Mod art – The Who and Jasper Johns' target

Indeed the concepts of motion, action, and speed that were inherent in the paintings and designs of the early decade were quite closely mirrored by the modernist culture. London’s Situationists particularly attempted to redefine the contents of the canvas not as pictures but as events and the recording of a sequence of actions. Names such as The Action, or terms such as Swinging London, or the countless arrow motifs spanning The Who’s early posters to Weller’s This Is The Modern World sweater, are alternative interpretations of this early 60s emphasis on mobility and dynamism.

Perhaps there does not exist a direct relationship between Jasper Johns’ target and flag paintings in the 1950s and 60s USA and the mod fixation on these same items (after translation through a UK filter via the RAF and the Union Jack motifs). However, it is difficult to believe that the subversive nature of using national symbols in these new contexts was not a driving force behind both of these tendencies.


One Response

  1. Larry January 13, 2012

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