“Low” Art

“’Low’ Art: Comprises the ‘lesser’ or ‘minor’ arts, also known as the decorative or applied arts. A more contemporary understanding of the term relates it to popular culture. Since the 1960s and the pop art movement, artists have freely appropriated objects from everyday consumer culture for content and conceptual inspiration. Andy Warhol’s infinitely reproducible silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe, and Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic imitations of melodramatic cartoons, challenge basic assumptions previously ascribed to ‘high’ art, such as the uniqueness and seriousness of the artwork. The boundary between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art has faded in the contemporary art scene. Once-marginal artists, such as Keith Haring and his graffiti art were quickly commodified, and their works sold for large amounts of money.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

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