace of the simulacral commodity-image (as Barth es and others would have it). especially on the' Death and Disaster' silkscreens . a Factory hanger-on . 'is to desym bol ize the object ' . In 1963.Yourself' paintings .= account of Warhol as impass ive and his images as ind i s cf~ . Warhol used a Pola roid for the fi rstti me and he moved The Factory to East 47th Street. which are based on news photographs. For Crow th is crit i c a l: ~ lies not in an attack on 'th at old th i ng art' made th rou gh c'. 'What Pop art wants '. The simulacral readingofWarholian Pop is advanced by critics for whom the notion of the simulacrum is cruc ial to the critiq ue of representat ion as bound di rectly to the world. ~ and impassive. BlowJob and Kiss . beyond the image) towards its own blank surface. elect ric chairs and civil -rights confrontations . There ' s noth i ng beh i nd it. Art' (1980) .-. too .5 Most important readings focus on this early body of images.. Barthes writes in 'That Old Thing..'59 Wa rhol was ve ry saw J a ::-: .. a document t ied to the world. In 'Saturday Disasters : Trace and Refere--=:: in Early Warhol' (1987). the artist is also . Here Crow finds not only a referential object for Warhol but an empathetic subject in Warhol and here he locates the artist ' s criticality as well. ':k and he himselfhas no depth: he is merely the su rface of his pictures. :: of accident and mortality. Warho l belo nf:i ~: the popular American tradition of'truth-telling' . These accounts tend either to connect these images to actual 6 events in the world or. his first silkscreens of Elvis .. no signified.' repositioned: 'The Pop artist does not stand behind his w.. Most readings of Wa rhol­ indeed of post-war art based on photography . th at is. was attracted to the open sores in American poli ticallf. in an interpretation of the electric. in fact they are : o~ . Marilyn and otherstars. In this way Crow pus hes W::. where it became a notorious hangout for bohemian scene-makers and wannabe 'superstars ' (the term is anotherWarhol invention). his 'Death and Disaster' images and his first films account referential depth and subjective interiority are aL victims of the sheer superficiality ofWarhol ian Pop.. the titles ofwhich declare about all the action that appears on the screen) .. of the way th at we fa bricate s cars and celebrities through our idealization of their iconic {on::: I n any case.!! I n part this reading ofWarhol as empathetic and e g. to propo se that the world of Warhol is nothing but image . shot Warhol several times) . often too gruesome for publication . The referential view ofWarhol is advanced by critics base!: in social history who relate the work to diverse pheno m er ~ such as the civil rights movement. His greatest period of art work occurred between his first si lkscreens in 1962 and his near-fatal shooting in 1968 (on the third ofJ une.divide some­ where along th is line: the image is seen either as referential. in ate. neither argument is wrong.:­ is a project ion. Underneath the glamorous surface of commo di'l fetishes and media stars lies 'the reality of suffering an death' : the tragedies of M ari Iyn Mon roe . no intention. or as simulacral. gay culture . the fas hior world and so on .. conversely..: beyond humanist sentiment to political engage ment. a copy without an apparent original i n the world... 'Far fro m a pu re : =: of the signifier liberated from reference '.c ha irirr cg~ as agit-prop aga inst the death penalty and of the race-' c: images as a testimonial fo r civil rights . even though Warhol seemed to agree t-'"'". that Pop images in general represent only ot her images. Liz Taylor and )2C-" Kennedy prompt 'straightforward express ions offeeli ng' the artist.'. latter view: ' Ifyou want to know all about Andy WarhOl . but so is the account ofWarhol as s up€ ~ 1(.e Crow writes. '1. anywhere. of car wrecks and suicides. Barthes argues. Thomas Crow disputes the si mu i2c"".

' Ilike things . a symbolic 'E -.these nasty seams . connected and disconnected . Together. youmightexposeit. they are not about am astery oftrau ma. then . = ra ce ofthe very compulsive repetition that a consumerist "'!c::.e exactly the same. a life narrative.80) Warhol glossed this embrace of boredom and repe­ : ' I don't want it to be essentially the same . This indiffer-ence to the crash victim impaled on the telephone pole is bad enough.0 .: . Often his repetition serves to screen a reality understood as traumatic ('screen' in the senses of both 'view' and 'filter') .:-ery demands of us all. ~ II punctum . ated me.:~ .that a traumatic reality seems to poke through . And this multiplicity makes for the paradox not only of images that are both affective and affectless. is neither a simple represen­ tation of a worldly referent nor a sheer simulation of a superficial image. e boring things ' is another signature saying.' 6 n POPism 2I :.0: : . 'Someone said my life has :.­ . ' It is what I add to the photograph and what is nonetheless already there._ .I want it to ::.' he writes. the more the meaning goes away and the better ".. and this strategy ~ ided Warhol as early as his 1963 interview with Swenson: hen you see a gruesome picture over and over again. this ::::-"os:egy of 'capitalist nihilism' was performed ambiguously a hoi vis-a-vis Cold War consumerism after World 2( effects of the punctum to details of content. Warhol implies. critical and complacent. yet a punctum does exist for me in the indifference ofthe passer-by in White Burning Car. 'II iked that idea.e military-industrial catastrophe ofWorld War I. butthe repetition ofthis indifference is gall ing and th is points to the distinctive operation ofthe punctum in Warhol: it works less through content than through technique. that screen it and that produce it. .'"' ese remarks reposition the role of repetition in Warhol. ~". Thus several contradictory operations can-occur in his work at one time: a warding away of trauma tic significance and an opening out to it.'6J Here repetition is both a draining of s gnificance and a defending against affect. Yet the Warhol repetitions are not restorative in this way.' 'It is acute yet muffled. 'It is this element which rises from the scene. In Camera Lucida (1980) Barthes calls this traumatic point ofthe photograph its =':-:0 _- . it _o-esn't really have any effect.. shoots out of it like an arrow and pierces me. Often it appears in the 'floating flashes' of the silkscreen process. Deployed critically by the Dadaists vis· s .:.ifyouenterittotally. This is seldom the case in Warhol. but also of viewers who are made to feel neither whole (which is the ideal of most modern aesthetics : the subject composed in contemplation) nor dissolved (which II.d emptier you feel . who takes on what shocks him as a defence =. which he locates strictly neither in the image nor in the viewer. III (1963). But it might point less to a blank subject than to = ~.' 6 Barthes is s concerned here with straight photographs and so he relates the '-. a defending agai nsttrau matic affect and a produci ng of it. . o be a machine' is a famous utterance ofWarhol =-::_ __ eand affectless. VEY .you reveal its enforced automatism through your own = =I .::~s j v e example. Repetition in Warhol.. for his repetitions not only reproduce traumatic effects but sometimes produce them as well. In th is way different ki nds of repetition a re put into play byWarhol: repetitions that show a traumatic reality.£' .s usually taken to confi rm the blankness of artist and =:-c:" e.:::< ed one. . in the repetitive 'popping' of the images: it is in these ruptures and repetitions . ven ty years (what else but Campbell's soup?).. Ifyou can't beat it.s early im ages ofdeath and disaster are both order..st hi s same shock.' Warhol told Gene Swenson in an important ·e" of 1963 . 31an d simulacral. Odd contradiction: a floating flash.r.more. itcriesoutin silence .: e actly the same over and over again. : ~ . Because the more you look at the same e actthing. '60 In this conversation clai ms to have had the same lu nch every day for the e two statements suggest a strategy of pre-em ptive ~ =-:: ~ '~ol ". .' 64 Clearly this is one function r repetition in our psychic lives: we recall traumatic events orderto work them into a psychic economy.". but it does so in a way that po ints to this traumatic reality nonetheless.

the critic Michael Warner has argued. then..and ellery time you turned on the radio they said something like. give it a body? 'The mass subject cannot have a body'. ' 7J Here his primaryconcern is not disaster and death so much as the mass subject in the guise of the anonymous victims of history. the news paper).'68 'I don'tthink Donahue.'7 This pri nci pie suggests why Warhol evokes the mass subjectthrough its media icons­ from celebrities and politicians such as Marilyn and Mao to all the lurid people that he placed on the covers of Interview. Coke bottles and Brillo boxes from 1962 on. Warhol evoked the mass subjec: in two opposite ways : iconic celebrity and abstract anony But he might have come closest to this subject throu gh a ~ <iSS .' 6 But how does 9 one represent 'the mass ofAmerican people'? One way at least to evoke this 'mass subject' is through its proxies . 'because I neverfall together. o~ both . For the most part. Irealized that ellerything I was doing must halle been Death. However. more precisely. 'Russia is doing it under government. Warhol did more than evoke the mass su bject through its kitsch.. It's happening here all by itself. you neller know who they are .is the effect of much popular culture: the subject given over to the dispersive intens ities ofthe com modity-i mage).. repo rtso( disastrous death such as '129 Die' is a pri ma ry way th at I subjecthood is produced. it can have a public dimension too.'67However cryptic this remark is. or.' he added in 1967. he also represented it in its very absence and anonymity. '4 million are going to die. through its objects ofconsumption. Parad oxica enough. or ofa catastrophi c fa · . Here again is Warhol in the 1963 interview: 'I guess it was the big crash picture. the breakdown ofthe distinction between private and public is also traumatic and no one points to this breakdown as incisively as did Warhol. 'I thin k it should be for the mass ofAmerican people. Wanted Men (1964) can be double entendres for gay viewers. he once said of Pop art in general.g.. the democratic levellers offamous media icon and unknown mass subject alike. . it does suggest that a historically novel confusion between private fantasy and public reality is a primary concern ofWarhol ian Pop. The punctum is not only a private affair. It was Christmo5 or Labor Day . Ijust always sort ofwondered what happened to them .. and/or through its objects of taste.that is.~ art should be on Iy for the select few. Indeed.. commodities and celebrities. and portraits ofcriminals such as Thirteen Mo5/.that is. often along subcultu rail ines: the Factory was a vi rtual workshop of queer reinventions of heart-throbs such as Troy o Well.re oftechnology (e.a holiday . Yet disaster and death are necessary to evoke th is mass subject. 'except the body it witnesses.'66This is often the effect of his work as well. the front page ofa newspap'!r 129 DIE. Iwas alsopainting the Marilyns.. as he did th rough h is kitschy flower paintings of1964 and folksy cow wall papers of1966.. Warhol remarks in The Philosophy ofAndy Warhol (1975). for in a society of spectacle this subject often appears only as an effect of the mass media (e.. 'or taking the inside and putting it on the outside.' Warhol said in 1963. in its very disaster and death. '7 2 And here is Warhol in a 1972 conversation: 'Actually you know it wasn't the idea ofaccidents and things Ii. 'I never fall apart'.. But can onefigure this mass subject-that is. of the news of such a catastrophic fa ilu re AI with icons ofcelebrity such as Marilyn and Mao. 'It's just Iike taking the outs ide and putti ng it on the inside'. 'I want everybody to think alike. as Warhol did in his serial presentations ofCampbell's soup cans. At the same time Warhol was also concerned to specify this su bject.g.~ that .. I thought ofall the people who worked on the pyram ids and .' That started it. Clearly he was fasci nated by the su bjectivity produced in a mass society. it would be easier to do a painting ofpeople who die d i car crashes because sometimes you know.from the drones of the pyramids to the statistics ofthe highways. at the height ofthe Cold War.. the plane crash).

_s in a double crucible . the landscapes in particular.: :r. It is as though Richter wanted to run these different strands together. .of East and West and of ~ . . Richter does not collapse low and high =-=::=?:>ries. In 1989 Richter described the Atlas as 'a deluge of images' with no 'individual images at all '.that : .. Sigmar Polke and Bl inky s~Jd e n ts ~ !e : l ofthe charismatic Joseph Beuys. 166.. "' . This effect is probed :~r: . her from low to high and back again . Richter .: .es du bbed 'Capitalist Realist' or 'German Pop'.: e . such as newspaper photos .here he visited the international survey of : : ...:} C merican icon . to put the exalted pictorial formats of the 'Northern Romantic Tradition ' from Friedrich through Newman through the anti-aesthetic paces ofWarhol ian POp . a fraction of which has served as the basis of his paintings . In this way Richter places photography and painting at the same level ('I consider many amateur photographs better than the best (ezan nes. .:Vhat mo re exact rep resentation of the dark side . In 1962 he began to assemble his Atlas . magazine ads . landscapes..d Los Angeles." 'It's not a just image'. -=. a a _ famous remark. to abstract.s :... portraits. by Gerhard Richter..i: de elop ed his com plex aesthetic. Richter presents not only different kinds but also great numbers of images . that is."" ~~ : . . of the colour-field abstract ions of Newman as well as the murky media images of Warhol. my work has more to do with traditional art than anything else.: : ~ . Born in East Germany in 1932. 'is to bring together the most di sparate and mutually contrad ictory elements. Warhol predicted for us all..~_ . Jean -Luc Godard once remarked.~~ : :Je conveyed through banality.. Richter also registers th is convergence. Benjamin Buchloh has written incisively ofthis archive as an 'anomic' repertoire without apparent law or rule and . but on Iy to compl icate itas if to demonstrate that lyrical painting can still exist not only after Auschwitz but after Warhol as well.75 Along similar lines Richter shows contradictory allegiances to divergent traditions ofart.-..' he rema rked in 1966). a vast compendium of public a nd private photos. -:se~ !ati o nal -~. sometimes approach low forms once more.~ vbl ic sphere at this time could there be than this g of iconic criminal and abstract execution?74 ard Richter and the Photogenic Image points to an unexpected discovery of Pop : affect is r c: : -ccessarily blocked by banality. 1995. in Kassel . in in Fluxus performance.: r. such as the pretty postcard orthe sentimental photo .. perhaps the greatest art ist -'·< Ledwith Pop outside its main axis of London. .. abstraction and figuration? Often his Pop peers seem to celebrate the convergence ofthese terms. uenced byWarhol in particular. Two years later Richter moved to . as a compendium whose sheer number of pictures relativizes each one (DP 199) . the second a kind of American : . with echoes of the romantic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich as well as the conceptual provocations ofDuchamp.' he commented in 1964.e is best known for these images) .es are blurry renditions of banal photographs of -: e . it does not contai n much in the way of sign iflca nt montage . the fame offlfteen minutes .: ~~ '" £ome\' here between celebrity and anonymity. ::.. handmade and readymade. even aintings .:.. ' ed in Socialist Realist painting at the Kunstakademie ==: ~ : >:':':'J en . from 7::. in orderto retrain in such modernist art at its _ 5.back again in so far as his high genres . in the greatest possible freedom ' (Gerhard Richter. historical and avant-garde. even as he also affirms the fragile autonomy of'traditional art' as such ('in every respect. as many Pop artists do . so much as he ranges .ay li fe.. =amon g others .. except for an early juxtaposition ofconcentration -ca mp and porn photos.76 'All that I am tryingto do in each picture'.. In 1959 he travelled for the first time to West . Yet to what ends does ..his implicit double-portrait of the mass subject: anted men and the empty electric chairs . New ". Richter has stated in a characteristic manner at once modest and grand."::5 -: e fi gu re of notoriety. famously. soft-porn shots and aerial views ofvarious cities ... there hewas e gestu ral abstractions of Pollock and Lucio ~: :=. Fluxus performance and Pop art . who was he juxtapose painting and photography.::! r ':::: . in fact a traumatic charge ~ . that is. hereafter DP). while many of his a vases recall the old genres ofacademic painting seen -_ ~ J g a fu zzy optic: stililifes. documenta 2. the first _ ~ : . The Daily Practice ofPainting: Writings 1962-1993.:-= -'s de ie (he began to teach there a decade later). alive and viable. Richtercollaborated ueg and extensively with Polke in various events . many of his early c:. ~:: s: e e met Konrad Lueg. s nap s. not long after the blurry representations first appeared).:~ ~ JO ary art.. but also diverse classes of : -":er e compasses not only different styles. ing.

Nor is it quite the psych ic shock delivered to the subject by the camera as described by Barthes in Cam era historical condition of post-war Germany . Richter has long tracked ou r self-fash ionings accord ing to stereotypes. 'The world itselfhas taken on a "photograph ic face".which he trea:s both in content and in form . which is part and parcel ofevery memory image. Rather. The trauma here is not simply the photographic usurpation of the representational function of painting anticipated long ago by Baudelaire.to make 'a just painting' (a la Lichtenstein perhaps) that is also 'just a painting' (a la Warhol perhaps). Richter documents the ' photographic face' the modern world disclosed by Kracauer. nature. sua: into a cliche. myself and my paintings' (DP3S). r s 1988 suite ofi mages concerning the dem ise of tile radical Baader-MeinhofGroup. ofcou rse. congeals our life. devours them is a sign ofthe fear ofdeath. and throughout his early period Richter seemed to participate in this same questioning ofthe truth-clai m s of photographic represen ­ tation. ~g S~ Ii . Yet. an epitome nota of a homey th ing but of petit-bou rgeois taste at its ho melies: Yet Richter is also interested in banality that is formal. Oktober1 977.his 1970 film Vent d'est. he a ppea red to su bscribe to a Warholian aesthetic of indifference: ' Ilike everything that has no style: dictionaries. 18. be. This banalization occurs in the existen tial flashing of the camera stressed by Barthes. revives. What the photograpnr. painting from photos was 'the most moron ic and inartistic th ing that anyone cou Id do' (DP 23) . For one thing he regards the partial disconnection between work and self effected by his found images and mechanical facture as a kind of protection. memory. . in ourformal conformity with the photographic face of the world . More is involved in Richter.. he is a vi rtuoso painter and his pai ntings are painstakingly produced. That the wort. Richter als o works to reveal the deathliness of this photographic face. such as the appropriations of media images in Pop paintings .79 For instance. his can-can = ". intermittently. then. One instance of banal co nten: 's the candelabra in Flemish Crown (196S). 'it's just an image'. that the question offascism persis ts. And in 1972 he spoke of the photograph as a 'pure picture' 'free of all the conventional criteria I had always associated with art: It had no style. as painting. This indifference was a common stance in the 1960s a nd it was often approached through 'deskilling' operations . in our automatic posing in front of the apparat us ­ that is. the old categorvo history painting. 'I hate the dazzlement of skill.. but also. At the same time. For example. no judgment' (DP 73) . this reaction brings him close r to Siegfried Kracauerthan to Baudelaire orto Barthes. ' Kracauer wrote in his great essay on photography (19 27): 'It can be photographed because it strives to be absorbed into ~r~ spatial continuum which yields to snapshots .that these radicas remain 'unburied '. indeed to renderthe photograph mnemonic in painting. than the cool pose of the typical Pop artist. These paintings reveal a truth-claims of representation so much as to suspend the Godardian alternative mentioned above . How are we to understand his intimation of both a traumatic dimension in photography and a protective po·· ential in pai nti ng? For Richter the trau ma seem s to in volve banality . the trau ma of photography for Richte r lies or'-'­ in its sheer proliferation ('the masses of photographs') ana in its transformation of appearance ('the bath of deve lope As Buchloh has suggested . photographs. In 1964. in fact Richter unsettles the certainty ofthis historical fact. however momentarily.5 when a camera turns us into an image. t overcome the apparent opposition of photography and ----. someti mes ina ma n ner that borders on artistic travesty. no composition. Thus Richterworked not to undo the Lucida. for exam pie. even before. Th roughout the 1960s he spoke of his encou nter with photography in traumatic terms: ' For a time I worked as a photogra ph ic laboratory assistant: the masses of photo­ graphs that passed through the bath of deve loper every day maywell have caused a lasting trauma ' (DP 22). in some ways he accepts the Kracauerian opposition between the photog ra~ ~ and the 'memory image'.this is a key concern of his Pop too . by their accumulation attempt to banish is the recollection of death. the use of everyday photos was a related move.' Richter stated in 1964. '7& Like Warhol. for here Richter effectively transforms ephemeral media photographs into potent memory images .

seem s and is vi si ble to us because we perce ive it by the reflected light of semblance. t is light is still numinous. both ofwhich register as photographic. The penetration ofappearance not only by photograp but by the commodity-image is a given ofthe Pop mo men. Perhaps its role. however different these effects. they are all common aspects ofthe photographic face ofthe world: they suggest how our very perception. the very vehicle ofthe traumatic threat here. out of wh ich Richter developed . For Richterthis photographic semblance produces a form ofdoubt (epistemological. Nothing else is visib le. exclusively with semblance (I include photography. photographic in semblance.­ magazi ne ads. Yet. as if conform ity in appea rance were the only way for them to attain social recognition.' Richter once remarked of such banality in his art (DP62). As we saw with Warhol. even ontological) that his painti ng also works to register: 'My own relation sh ip to real ity painter Richter is ofa second nature bathed in the glow oc ~ "'e med ia. both an obscene scene and an occluded one a nd so on. images th at exi st in the first instance only as relayed. he regards photography as too im pi icated in contemporary semblance to capture it on its own. Yet. Ofcourse these elements can function in other ways too: the greys can suggest both the material actuality of paint and the mediated appearance of print. as no other art does. So Th us his art is less a critique ofspectacle than a phenomenology of mediated appearance. his Warhol ia n rendering of the young victims ofthe serial killer Dr Richard Speck who were al ready 'shot' serially in the n ursin g yearbook that Richter used as his media source. This formal banality is most evident in Eight Student Nurses (1966).th 0 'S : Nature. it is 'neutralized and therefore painless' (DP 30). at least in part. to undercut its referential claims. such simulation is often taken to trump representation. Painting concerns itself. of a world become Pop. 'It's all evasive action. into a defence againstthis same threat.. ofcourse) . . and it is this 'photo­ genesis' ofthe world that Richter strives to pai nt. The semblance that concerns the Po ~ freed Richter from 'conscious th inki ng'. tou rist scenes and otherworldly landscapes such as h is brill iant Moonscapes (1968). then. and again this is a fundamental demonstration of Pop. For Richterthe photograph cannot deliver semblance because 'the camera does not apprehend objects. a culture of vi sual ities that a re photograph ic and filmic. Again like Warhol. is defensive as well as traumatic.' Richter has commented (DP 187) and many ofh i5 0 . indeed it provides the very consistency of'reflected light' that it is the task ofthe painter in turn to reveal. these girls appear nearly cloned. he wrote early on. memory and unconscious have become. incompleteness' (DP74). to be seen. Yet such banality is perha ps most chilli ng in Three Sisters (1965): posed in matching dresses on a family couch. so Pop a often adapted the simulacral nature ofthe commodity-i age. it sees them' (DP 35). videographic and electronic. Paintingfrom photographs . which updates and transplants the Manet prostitute to the middle-class home. has a great deal to do with imprecision.34 Ballet Dancers (1966) and soft-porn Bathers (1967) are degraded descendants of related subjects by Degas and Cezanne and the travesty is patent in the young strip-teaser of Olympia (1967). That is. and the blurs can evoke both a memory and a fading of memory. transience. like Warhol. (DP181). 'All that is. uncertainty. The sembla nce that concerned the Roma ntic pa inter Fried rich is of a pri ma ry nature still iIlumi nated by the Iight of God . Richter does not simply surrender painti ng to the simulacral order ofour image-world: just as he sometimes wrests an auratic uniqueness from tacky SURVEY . . he transforms the photograph. Just as Min imali st art ofte adapted the serial logic of industrial production. can be muting in effect. certainly the greys and the blurs in his painting. 'Photographs are al natural subjects are presented as already mediated . and perhaps the same holds forthe function of photography in his art. at all.

121. Ruscha ofter adapted an entire graphic look. especially the pho books. the young Ruscha dampened his style and staterr ::r". or rather the effects of thi s combi nation on the distinctive vi suality of Los Angeles. Similarly for Richter 'the picture is the depiction and painting is the tech n ique for shatteri ng it' (DP 227).A. the bi II board and the ci nema. it was indeed in L... Ruscha once remarked.e Sunset Strip (1966).. such as Annie (1962).'g. this transformation: here Pop becomes a philosophical art.. In his formats Ruscha registe rs 2 convergence between abstract painting and co mmerc Lichtenstein. 'I began to see the printed word'. the comics. 2002. but also on howwe can see. In Richter Pop art reflects not on lyon how appearance is transformed in consumer society. that 'there was no art anywhere excel: in America ' -Ed Ruscha. he presents banal subjects. only to remark. now' (LA 228) .-- 1955) in Print Magazine in 1957. 'I don 't even look at it as photogra. the photograph del ivers a resembl ance that the painti ng in turn must open up.26). th is infl uence carr.the presentation is as 'neuter general' as possible: 'they're a collection of "facts a collection of"readymades'" (LA 40.. Pages. the news photo or the snapshot. wh ich is .. in a manner foreig n to tee methodical calculation ofdesign work. 'the mere surface coherence offered by photography must be destroyed. in order that semblance . Even more than his Pop peers. Thirtyfour Parking Lots (1967). that the two events most formative to " :. blue below) and ofdesign (both the name oftr '= Little Orphan and the plump font of hereom ie. Duringthe Depression and after World War II. In other words.A . herea ft er LA) ar :. 'I wanted to break it into stages. NiT Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass (1968) and Real fstQC Opportunities (1970). Every Building on rr. even understand. partake eq ually of abstraction (two broad fields of primary colours . even break apart. Ru sch a varies some themes of his Pop colleagues and invents others : like Lichtenstein. As a result some of his ea r pai nti ngs.. Ruscha left Oklahoma in 1956 to attend Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Alt hough the subjects are hardly random . Ed Ruscha and the Cineramic Image Ed Ruscha also reflects on a world transformed in appearance. then book covers an d maga2 Pop artists used fragments of print sources. Okies often struck out for California. I<racauerwrote. the ca pital of spectacle in post-war America. but a combination of the automobile.several books s urvey characteristic spaces ofL.g.84 An earlier catalyst was his disco. Yet in his procedure there is no such but in his case the primary medium ofthe transform-ation is not the magazine. and Target to him through reproduction. buta. the storefront. includes Europe (Ruscha travelled there in 1961 . Whil e otc: C' < ii i on the yellow field).ye above. Born in 1937. towards New York . but with an enigmatic twist and. His work is indeed premeditated.':' layouts (i ncl uding Artforum from 1965 to 1967).. __ ~ the parameters of which are set beforehand. like Hamilton. so too does he sometimes restore a piercing referentiality to flimsy representations . 1954-55..g) His relative di si nterest in the East convergence at all: 'Abstract Expressionism co II apSe(Hlle whole art process into one act' . During this initial period Ruscha worked as a grapnlC artist: he designed ads briefly. here ir '"E w~ h FO!'r ~. Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965). .the characteristic natu re ofcontemporary appearance­ might be revealed to us.: '" Ruscha com ments. but with an apparent integration that seems finally to resolve seeing and reading into one form of scanning. :€ ofJohns (specifically Flag. lI d .reproductions. art occurred: the first Warhol exhibition at the Ferus Ga e summer 1962 (where the full array of single 'Ca mpbell's Cans' was first exhibited) and the Duchamp retros pec(·. rhetorically. 'they're just images to fi II a book' (L!. Interviews. tell ingly. 'and ittookoverfromthere.e curated by Walter Hopps at the Pasadena Museum ofArt in the autumn of 1963. then. Like Wa rhol a Richter. 'I n order for history to present itself'. wh ich incl ude Twentysix Gasoline Stations (1 962) ~ design that is even more thorough than in Ham ilton or .rtists have tended in the opposite direction. Richter insists on painting as the medium that ca n still reflect on sem blance.. Ruscha has suggested. he superimposes design and painting. Leave Any Information at the SIfT'-1 Writings. Bits.

. For .::. as in a ' misspelled _ sign '.e E . an ambiguity ~ -=. moreover. This might be taken as his ::0. Ruscha also plays with reified language -with slogans. mi nus the possibility of heaven. p e.:.: ~an)' e-Al ain Bois has underscored how often Ruscha is comm on had become ever more commodified .• 'mportantwho took the photos' ..~ .e. see page 91) a fiery can ofSpam -..=c " -r g.~ SJpport one a nother. Early on Ruscha painted some objects ~-. Often the -~. ' Duchamp discovered common objects' (LA 330)..)88 Like Hamilton. relate to one another? The potential role ofthe common as an ambiguous term somewhere between the folk and the Pop is important to consider here . . the truly dom ina nt features of the landscape .. Lichtenstein and Rosenquist. the ordinary REAL ESTATE OPP ORTUNITIES .:.::nositi on and these crossings cross up the viewer as . with paint d rips from the upper to the lower. .is conveyed in yellowon dark blue in the space above. the aerial images -=-:-z.87 Hedid so.:oanness .fu nny. along with 'Standard' .e interest in the odd thing began as an appreciation . and some of ever more standard .hi ch can not be expla ined ' (LA 65. for :'" r~: v. us ually both ... ~r<absurdity. to cracks in communication. only to unravel th is figu re altogether (as Michel =.~ recom m on thing..that takes on additional meaning with junk e-mail today). jingles and the like. ~~.ough his designs are predetermined. once and for all. He is drawn to term s that hover on the edge ofcl iche and sometimes he paints them as if to pull them back from this condition via ambigUity and sometimes to push them over. into the status ofa logo or a brand. Ruscha speaks ofthis effect as 'a kind of "huh?" ': :c a ays had a deep respect for things that are odd. like Johns.:.. as ifthey were the only public figu res left to portray. :: . -. desolate. in a period when the :.. (Warhol once suggested the term 'Common ist' as a replacement for ' Pop '.early astronauts were called 'spam in a can' .requ ently his words are as suspended in meaning as ~ are in space.. In 1985 he did a painting for a library rotunda -a i th at borrowed a line from Hamlet: 'words without .LA 25) in a way . Istswithintheimagesorthewordsor(moreoften) th e two: both the photo-books and the paintings can :-= ~ O'er ~ :: . as 'i ncomplete sputterings' or noisome puzzles (LA 91 . while the word 'Spam ' appears . to say the least (it is als o a joke . _0 'noi se'. Ruscha underscores the paradoxical an imation that word sand th ings assu me as they become reified in this way: he presents them. size' (as they are often painted in folk art).: "'=-= . Occasionally.:: _ . '20th Century Fox' and the other trademarks that he has depicted. too. Does the lower space of Actual Size suggest outer space? Does the upper space convey commercial space? How do the two spaces. c&. sometimes keyed up like special effects. Ruscha has suggested and .:s ~ rou gh the space below. ..Jg t s neverto heaven go'.~ '::: namely shots of solitary gas stations. which. or _ =r:l31wo rks do evoke the poetic figure ofthe calligram . on cearguedthatthewordpaintingsofRene i: -::e do as well) . made them 'the foreground central subject' of his art (LA289).. an d in LA this some-times seems to bethe case (the famous Hollywood sign that presides overthe city recurs in his work). and the apparently arbitrary ..._ce 2 fla t sort of enigma (here too one feels a con nection nos) . Ruscha .:. -: ' . and its ambiguity persists: one reason why Ruscha depicts words is that they 'exist in a world of no size' (LA 231) and his juxtaposition of 'actual size' and 'no size' renders the pictorial space very uncertain.~-~ parkin g lots and so on. might appear both obvious and incorrect. Ruscha is attracted to hybrid word-images. as if a collective viewer might still be wrested from consumerism . ::-"'etheless conveys ad isti nctive vers ion of both .: ::::. rather they sta nd apart or even ..85 In Ruscha images a nd words do not :::. in Actual Size (1962. s:em s from his use ofwords.:::e"'s (why exactly nine pools?) only add to the effect :. This image renders the common odd. .I.:r the shape ofthe text is designed to reinforce the ·. 305)..

' Yet even more than this customizing of special cons umer items .. apartments and. 308). along the bottom edge).8 Ruscha also does rethin k the old window model of painting in terms 0 : : ~. ' : 5 'cell uloid gloss' a nd space (LA 277). Bernard Blistene comments to Ruscha.. perhaps. . with brillia-­ sunsets and vast dimensions that often convey a 'deep Cal ifornia n version ofi nn nity'. land has appeared as property. Th is flat frontal ity ma kes his strange photo-books Iike Ellery Building on the Sunset Strip sudden Iy a ppear to be obvious ways to presentthe materi al (here the even bu iId ings credits and subtit . Henri Man Barense remarks . intimates this space often in his work. (among his studio notes is this one worthy of Ban ham or Hamilton: 'Core of my aesthetic is the shape of48 Ford gea rsh ift knob vs 48 Chevy gea rsh ift knob' .' It is a light that is true ar c:: .z. Ruscha also evokes a design culture characteristic ofL '''Hollywood'' is like a verbto me. surfboards and the like is important to Rusch<. Ru scha d raws on the specific visual ity of ci ne ma. los Angeles is a horizor :. he shows us horizor :cl spaces transformed by Cineramic spectacle.LA 39 9)-. the unseen vehicle ofthe l. he antici pates ou r contem pora ry vers ion ofthis 9 mixed sign in the computer icon and pOp_Up. but with Ruscha landscape becomes real estate tout court: in some ofthe photo-books it is even gridded and numbered as such (e. that 'ultimate cardboard cut-out town': 'los Angeles to me is like a series of storefront planes that are all vertical from the street and there's almost like nothing behind the fa<. 'some los Angeles apartments').. 90 Ruscha often features structures typical ofl. Committed to the landscape mode. The car is also 'a missing link in the [photo] books'. More than most cities.""':'5 us and arrive on the picture plane as though on a movie screen: the lights align with its surface. Certainly his focus on storefronts and billboards implies an automotive point of view and as Rosalind Krauss has suggested. indeed. 'They do it with automobiles. 'every building on the Sunset Strip') . 'I've been in fl uem:c by the movies. like Ham iIton. Clea rly such con noisseu rsh ip oT car models. visually?' Ruscha asks about this Ho llYWOOd Sublime.-~ what he calls 'the icon/logo concept' (LA 275).' he has commented . at least since Thomas Gainsborough.e windshield. ' Ruscha remarks. simply. Th is vis ua Iity is at once deep and s uperficia illusionist an d flat: the movies spaee is su rface a nd vice verse.. Perhaps in landscape painting. 'I think of your work'.. the parking lots and gas stations' (LA 213). 'it means a way of light. and the words (as . particularly the panoramic-ness ofthe wiCe screen. Ruscha This is to say. upside down. 265).A.ades' (LA 244. around the emb e of 20th Centu ry Fox. the car might be his primary 'medium'. His lA is also a city of billboards and Ruscha seems to fashion his painting after these large screens suspended in the landscape too.9' Th is spatial ity is a pri me s ubject of his art. a billboard is 'paint on a lifted­ up surface'.es can appear in the s dJY ~ register as the imagc_ appear ina stri p along the top edge ofthe book a nd the odd appear.A. 'Most of my proportlonsa. Ruscha comments . 223). that film is projected space and Ruse. In Large Tmdema Eight Spotlights (1962) the yellow spotlights see m to or ig ' ~:=:: = in the distance. wh ich also a ppea rs to be projected ­ as if pictorial light and space were here subsu med by the cinematic versions of these qualities. cut diagonally across the deep space tOW . 94 'Close your eyes and wha.g.g.' Ruscha has remarked. 'as a huge field in which you drive . he renders landscape in toto as so much real estate (e. paintings that depict various signs at different scales amid broad horizons and vast skies. does it mean. they do it with everyth ing tha ­ we man ufactu re' (LA 221).-e­ affected by the concept of the panora m a' (LA 291 . ~ depicts other th ings in the gri p of com modification. 'the conduit between the pools. expanse across which one drives from horizon to ho rizo 'It's the idea ofthi ngs ru n n ing horizontally and tryin g to take off. 'a backdrop forthe drama that happens' and this is how the s pace in his pai nti ngs often serves as well (LA 165.and ofthe canvas as a kind of windsh ield' (LA 304) 9 ' Along with the billboard. Like a painting. 'The scale and the motion bo take pa rt in it' (LA 161) . of course.

~ -~= 20th is a symbol. not only as given but as desired. the identification of'the civic ' with 'the commercial': however 'ugly and ordinary' eser: _a set about to liquefy into the sea_ Venturi.J~ :l ing (LV101). 'Architecture in this landscape becomes symbol in space rather than form in space..s:orical ornament.ade about to crum ble into the := - 'We came to the automobile-oriented commercial architecture of urban sprawl as our sourcefor a civic and residential architecture ofmeaning. and Pop influenced their thought (Learningfrom . g abstractly. in favour of 'expressionism '. 96 It also often leaps to conclusions: given the vast and fast 'autoscape '. theirs is an architectu ral-u rbanist apologia for the consumerist landscape produced by the nexus of car. they claim. Ventu ri and Scott Brown tra nslate important insights concerning this 'new spatial order' into an affirmation of 'the brutal auto landscape of great distances and high speeds' (LV75)..: it'J igm of 'the duck'.inclusion of popular taste and allusion to .sh' in his pictures too (LA 214). Like Banham a decade before them. as the turn-of the-century industrial vocabulary was viablefor a Modern architecture ofspace and industrial technology 40 years ago ' (LV 90).~-: j ..-:. The big sign and the little building is the rule of Route 66' ::. Learningfrom Las Vegas originated as a studio ..as such h is position is tru Iy Pop . Yet Banham soughtto update the expressionistic imperative of modern arch itectu re vis-a-vis a futu ri stic com m itment to tech nology . Denise Scott Brown and the Postmodern _sorption of Pop -. ~: : .=: : -re bottom) and sometimes there is a hint ofcatastrophe ~r _~. only a scenographic architecture can 'make connections among many elements . or the use -:: . In short. 5 - a regi sters how the nexus of cars.Like Nathaniel West and Didi o n.= f . in which the form expresses the ~ _ j . This is to naturalize a landscape that -.:ec ural tradition .. In effect.:. rchitectural elements ' alone to convey the meaning ofa 2 . viable now... They accept.' Venturi and Scott Brown write in a famous definition . Ifh is Complexity and ~_ ~. ection of modern design from society and history ~ r ::.-g:o correct these fau Its . the stuffof Hollywood dreams : ' If you look :.. the modern ::. RobertVenturi and Denise Scott 'n tu rn assume this transformation as the basis of archi tecture and urbanism . For thei r part Venturi and Scott Brown shun both the expressionistic and the futuristic.:>oth. hereafter LV) was the stri p and the s u bu rb are . Learningfrom Las Vegas often conflates trademarks with public symbols: The familiar Shell and Gulf signs stand out like friendly beacons in a foreign land' (LV52)..95 Accordingto Venturi S-:ott Brown. you get this feeling ofconcrete orr ~ ality' (LA 221) _Yet at the sa me ti me Ruscha presents ea rn -space as thin and fragile (one of his stretch applies symbols ' (LV87).:1iction (1966) was an early critiq ue ofthe apparent . 'The duck is the special bUilding that .th e moment of Pop . 5 r ' .~ ad ocacy of postmodern design as a rapprochement ~ga s -. :-= cites Ruscha in particular). must cede to the postmodern paradigm -- ed ecorated shed'.=.- r.:. Given this 'rule'. Ventu ri and Scott Brown ma rk thei r difference from the modern movement through a strategic turn to Pop imageability: : 4 ~ 5 e _ 5co ntainsthewords 'eternal amnesia' in small print . a building with 'a rhetorical front and ell ional behind'. modern design lacked 'inclusion and -.' Venturi and Scott Brown declare .1' . indeed they oppose any 'prolongation' ofthe modern movement and as such their position is distinctly postmodern (LV xiii) . advertising and movies.: :I1 eir Learningfrom Las Vegas (1972. Ruscha suggests that Los Angeles is a mirage Ca lifo rn ia a myth . .-::.- ~ecture stemmed from its refusal of'symbolism'. or . they a re taken not merely as normative but as exemplary.".:. in autumn 1968. Above a II. conducted atYale and in Las Vegas.and postmodern design came into (LV 13). :: -: er:-s in g and movies had transformed the built environ­ ~. far apart and seen fast' (LV 9) .ln this way. 'the decorated shed is the conventional shelter that Century Fox. commodity. r ~: .rc. the fail ure of modern .a fa<. com mod ities.at o nce.

then at least ambivalently (as we saw with Hamilton especially). as did the neo-conservative eq u ation of political freedom a nd free markets presented in Learningfrom Las Vegas. 'Americans feel uncom­ fortable sitting in a square. Venturi and Scott Brown move to classicize the commodity-image (and vice Venturi and Scott Brown do count as an avant-garde. And yet ho popular. travel to Europe? Only one place . Le Corbusier juxtaposed classica I structu res and machi n ic com modities. 107. as they urge architects to th ink in terms of'a sequence played to the eyes of a captive. Butth is 'dou :I:oc. 1 this rega rc n punctuate ancient Rome. =====::: is neither natural nor necessary. Despite its critique of modern architecture.~ . whose vision is filtered and directed forward' ofWa rhol. the capital of churchly spectacle?) IfLe Corbusier moved to classicize the machine (and vice versa) in the First Machine Age.to design its appropriate byways. billboards punctuate Las Vegas as triumphal arches a la Venturi and Scott Brown is placed in its service .that reaffi rms rather tha n over­ comes class lines. is this populism~ If Ham il ton practised an 'iron ism of affi rmation' . that is.c:. structurally. 5 ~' o.-­ which to confront and combine divergent values in arch itectu re for a plu ralist society' (LV 161). signs mark the Strip as towers mark San Gimignano.'less is a bore' (LV 139).. Again. They go to : '"i: =-u (LV 74) . unlike Banham again. The hell with everything else' (LV80). if not critically. Learningfrom movies. Here. 'inclusion' of comme rcial kitsch to everyone el se . Sometimes the analogy between Las Vegas and Rome slips into an equation: the Strip is our version ofthe Piazza and so the 'agoraphobic' autoscape might as well be accepted (LV 49). I n the form of postmodern design . but partly inattentive audience.­ functioning ' of postmodern design is actually a do uble­ coding of cu Itu ral cues . And here they quote : . Po c: becomes tautological and the popular no longer cha ll enges the official. . it is also to instrumentalize a sensorium of consumerist distraction in design. one th at Pop wo rks to explore . somewhat fea rfu I. and so on (LV106..": developer Morris Lapidus as a guide: 'People are looking illusions . to affirm the common-as-commodified . in Vers une architecture and elsewhere.'less is more' .. as it were. A: point Pop loses whatever edge it had: in its postmod ern versa) in the First Pop Age. in orderto advance the new monumentality ofthe Machine Age.'a II usion' to arch itectu ral t rad it"or­ is offered to an educated elite. too. Where do they find this world of illusions? .the movies . Do they study it in school? Do they go to museums? Do the .'9 8 On this point Learningfrom Las Vegas is nothing if not straightforward: Venturi and Scott Brown wish to 'enhance what is there'. Here. Here. Ventu ri and Scott Bn propose an affi rmation ofi rony: 'I rony may be the to ol wit.T " make-over it is a style ofthe status quo. such as the Parthenon and the Delage sports car. Pop becorr E­ a recipe of accom modation to the' ugly and ord i na ry ' relie. . in effect.becomes a mandate of post­ modern ist di straction in design . This pseudo-populism only beca m e dominant ten years later under Ronald Reagan. t hen. aga i n for elite taste . (I s it coi ncidental that Venturi and Scott Brown favou r the Rome ofthe Counter-Reformation.. Venturi and Scott Brown propose a series of related analogies and they are not altogether ironic: 'Las Vegas is to the Strip what Rome is to the Piazza' (LV18). Ruscha and others (LV 3).a slight yet sign iflcant difference from the 'Com mon ist' Pop . : .97 Here the M iesian motto of modern ist clarity in architecture . 'they should be working at the office or home with the family looking attelevision.' Venturi and Scott Brown tell us.. the postmodern critique of cultural elitism beco m es a problematic form of manipulative populism. Venturi and Scott Brown cycle Pop icons backto the consumerist environment from which they first emerged ­ they are bu i It back in. buta­ avant-garde ofthe Right. let alone sincere. A new mooe of social inscription is affi rmed here. 117). For its part post modern architecture Las Vegas draws its strategy from Le Corbusier. by a spici ng of historicaI all us ions .

1972)­ 22 Peter(ook.. Theory and The Arcades Project. 'Who is This Pop" Motif. Nevertheless. Manet the art museum becomes the instit utiona l frame of painting. For an excellent account see Nigel Whiteley. '990. 'Thoughts in Progress'. Design Quarterly. Niki de Saint Pha lle. Al ison and Peter Smithso n. Marco Livingstone.though the best· known.2: -stl'ZZ .. Reyner Other Pleasures (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. trans. 1972). 99. Massachusetts: MIT Press. Richard Hamilton.. Further. Theory and Design.G . thedesirouseye tnat ton charts in h is pictu res tS d Rauschenberg evokes In ~. they were taken up precisely to defet ishize the 'bourgeois fetishism' of painting. in society an iron ic ident ity was ~ between modernist pa intin g 2. r. Massachusetts : M ITPress.the showroom­ and exhibition value is pushed towards co nsum ption value .. 200)) an d Brandl!­ joseph. Mariso l . 3 (1964) . Massachusetts: Press. the practical sense that th ey migl'\. not or:1."'.. Ifsome 31 See Michel ( arrouges . a--" 0 -0 Ste lla ) is in forr. pyramids in the desert on the next. 'The ':-e". London. no. 1954) · 32 Perhaps Hamilton also had in mind another note concer nin g the Large Bunk! Evadne in Green Dimension (1952). no. 70. 14 Banham. is. it is also comm un icative... fetish objects and the gaze ha ve become confused . '989) .. 1 (1 Septembe(1955). Press. 1976) . 63 (19 63). 11 from 'the vernacu lar glance l-.. _ space.c =i'"" . 27 julian M yers. be assembled on the studio Awr but also in the cultural sens e th a! they might scan across 'lhefiM/ art continuum' (asAliowaycalleo' in 'The Long Front of Cultu re'). _ ~. '3 12 One exception here is folk music. Practice (Ithaca: Cornell Universi ty Press. ed . 8. ICA. Imagistl[ 15 useum. Megastructure: Urban Futures a/the Recent Past (New Yo rk: Harperand Row. the Capital of the N ineteent h Century' (1935). and 'Pop Art: US/U K Con ne<tons. Tastefor Pop: Pop Art.. ion (e. yet the tabul ar picture should not be confus ed . they A Taste for Pop: Pop Art.IZI Archigram (London: Studio Vista.. 36 Perhaps not coincidentally. 2001 . Moreover. 16 17 38 See T. Do You. No". 'The Atavism ofthe Short·Distance Min i-Cyclist '. 'Modernism. fast lines an d speedy turnova. joseph. A 25 21 subjugation as much as control. Steven Henry Madoff. hereafter abbreviated CW Alloway. introd uction to Banham. 1989! 21). Banham betrays little sense tha t this shift might involve . Earlyon Hamilton calls this hybrid 'a poster' (CW104)· 39 As William Turnbull recalled in 198): 'Magazines were an incredible way of randomizing one's thin king (one th ing the Independent Group was interested in was breaking down logical thinking) . For an early criti que of thi s doubling offetishisms . The relation here is one notof direct influence but of parallel responses to similar changes I n the object-world. Privacy and Publicity: I. London.""'''' (Cambridge. as e< Steinberg termed it in 'Other Criteria' (Other Criteria INewYor c Oxford University Press. 94 (Fal l 2000).e. in Language. 100 (Winter2002). revised 2000). Living 37 In th is way Hami lton evokes a world in which artistic aura.i. Howard Eiland and Kevin Mc Laughlin (Cambri dge. Lippard. Pa ris . however. and Cecile Whiting.0:: Art. Pop Art: A Continuing History (1990. Perhaps the economic redom esticatio n of middle·c lass women as housewives after the war also made Pop representat'lons of consu m ption less availab le to women. such as Alison Smith son and Ray Eames. 1997) .. '30 (july 1961) . 1991.a. or "You Don't KnowWhat is Happening.. Theory and Design.. Centre Georges Pompidou. Reyner Banham. no. which safeguarded critical judgment . 1994) . See Cecile Whiting. 'Vehicles of Desire'. Clark. in fact by the 'Jery log : 0-+= styling so adm ired by Banh.. a total environment.. 11.k ­ 'theatrical ity ' (Michael Fried) o' 'des ign' In this regard wlm Greenberg and Fried theorize as:: strictl y optic al space of pure pain ting. women can also produce feti shistic represe ntati ons of women. 'The Future as Fetish'.>" ~re .. For further discuss Rauschenberg see Bra nd~ !. the tabula. 35 Roland Barthes. ed . Ham ilton pictures. rUe of French 24 Banham in Peter Cook. Archigram. trans . 2001.. . ed. john Russell and Suzi Gablik. image remains pictorial : it is S[ I re.. 74 · vertical picture of a semi-lIIusio.1 am indebted to White ley on this point.0= -. the famous 'Kitchen Debate' between Khruschev and Nixon at the Moscow World's Fair occurred in 1959. Architectural Design (April 1957). in the 'Artw ork ' essay (1936) and alludes toconsumption value in other notes 40 Perhaps m ore than any o thers. 1977). 4 (1964). 'Zoom and "Real" Archi tecture' . 1982). ed . though . 1972). Massach usetts: Harvard University.5. Mr jones"". Collected Words '953.: Duchamp (London:Thames & Hud son. The Architectural Review. "3· Aesthetics ofPlenty [Cambridge.. Reyner Banham.0.as a compoundi ng rather tha n as a critique .. Robert Rau. Alongwith the institutional inequality of the art world at the time. To say 'history is bunk' might be. 26 Paolozzi also made a collage titled i. Post-Pop Art (1989) .: 'lists.. Paul Taylor. Fantasies and the Male Unconscious. 41 Rauschenberg and til. the key histories and sou rce books (again in Eng lis h alo ne) inc lude : Lucy R. 'Fears.· Garde (Cambridge. Ark. john Cumm i ng (N"" Yo rk : The Seabury Press. ed. where Bataille plays w ith differe nt conjunctions of sexual objec ts."'. in the different context of Constructivism after the Russian Revolution. as Surrealism suggests .g. which looks ahead tothe famous Hamilton collageJust what is - Glass in which Duchamp speaks of 'the interrogation of the shop window' and 'the coition through the glass pane. Banham: Historian ofthe Immediate Future (Cambridge.G: _D. reprinted in Laura Mulvey. M assachusetts: MIT Press. Pop Art Redefined (1969). See The Ess ential Writings ofMareel it that makes today's homes so different.~ Reyner Banham . ' But Toda y We Collect Ads' . almost pedag-c. For a discussion of this confu sion emergent in Su rrealism . Royal Academy of Arts. it also seems to include the image of a Ford. Massach uset ts: MIT Pres s. of course. Also see Beatriz Colo m ina. 'A Clip-O n Architecture'.-.j ostwa r Britain Banham . trans. 29 Walter Benjamin.. the partial exception of wome n who were designers .: :'ark Fran cis. Genderand Consumer Culture (1997) . historical pressure of co nsu ·nf­ October. ' Les An nees Pop'. Postmodernism and Steam'. . 3· Reyner Banham .JC:. hu m an and not. 'Design by Choice'. no . again as Rausc henbergs are r. Mythologies (1957). from the apparent 'nonsense' (one mean · ingof 'bunk') of media images . Banham. in Spare Rib (1973) .1 stress the fetish istic use of relief and co llage here because. 44. eds. his ' fla t-bed picture plane'.' Ifthis is the case. Theory and Design. 18 The 50 Sand -. 18 (November 1956) .s collages. mass ·cultural other.. Pop Art: A Critical History (1997).. 192-206. this hyper-feti shism might account for the scarcity of Pop artists who are women. Museum of Contemporary Art . see m y Compulsive Beauty (Cambridge. There is. the basis o f much pop music an d co mmon culture fro m Elvis to Dylan and beyond. '3 Reyner Banham. Art into Pop (1987). .again. Benjamin writes of exhibition value. Annette Lavers (New York: Hill & Wang. 30 Fouc ault once remarked that w ith 19 This senten ce appears in the original Design. Kenneth Noland Arts.food on one page. 92. with Ha m ilton th is frame is more purely one of exhibition . The Dialectic ofEnlightem>ur : (1944)..2002) . then the 'interrogation' here becomes the enticement of the showroom . a good-looking girl on the next. whethenT ~ other is called 'kitsch ' (Gree-. 'Pop Art: An International Perspective'. Visual and Banham revised the notion of a cultural continuum slightly: he thought in terms of a plurality of hierarchies. a beginning. Alison and Peter Sm ithson. 'Paris .and theAesthetics of Plenty'. r Rauschenberg images are nO!· a~t in keeping with th e I. ed. Houston. so appealing? (1956).. :. On the culture industry see Theodor Adorno and Max Ho rkhe· mer. 23 Reyner Banham . for all its claim :o autonomy. . were partn ered with their husbands. 'The Long FrontofCulture' 10 October.. 10 (Wintefl962-63).­ cal. werelikecollages' (in David Robbins. Menil Collection. 3. ' Fantasia of the Library' (1967). Besides thecatalo­ gues ofthese exh ibitions. ' 987..1962' .. 17· Counter· Memory. and Benja min that Its primary value becomes exhibition value. 162. to suggest that 'h istory' can also be made from 'bunk' . 1972]) ­ Both types of picture m ight be 'horizontal' in operation. '993. The Independent Group: Postwar Britain and the Reyner Banham.30 . 1993). tJ-~1 images recal l the m edia coll a geso~ Rauschenberg.­ a'=-l: Modern Architecture as Ma ss Media (Cambridge. Les Machines ct libataires (Paris : Editions Arcanes. as Hamilton st ates 11 early asJust what is it?. "a' St•• n :~" argu es that. Manaer_=-'" MIT Press . 12. ·. even though this ori enta might be associated with the mag>' zine la yout as m uch as wi th the paint ing rectangle (this aSSOCi al-~ might also be di stincti ve of Pop especially in Rosen quist and Rusch a) .. the tab lar pic ture is iconographic in a way. 200 2) . 1975). For "5s oftni s text I thank 1956-1966'..led by a log""'­ design . 'Vehicles of Desire' . Los Angeles.see Laur a Mu lvey. 28.82 (London: Tha m es & H udson. The second paradox is only apparent in the sense that the embrace of American culture was construed as a cr itique of high art and to this extent 'Left­ orientated'. 20 Banham in 1960cited inWhiteley. 10.j.~:: Hamilton .. late-mod ernist . here. Simon Frith. Genderand Consumer Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge U niversity Press. revised 1970). no. One can count prominent fe m ale Pop artists on one hand : Pauline Boty (whose life w as cu t short by leukemia in '966) . 28 33 Ban ham ci ted th is line in 'Vehicles of Desire' 34 The tabu lar pictures also suggest an updati ng of The Story ofthe Eye (1928). 'Hand-Pa inted Pop: Amer ican Art in Transition 1955.. he suggests that under Ih.. Also in 'O the r ed t.5. 1999) . Pop Art (1966. '32. Random Order: Rob<~ . See Michel Foucault.

73 Andy Warh ol in Da vid Ba iley.a littl e li ke trading dust fo r oranges."age Duplicator.such as Governor Nelson Rockefeller.!r.. me n in power . eas tern com plement oft he real-est ate photo-boo ks is the Dan Graham piece Homesfor America made for the Decembe r 1966/January 196 7 issue of Arts Magazine.457.. 'The Mass Public and the Mass Subject'. 72 Wa rho l in Swenso n. in Gary Ga rrel s. 'eve ry th in g \'!as he' ' Z ~ ~-:. 1975).. J1f1 hese masters directly. in mockery. October. 20 0 2) . no .'. Wi th variati ons this reading is repeated by ot her theor ists suc h as Miche \ Foucault.e J (LA. Orname nt. 'The rmom eters Should Last Forever'.. 33 ]. Art'. 'Wha t is Pop Art?'. Th omas Y. On the affirmat ion of the o rdi nary in Ruscha see Dave Hi ckey.:. Andy Warhol." .::teC t:.··. with that of Ernst : : ­'=­ 'U1 . ' Alre.> ersit)' Press.. ARTnews. c. with his signature s il ver paint) and they we re not amused when he o ffe red to su bstitute a portrait of Robert Moses ins tead . O n th is cult u. 75 Gerhard Richter." k' and ends with 'P ok Pok '.. 191' 94 Years o( HisArt'.c...i.hc__~ :. to the writings of Benjamin Buchloh on the artist.­ theo rize as a mode rni s t . :i.porary Culture (Seattle: Bay ~~ 1387). ~. 24. althoug h first gli mpsed by Banha m.. ' 980) . . 26. 6o. '989). ~n ·words Edward Ruscha {San Francis co: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art .9..' he remarked early on of the photograph. ag ency . 'The Andy Warh ol Line'..te nstein in John Coplan s. ed .HO : th e like. 88 War hol in Swenson.tentl). crude mechanic ..t From Mnemonics to Romance with Liquids 1966-1969 (New York: Rizzol i. 61 Cynical art ists such as Jeff Koo ns and Damien Hirst have since exhausted itvis·a·vis our own hyperconsu mer·ist moment. 27· 74 When Warhol made his Thirteen . Mass achu setts: Ha rvard University Press. these . Andy story abo ut a guy I'.g.. ed.eln. but Jo e u -::e-'~ trans form ati on from bemg :. he moc ks. 1 (1994). The Ma ss Ornament. to . 26. (.~ : . 1963)." hear you! To o nO lsyJ LZS '~T The Kondy.cogently). litera lly to repres s it (whic h hedid.-a th e invest iga ti on of .~CJs:-:. wood sig n seen in reverse at sunset. Rich ard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang.".S."!'~·.. '993). This is Not a Pipe. 'Wh at is Pop Art)'. to name ont: a f~ experimented wilh laccu ~-s pol ym ers.\. Massachusetts: MIT Pres s.. ' JI:'trary.:::ge that we sca n. POPism: The Warhol 60S (New York: :5: f~S p€'C1 Li chtenstein is 1 v..... Richard Howard (Berkeley: Univer­ s ityofCalifornia Press ."tg5 Angeles Institute of Co ntemporary Art Journal.o . '975).!·~"l!jri Angeles than Wit:" TO)·.. 65 Roland Barthes. openly desirous . 93 Oraga ln: ' I b«lie. by Rusch a... 26. .could not tolerate it. 60. ~'s. Warho l was orde red to cover up the imag e. \1. ..~ ~~ f. in a Harco urt Brace Jovanovich..JI! I=e -a::-­. 'Andy: My True Story'. •• - ~ effect with different means.not as they are for all tim e but as th ey are transformed with social change and technological develo pment. 66 AndyWarhol. no. 50. 59.. see Margaret Iversen. 79 Perhaps this ambiti on is im plied. subs tituti on is un de:'"IT!:-e::: 97 From Don ald Applto·.. more stro ngly.. who not only helped to design the SOC iety of the spec tacle."'.<" Free Press (March '7.: '? . share les s With .Kolaud TI1'~ Ve n!uri made 1ne. 78 Siegfried Kracauer.L :: _ .. 11 8-19 .-:~~ I I'm l uckytha t word5~2:':. . tha t they seen. and wha t Greenberg and ~ 'Oxidations' (1978) . of'the :j ofevil'.:. 81 Kracauer. 53. 83 Ruscha: 'I n the ea rl y ' 950S Iwas awakened by the photographs of Walker Evans and the movies o f John Ford..'mes did by way o f John s.. 87 Above I suggested a shift from folk to Pop as the basis of a com mon culture..k a ndou"J •.. in Pa ul Tay lor.. are mag nificen t. Ruscha achieves a kept a hand-w ritte n list 300). The KO ll dy·Kolord ~"R~~ ~:=!'. in Bruce Robbins. Hamilton the Signal (Cambridge.. ' 995). Cam era Lucida.e ••_ 1 0cked"ln a tt l tude~. 'A ndy : My True Story'. in The Works of thrn gs in a honz onta . in Annette Michelson. 1965 Mu sta ng. 73). dmology of Gestalt' (PhD. Gill es Deleuze and Jean Baudrillard.-rth and Stains (Cologne: 2000). I am indebted here. in hi s intent ion 'no t [to] use [photography] as means to pain ting but Itol use pai nting as a means to photography' (DP.e'erential to the Abstract . quoted by Benjamin Buchloh in 'Andy War hol's One· Dimensional Art'. hereafter abbreviated LA .:'- :erms that begins with :. 'Learnin g from Pop' can also be .i!: r'O" tt" 'S rad ical in ad e q ua~. Image Duplicator.. 23.Jggested .".3· 68 Warhol in Swenson. 60.... The Work ofAndy •• I Lobel. 26 . no . 63 Andy Warh ol and Pat Hac kett.~ octl)' scopophi lic space of pure i ' E'1 . wh ose Art and Illusion . In a late text. Yve-Alain Bois.. more exactly. 58 World's Fa ir in New Yo rk. for exam ple. to name just two series..~ b y Hannah Arendtwith her ~.. Graduate Cen ter. hil a ri ou sly. · -ie'.. 1989).B Vegas . S point see the exchange Warhol (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.be rg. ed .. 88 (Spring 1999) . 7."is\ models o f picturing (he n one of the first critics to use the ."". Massachu setts: MIT Press. - ~O/li (ht enstein'...g.. ":' . 'What is Pop Art? Answers from Eight Painters. 60 ... Discussions : j. to make it 'valid'. ~ . ma ke it visible..' York: Harper & Row.. Th e phantom Public Sphere (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Pre ss.-~: a li gh tni ng-rod term of wit ness the controversy Eichmann on Trial (New r .c. 58.. especiall) tM ~ of hi s Gonzo jou ma ~ ~' _i ~~ ~ 1 :..!>erg 'Other Criteria '. (' I would like to make it va lid. 106 (Fa il 2003) . For Steinberg Da.~fll1o" alized. 77 Benjamin Buchloh . also curated by Hopps. 55..'" :hat Barthes begins to In th e early 19605 o r. an othe r kind o f rein ed language that is s tatistica l and bureaucratic in natu re (see Los 'Las Vegas (Whati)liis ''''5<5 . il Thomas Crow. October. 64 Warh o l in Swe nson. Po'.-orkth rough. Wo lfe. I!. 1faced a sort of black­ and·white cinematic ide ntity cris is myse lfin this respect . by AI Bengston. 'Warhol's Cl ones" Th e YaleJournalofCriticism. 05 t American Pop artists ~. Ruscha is sometim es called 'the Mag ri tte oftheAmerica n Highway'.. ed . from the Road (C.. 76 See Robert Rosenblum . Andy Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko (New York: Harpe r& Row. un dated state me nt cited in Kynas ton McShine.". jng Press.. whic h Ruscha also evokes with details that lea p out from expanses that go by almost unseen: in the car 'things are automat ic . 'That Old Thing... Architecture ofFo". 'Teaching the Late Arti s.:: at the ti me. On 'capitalist nihilism' see Benjamin Buchlo h. he was interested in how tCr . n ~' . 1989) and my'Dada Mime'.19-31... :::. Image . Massachusetts: MIT Press /London : Th ames & Hudson. it is about huma n perception. Massachusetts: MIT Press.sionists . 1972) . Post -Pop (Cambridge. thi s process was more pronounced in th e US than in the UK. 'What is Pop Art)'. 'What is Pop Art )'. David Britt (Cambridge. tran s..r.. ad 'gm signa lled a . 'fabricate ' it in order to capture 'reRected light' as we experie nce it today. 62 (Nove mber 1963)..". 'Gerhard Roy Licht ens tei n'.". 242 . Especia l­ ly in his colour·chart pai ntings Richter seems to fold the etio lated tradition ofconstr uctivist painti ng (e. also 40 above. Part I'. which incl uded silkscreens of El vis and Liz. P1"". ~ begins to Lichten steinize after Picasso. with ~· . 67 Wa rh ol in Berg. 8. 92 Also important here is the distracted attention of the dr iver. e m bodim ent . Hans·Ulrich Ob rist. as all engaged viewers of Ric hter are . 1981). Mich el Foucault.) Se mb la nce according to Rich ter is th us about our apprehension ofappea rance. and I Painting: Writings 1962-1 993. 'Avai lab le Light'.. and ed .O Hal Fo ster. Ron Daws 31"0 :::::. 47. 59 Andy Wa rhol in Gretche n Berg. 'Saturday Disasters'. Arc hitecture' in AA.... ~:3 f"" Warhol (Cambridge..aJ oes ' ~ " ~':~?. ma ' : 5" is als o alert : ~~ eme rgence ofa hybrid word­ ·. a fetishistic " "':1. hereafter abbreviated DP in the text. .<n. '.: -xmodern ist' break with .:.:. "" lobel. trans . 52. It is registered..-!! ~ ea d ho ri zontal. Ui'i IOO ..304j . Leave Any Information at 91 . 0 ( . 'Andy: My True Sto ry'. 359-360 (Dec e m~~"~ 96 One might argue thAI. :o of tradema . 55.'" of Pop Art (New Ha ven: . - l . Com missio ner Robert Moses and elite architect Philip Joh ns on. Rusc'>a: 't h .250). with th e Holly.. . 'What is a Ph otograph)' Art History . . On the way to California I disc overed the im portan ce of gas stati ons .~ !. The Mass John s and. Max Bil l) into his mi x as well..:) 'Is ~:.. ed.. 71 See Richard Meyer.--~i o ns .. 69 Warhol in Berg.sort ofa sh owdown wi th myself .cc " . in th e sense less of affirmation than of understanding [DP. J 60 Andy Warhol in Gene Swenso n. -~ with Warhol (Seattle: Bay Pres s."­ in 'A Justification fo'.. 55. 172) ·f ir::sr­ ~ the artistic versi on oft hi5. '983) . • is not to say tha t w arho l did no ·eat work after hi s shooting: on the Warhol: Transcript (Lon don. 3 (September 1994). his 'Skul ls' (19 76) and Most Wanted Men for the 1964 -5.. fully autonomous and -=: ~.r L ~ Ka ufmann. tra ns. 95 Ve nturi and Scott B·. His first group show.:. '3 . Modern .e Q. 5'... 34· S-'. ed . 1989)... 'The Infor mation Ma n'. 1993). Los Angeles 84 The ret rospective co in cided with the second Warho l show at Ferus Ga llery. They are like trees because they are there .. was calle d 'New Painting of Comm on Objects' and it in cl uded other connoisseurs ofthe common such as his fri end Joe Goode .11 see . MIchael Fried and Rosalind :i-i..' (LA. "S . E ~~ ". 21) 90 Here the suburban. Andy ""'... 2002) .--­ izing see the titl e essa) . ed.'. 80 Fo r Richter the semblance of the world is not given. tran s. For an ac count of this co nnecti on between Barth es and Lacan. (MaY 1 967). become too obviou s. in O ther Warhol: A Retrospective (New York: Museum of Modern Art.:Ritch. whom they felt they ... 6 U une-J uly 1975]. which they . the painter must 're peat' it or. . in Ed Ruscha: carb uretor. They go byyo u so fa st 98 ~ "':::nan and others . 1963). ' c '. but also sough t to rep resent it (in symbol ic events slJch as th e World's Fair) as the fulfilment of th e Ame rican dream of success and self­ rule .-o:or: Roy Lichtenstein and the 'S. as is Ruscha . 89 As ea rly as 1967 Ruscha depict ed the numbers '1984' in a font suggestive of th e computer to come. At th is time Ruscha als o met Richa rd Ham ilton) who was in town for the Duchamp show.. especially Grapes ofWrath whe re the poor 'Ok ies' (mostly farmers whose land dried up) go to 19 66) .'c' piece of lnd ustf. in McShine. "'-~f15te ln in Copla ns . Hami lton projects as ~ :: :t.:... 57 Roland Barthes .i::' you rathtudes o f :rrelllt·c-.. RLiSC~-. rep-airir:s:r~ ". 15'.ty of New York . 1995) . City . In at least one instance in Ruscha' s work a painting shows a rear·view mi rror perspective. 3· 70 Michael Warne r. .afent opp osite . alert . 62 AndyWar hol .T: .. 88. Matisse. ln th e be g. ' 982 ). The Philosoph y ofAndy Richter's Atlas: The Anomic Arch ive'. Levin (Ca m bridge. cryptic all y. 86 Even his early paintin gs th at spell out onomatopoeic utterances like 'oof' and 'smash' do not app ear motivated or grounded .e. 'Jasper Johns: the ~~ er. ed ... 'Talking 36 .c : s. '7.s crude mec hanic to being a Ii!:! technicia n' (LA. The Daily Practice of 85 California with mattresses on th eir ca rs rath erth an stay in Oklaho ma and stanve.... fibre glass. 82 Ed Ruscha. 2001) .

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