Like Richard Hamilton, many artists have explored the impact of the television and image reproduction. This is a prevailing theme within Pop Art, but also within broader artistic discussions on how we represent ourselves and understand our culture.
As you travel through the Pop to Popism exhibition, you may note cultural icons like brand names, new products, and ideal homes. Hamilton explores a darker side of the Pop Art drive towards replication. There was plenty to critique in the shadow of the Vietnam War and the rise of the military-industrial complex that fuelled it. After riots like at Kent State and the 1968 Democrat Convention, many artists had questions to raise about the sickening violence on the TV screens, and the frenetic processes of capitalism and production that were fuelling an absurd war.
The symbols of quashed rebellions and rioting youth were as seminal to this era as Brillo Pads and Campbell’s soup. And at some moments, they were as ubiquitous.