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The last revolution

Pop changed the art world forever

By Jason Farago   April 2013

Claes Oldenburg with his ice cream cone © Claes Oldenburg

Four decades ago someone asked Clement Greenberg, America’s most influential art critic and the high priest of abstract expressionism, what he thought about Pop art. It seems Marilyn Monroe silk screens did not impress him. “It will probably last the way the pictures of Gérôme or Bouguereau… have lasted,” Greenberg predicted—naming two French academic painters now overshadowed by the Impressionists. “It is nice small art and it is respectable, but it is not good enough to keep high art going.”

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