Pop Since 1949

BY THE TIME POP ART EARNED ITS CAPITAL P, the British artists, architects, and intellectuals known as the Independent Group had produced a decade’s worth of future-focused art and polemic. It was critic and IG spokesman Lawrence Alloway who first used the term to capture the group’s enthusiasm for all things mass-produced and American. In “Back to Tomorrow,” the opening section of Artforum’ s October issue, Alloway’s 1962 essay “Pop Since 1949” appears alongside Clement Greenberg’s previously unpublished reckoning with the movement that turned the tide against “pure painting.” Also in this section, contributing editor Thomas Crow traces the proto-Pop thread from the eighteenth-century atelier of Jean-Antoine Watteau to the studios of London’s Royal College of Art in the mid-1950s. Together, these three articles set the terms for the debate that this month’s special issue traces into the

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