Abbreviation of Popular Art, the Pop Art movement used common everyday objects to portray elements of popular culture, primarily images in advertising and television. The term Pop art was first used by English critic, Lawrence Alloway in 1958 in an edition of Architectural Digest. He was describing all post-war work centered on consumerism and materialism, and that rejected the psychological allusions of Abstract Expressionism. An attempt to bring art back into American daily life, it rejected abstract painting because of its sophisticated and elite nature. Pop Art shattered the divide between the commercial arts and the fine arts.
The Pop Art movement originated in England in the 1950s and traveled overseas to the United States during the 1960s. Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi, both members of the Independent Group, pioneered the movement in London in the 1950s. In the 1960s, the movement was carried by Peter Blake, Patrick Caulfield, David Hockney, Allen Jones, and Peter Phillips. In the early sixties, Pop art found its way to the United States, seen in the work of Jim Dine, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg. It developed in the United States as a response to the wealth of the post World War II era and the growing materialism and consumerism in society. The most recognized Pop Artist, Andy Warhol, used a photo-realistic, mass production printmaking technique called serigraphy to produce his commentaries on media, fame, and advertising.
Pop Art made commentary on contemporary society and culture, particularly consumerism, by using popular images and icons and incorporating and re-defining them in the art world. Often subjects were derived from advertising and product packaging, celebrities, and comic strips. The images are presented with a combination of humor, criticism and irony. In doing this, the movement put art into terms of everyday, contemporary life. It also helped to decrease the gap between "high art" and "low art" and eliminated the distinction between fine art and commercial art methods.