"Pop Art was the movement that captured the post-war reality of a globe awash in Americana hawked by Madison Avenue and Hollywood dream-merchants. But this did not mean all the art came stamped “Made in the USA”. As a thoughtful, ambitious exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art demonstrates, much of the most interesting work was created far from American shores, by those on the receiving end of this apparently unstoppable gusher of products, posters and propaganda. “International Pop”, on view until May 15th, brings together works by artists from four continents to show how the same reality could appear drastically different depending on where you stood.
For the Americans themselves the outlook was rosy, if not entirely uncritical. Robert Indiana, creator of the iconic “Love” image (those four stacked letters, with the “O” gently rocking on its side), once proclaimed that Pop Art “is the American Dream, optimistic, generous and naive.”