Peter Stämpfli, Rallye (Rally), 1964, oil on canvas, ca. 68 1/16 x 74".

Peter Stämpfli, Rallye (Rally), 1964, oil on canvas, ca. 68 1/16 x 74".

“The Pop Years”

Centre Pompidou

There is, it seems, no definitive way of organizing a Pop art exhibition. No lineup was ever official, even in the United States, nor was there a roster of participating countries, and some accounts have managed inexplicably to exclude even the movement’s major pioneers, as with the 1992–93 “Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition” at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art, which left out Tom Wesselmann. Every fresh look at the subject seems to expand its parameters in another direction, and the impulse for curators to cast a wide net—or, conversely, to focus on local varieties—though understandable, is potentially hazardous. Where does one find a balance? Americans often wrongly assume the movement to have been contained within their country’s borders, or based solely in Manhattan from 1960 to ’65, exemplified by the work of the usual suspects—Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist,

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