chapter  6
6 Pages

Afterword: One is No One

ByLiam Considine

This book has examined French practices, unique in Europe for the breadth of their cultural and political engagement, that adapted Pop motifs and pictorial devices in order to reflect and resist processes of Americanization. If the recognition of Warhol’s January 1964 “Death in America” series at Sonnabend as art engagé belied French perceptions that Pop art was uncritical and politically inert, it did so primarily through its subject matter. The dispersion of the Pop image into French graphic design and Godard’s New Wave cinema, the adoption of mechanized pictorial devices by Figuration Narrative painters, the détournement of Pop art by the Situationists and the adaptation of Pop graphics in the Atelier Populaire show the ways in which the synthesis of art, graphics and mass media provided a new model of formal engagement in French art, one that came with its own political and aesthetic challenges as Aillaud’s lament in the wake of May ’68 attests.