The Social Revolutions (1960s)

Considered one of the most important decades in 20th century art, the 1960s was filled with social revolutions, change, and a spirit of rebellion.

Interior design of the 1960s- NBH 1964
Interior design 1960- NBH 1964

Image source: by SportSuburban

Social Change Influenced Art

During the 1960s art reflected the ever-changing American cultural and norms. New ideas were spread as rebellious and anti-system thoughts dominated the mainstream. Additionally, culture focused and addressed issues, such as sexism and racism.

The emblematic features of the 1960s style include plastic and PVC pieces, multipurpose furnishings, and revivalism.

1960s interior design, example- (Standiford Motel, Louisville Kentucky 1960s).
Standiford Motel (1960s) in Louisville Kentucky

Image source: by 1950sUnlimited

Op Art

The Op Art movement began in the 1960s and is a distinct style that works to create the illusion of movement for the viewer. Through the employment of precision, mathematics, contrast, and abstract forms, these pieces of art have three-dimensional perspective that is not present in other art styles. After the major 1965 exhibition of Op Art, “The Responsive Eye,” fans engaged with the movement, and Op Art pieces emerged everywhere.

Optical Art, example.- Op Art Holiday Card for Eric Harfield.
Op Art Holiday Card for Eric Harfield

Image source: by Dan Zen

Optical Art, example.- Two Camera Blurred Pictures of Opartica Op Art Blended.
Two Camera Blurred Pictures of Opartica Op Art Blended

Image source: by Dan Zen

Getulio Alviani is one of the most important artist from the International Optical-Kinetic, or Op Art movement. Initially, his talent for design and geometric drawing emerged during his childhood. Alviani’s best known work is “The Wire,” which is inspired by aerial electric wires and is a common theme present in his work.

Getulio Alviani, Aluminium panels. Photo by Paolo Monti, 1963 (Fondo Paolo Monti, BEIC).
Getulio Alviani, Aluminium panels

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American Pop Art

The American pop art movement began a few years after its British counterpart. One of the biggest differences between these movements was that that British version focused on light-hearted themes, often including humor. Comparatively, the American pop art was serious and dramatic and emerged in response to the incessant marketing Americans experienced.

Memory Piece by Jasper Johns,(Frank O’Hara), 1961–1970
Wood, lead, brass, rubber, sand, and Sculp-metal.
Memory Piece (1961–1970) by Jasper Johns

Image source: by libbyrosof

After moving to New York City to look for a career, Jasper Johns became famous for his flag, target and other ordinary good paintings. In addition, Johns had a dream in which he worked on an American flag in 1954. Thus, he created a “Flag,” painting in encaustic, which is a technique that employs pigments fused with melted wax.

Jasper Johns' Flag, 1958.
Flag (1958) by Jasper Johns

Image source: by eschipul

Marilyn Diptych, 1962, Tate Modern, London.
Marilyn Diptych (1962) Andy Warhol

Image source: by corno.fulgur75

Andy Warhol is an American artist, who was controversial in the later 20th century. Interested in celebrity and consumer culture, Andy Warhol painted some of the most iconic works of the period. In Addition, Warhol is famous for his “Campbell’s Soup Can,” “Triple Elvis,” and “Marilyn Diptych.”

Soup Can (1962, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York), by Andy Warhol.
Soup Can (1962) by Andy Warhol

Image source: by andywarhol1962

Triple Elvis - Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco-by Andy Warhol.
Triple Elvis by Andy Warhol 

Image source: by nathanh100

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