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Topic Summary

Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: July 15, 2020, 04:00:40 PM »

London's New Scene: Art and Culture in the 1960s by Lisa Tickner just arrived.

414 large pages, heavily illustrated, this is a comprehensive book on 60s art. The first chapter (35 pages) cover Ken's Pop Goes the Easel others cover sculpture, the art school revolution and photography making use of Antonio's film Blow Up.

I have skimmed the book (in the hour after it arrived!).

The introduction is thoughtful, and also brings in Ken's London Moods, with a good 1966 photo of Ken.  It quotes photographer Lord Snowdon on the film "really marvellous and tremendously exciting".

On Pop Goes the Easel it mentions Ken approached Hockney to appear as one of the artists in the film, but Hockney refused "Hockney did not see himself as part of a group or having a significant connection to Pop".

The book quotes Michael Brooke comparing Ken's "elaborate, rapidly-cut rhythmic kaleidoscope of images" to Jean-Luc Goddard "though Russell had arguably gone further by 1962".

In the later section on Blow-Up by Antonioni there is a quote by Melvyn Bragg "There is no doubt that Antonioni lifted his famous 'blow-up' sequence from the central section of Ken's film [Watch the Birdie]".

This is all from a quick skim of the book!
Posted by: Iain Fisher
« on: July 07, 2020, 07:16:24 PM »

More on Pop Goes the Easel in a book on the development of pop art.  It is a review by Julia Sutherland in the Financial Times on 7 July 2020.  The book is London’s New Scene: Art and Culture in the 1960s by Lisa Tickner.

"And 1962’s seminal Pop art documentary, Pop Goes the Easel, made by Ken Russell for the BBC arts strand Monitor, was building on what was already becoming a strong theme: “old” art was dead, and some younger British artists, rather than following the Abstract Expressionism of their American forebears of the previous decade, were making art from the stuff of everyday life around them — the imagery of mass consumption, anything from pinball machines to Kellogg’s cereal packets.

Of the four chosen artists, only one — Peter Blake — is a household name today. Derek Boshier and Peter Phillips are less well known; the sole woman in the group, Pauline Boty, has had a belated rediscovery. She died of cancer at only 28, so it’s hard to say what her career would have been: this book, though, gives a tantalising glimpse of a very young artist cleverly and deliberately playing with her own sexuality (as a provocative bottle-blonde) to challenge the norms of the time."

The full article is here

Also see the website for the film and the artists including an alternative view.

Posted by: Rosebud
« on: December 17, 2011, 01:14:12 AM »

Somebody posted "Pop Goes the Easel" on youtube.