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Pop artists absorbed and borrowed from popular culture, challenging notions of originality and what it means to be an artist.

Turkey Shopping Bag

Roy Lichtenstein
(American, 1923–1997)

1964. Screenprint on shopping bag with handles, composition: 7 1/2 x 9" (19.1 x 22.8 cm); sheet (irreg.): 19 5/16 x 16 15/16" (49 x 43 cm)

The turkey depicted on this shopping bag was mostly likely inspired by a newspaper advertisement. Lichtenstein designed the image, then handed it off to silkscreeners who transferred it to regular mass-produced shopping bags.

Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and other Pop artists created multiples for the 1964 exhibition American Supermarket, which highlighted the differences and similarities between the actual consumer objects and Pop artists’ depictions of them. The exhibition was designed to resemble a supermarket, complete with aisles, shelves, and a checkout counter. Plastic and real food items were displayed alongside artists’ depictions of them. Artworks were priced and sold cheaply, further blurring the line between art, commerce, and consumption. These bags were sold for 12 dollars each.

A printing technique in which areas of a silkscreen, comprised of woven mesh stretched on a frame, are selectively blocked off with a non-permeable material (typically a photo-emulsion, paper, or plastic film) to form a stencil, which is a negative of the image to be printed. Ink is forced through the mesh onto the printing surface with a squeegee, creating a positive image.

A movement composed of initially British, then American artists in the 1950s and 1960s, which was characterized by references to imagery and products from popular culture, media, and advertising.

A term for small-scale, three-dimensional works conceived by artists, and often produced commercially, in relatively large editions.