Lawrence Alloway (
London, 1926 - New York, January 2, 1990) was an English art critic and curator who worked in the United Statesfrom the 1960s. In the 1950s he was a leading member of the Independent Groupin the UK and in the 1960s was an influential writer and curator in the US. He first used the term "mass popular art" in the mid 1950's and used the term Pop Artin the 1960s to indicate that art has a basis in the popular cultureof its day and takes from it a faith in the power of images. [Topics in American Art since 1945, " Pop Artthe words", pp.119-122, by Lawrence Alloway, copyright 1975 by W.W.Norton and Company, NYC ISBN 0-393-04401-7]
Early career and the Independent Group
Alloway started writing art reviews for "Art News and Reviews" in 1943. In his 1954 book "Nine Abstract Artists" he promoted the Constructivist artists that emerged in Britain after the Second World War: Robert Adams,
Terry Frost, Adrian Heath, Anthony Hill, Roger Hilton, Kenneth Martin, Mary Martin, Victor Pasmoreand William Scott.
Alloway's theory of art reflecting the concrete materials of modern life gave way to an interest in mass-media and consumerism. Alloway was a member of the
Independent Groupand lectured on his theory of a circular link between popular cultural "low art" and "high art". From 1955 to 1960 he was Assistant Director of the Institute of Contemporary Artsin London, organising two landmark exhibitions of American Art. In 1956 Alloway contributed to organising the exhibition " This Is Tomorrow" and reviewing that show, and other works he had seen on a trip to the U.S., in a 1958 article, first used the term "mass popular art".
Career in the U.S.
In 1961 Alloway moved to New York with his wife, realist painter
Sylvia Sleigh. He was appointed senior curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museumfrom 1961 until 1966. In 1963 he organized the pop art show, "Six Painters and the Object". In 1966 he curated the influential "Systemic Painting" exhibition that showcased Geometric abstractionin the American art world via Minimal art, Shaped canvas, and Hard-edge painting. Alloway was an ardent supporter of Abstract expressionismand of American Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenberg, and Andy Warhol. In 1967/68 he joined the Art department faculty as a lecturer at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where McHale and Buckminster Fullerwere also on staff at the SIU Design Department. In the 1970s he wrote for " The Nation" and " Artforum" and lectured at the State University of New York.
In 1966 Lawrence Alloway also coined the term "Systemic art", to describe a type of abstract art characterized by the use of very simple standardized forms, usually geometric in character, either in a single concentrated image or repeated in a system arranged according to a clearly visible principle of organization. ["Systemic art." The Oxford Dictionary of Art. Ed. Ian Chilvers. Oxford University Press, 2004. eNotes.com. 2006. 19 Mar, 2008 [http://www.enotes.com/oxford-art-encyclopedia/ systemic-art] ]
In his own words
Concerning the origins of the term
Pop Artin his own words Alloway said: "The term, originated in England by me, as a description of mass communications, especially, but not exclusively, visual ones." [Topics in American Art since 1945, " Pop Artthe words", p.119 by Lawrence Alloway, copyright 1975 by W.W.Norton and Company, NYC ISBN 0-393-04401-7] In a footnote to his essay " Pop Artthe words", he goes on to say: "The first published appearance of the terms that I know is: Lawrence Alloway, "The Arts and the Mass Media," "Architectural Design," February, 1958, London. Ideas on Pop Artwere discussed by Reyner Banham, Theo Crosby, Frank Cordell, Toni del Renzio, Richard Hamilton, Nigel Henderson, John McHale, Eduardo Paolozzi, Alison and Peter Smithson, sculptor William Turnbull, and myself."
However there are contradictory recollections as to the origin of the term: according to John McHale's son his father first coined the term in 1954 in conversation with
Frank Cordell, and the term was then used in Independent Groupdiscussions by mid 1955. [ [http://www.warholstars.org/articles/johnmchale/johnmchale.html Warholstars.org] ] . Alloway used the term 'mass popular art' in his oft quoted 1958 article but he did not use the specific term "Pop Art". [ [http://www.warholstars.org/warhol/warhol1/andy/warhol/articles/popart/popart.html The Arts and the Mass Media] Lawrence Alloway, Warholstars.org]
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Lawrence Alloway — (* 17. September 1926 in London; † 2. Januar 1990 in New York) war ein englischer Kunstkritiker und Kurator, der seit den 1960er Jahren in den Vereinigten Staaten lebte und arbeitete. In den 1950ern war er ein einflussreicher Autor der britischen … Deutsch Wikipedia
Lawrence Alloway — (1926 1989) est un critique d art anglais qui a popularisé le terme pop art au milieu des années 1950 pour indiquer que cet art était basé sur la culture populaire. Né à Londres, Lawrence Alloway n a pas fait d études supérieures. Il a commencé à … Wikipédia en Français
Alloway — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Alloway Junction (New Jersey) Alloway (New Jersey) Alloway (New York) Alloway (Tennessee) Alloway Township, New Jersey im Vereinigten Königreich: Alloway (Ayrshire) Alloway (South Ayrshire)… … Deutsch Wikipedia
art criticism — Description, interpretation, and evaluation of works of art, manifested in journal reviews, books, and patronage. Art criticism encompasses a wide variety of approaches, from critical commentary to more subjective emotional reactions inspired by… … Universalium
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Systems art — is art influenced by systems theory, which reflects on natural systems, social systems and social signs of the art world itself. [ [http://www.aat ned.nl/wwwopac.exe?database=aat language=1 TAB= %250=2583 Systems art] , Dutch Art Architecture… … Wikipedia
Independent Group — The Independent Group (IG) met at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London from 1952 55. The IG consisted of painters, sculptors, architects, writers and critics who wanted to challenge prevailing modernist approaches to culture. They… … Wikipedia
John McHale (artist) — John McHale (born Maryhill, Glasgow 1922, died Houston,Texas 1978) was an artist, a founder member of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and a founder of the Independent Group, which was a British movement that originated Pop Art which grew out… … Wikipedia
Georg Karl Pfahler — Teehaus von Pfahler im Elternhaus in Emetzheim Brunneno … Deutsch Wikipedia
Independent Group — Constitué de critiques, d artistes et d architectes, l Independent Group (ou IG) est connu pour avoir lancé le Pop Art en Angleterre, dans le milieu des années 1950. Ce terme Pop Art a d ailleurs été utilisé pour la première fois par John McHale … Wikipédia en Français