Wednesday, December 02, 2015

A is for Apple

The Walker Museum based in Minneapolis recently mounted the exhibition International Pop. It's showing in Dallas at the moment and Apple is a member of the cast. OK, maybe not core cast but, given his significant place in Pop’s coming of age, it’s great to see him get some credit where credit has been kind of overdue.

It’s taken a long time for Billy Apple to get written into the Pop Art story. There's been some recognition, of course, but maybe because Apple was so focused on the conceptual, work that could be fitted into the history of Pop was somewhat obscured. For instance in the catalogue for International Pop Apple’s 1962 canvas, a reproduction of the 1962 Young Contemporaries exhibition label, is featured as an early example of Pop Art. But, given its date it could also be put forward as an even more impressive example of conceptual art. In art history, dates matter. 

And how about Apple’s neon work A for Apple being considered in the same breath as Joseph Kosuth’s iconic One and three Chairs (a chair, a photograph of the chair and enlarged pic of the dictionary definition of chair)? What a concept.

Images: Top Billy Apple with David Hockney in New York and bottom left, Billy Apple's A is for Apple