Text 1
The post-war art movement found one of its first images in the form of an advertisement.
Richard Hamilton’s collage Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? was
5 initially designed as a poster and catalogue illustration for the Independent Group's 1956 exhibition,
This is Tomorrow, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. Hamilton was aware that the rapid
changes in style and market appetites in the post-war years were carefully expressed through
advertising. By using these advertisements in his collage, he called attention both to fashion and to the
audience whose most immediate access to visual culture was not through museums and galleries, but
10 through popular magazines.
The group to which Hamilton belonged, and for which he designed the collage, formed in the
early fifties to promote new ways of thinking about modern art. Associated with the Institute of
Contemporary Art in London, the Independent Group was composed of younger British, mostly born in
the early twenties, who were ready to challenge received ideas about modern art. The group rejected the
15 belief that art and life were separate spheres of experience. A simple comparison between an example of
Pop art and modernist art will help to make the point. In nearly the same year that Hamilton completed
his collage, the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko produced Light Red over Black. The contrast
between the two works is as immediate as it is clear. Whereas Hamilton’s collage communicates its
messages in the nearly transparent language of advertising, Rothko desired a slow, meditative
20 experience between work and beholder that was closer to the language of religious devotion and inner
revelation. The collage uses a figurative style and commercial iconography open to anyone familiar with
popular magazines, while the painting is closed within a non-objective style understandable to those few
individuals trained in the history and theory of modern painting dating to the years just before World
War I.
In the United States, most artists trained at different schools, and worked in isolation from one
another until late 1962 when several exhibitions — Art 1963; A New Vocabulary, organised by the Arts
Council in Philadelphia, and The New Realists, held simultaneously at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New
York — revealed several artists working with found materials from the commercial environment.
Almost immediately Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist and Tom
30 Wesselmann were identified as the main Pop artists in the United States. They were united through a
(very) loosely shared style of bright colour and simplified design, as well as sometimes common subject
matter. The American Pop artists had no shared programme. They issued no group manifestos, and
continued to work separately from one another after they were identified as the central actors of the new
Adapted from Pop Art, by David McCarthy, Tate Publishing.
Vocabulary Text 1
An advertisement / an advert / an ad : une publicité, un encart publicitaire
5 Advertizing : la publicité (en tant qu’activité)
An advertising agent / an adman : un publiciste
Appealing = attractive, tempting, alluring, pleasing, engaging.
To design : concevoir, faire les plans de, dessiner, élaborer.
10 Aware : conscious, informed
Both : les deux (dont je viens de parler)
Both … and … : à la fois … et …
15 The audience : the spectators (of a film, an exhibition…), the viewers, the beholders, the listeners
≠ The public : the people (of a nation) ; “open to the public”
To make the point : to explain the situation, the fact, an opinion
20 Inner (adj) : intérieur ; “an inner revelation”
≠ Inside (adv) : à l’intérieur ; “to reveal something inside”
≠Within (prép) : à l’intérieur de, dans, en ; “to reveal something within you”
Found materials : objets trouvés
Loose : not attached, not tight, relaxed, vague, free.
Subject matter : theme, topic, subject (of a film, book, painting …)
30 To issue = to publish
Version : traduire les énoncés suivants en français.
a. You should advertise your business.
b. It does not appeal to me.
c. Have you seen the design for the new library?
d. As far as I’m aware, posters are very useful media for admen.
e. His collage was both an ad for an exhibition and a piece of art.
f. There is very loose interest in this subject matter.