Tag Archives: pop art

Almanac – February 22

1797 – The Last Invasion of Britain began,  near Fishguard, Wales,  by Revolutionary France during the War of the First Coalition. The brief campaign, which took place between 22 February and 24 February 1797, was the most recent effort by a foreign force that was able to land on British soil.

The invasion was the plan of General Lazare Hoche, who had devised a three-pronged attack on Britain in support of Irish Republicans under Wolfe Tone. Two forces would land in Britain as a diversionary effort, while the main body would land in Ireland. While poor weather and indiscipline halted two of the forces, the third, aimed at landing in Wales and marching on Bristol, went ahead.

The invasion force consisted of 1,400 troops from the La Legion Noire (The Black Legion) under the command of Irish American Colonel William Tate, 800 of whom were irregulars.

Upon landing discipline broke down amongst the irregulars, many of whom deserted to loot nearby settlements. The remaining troops were met by a quickly assembled group of around 500 British reservists, militia and sailors under the command of John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor. After brief clashes with the local civilian population and Lord Cawdor’s forces on 23 February, Tate was forced into an unconditional surrender by 24 February.

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1900 – Luis Buñuel born. Spanish filmmaker . Often associated with the Surrealist movement of the 1920s, Buñuel created films in six decades, from the 1920s through the 1970s.

His work spans two continents, three languages, and nearly every film genre, including experimental film, documentary, melodrama, satire, musical, erotica, comedy, romance, costume dramas, fantasy, crime film, adventure, and western.

Despite this variety, filmmaker John Huston believed that, regardless of genre, a Buñuel film is so distinctive as to be instantly recognizable, or, as Ingmar Bergman put it, “Buñuel nearly always made Buñuel films.”

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1918 – Robert Wadlow born. The tallest person in history for whom there is irrefutable evidence.  He  reached 8 ft 11.1 in (2.72 m) in height and weighed 439 lb (199 kg) at his death at age 22.

His great size and his continued growth in adulthood were due to hyperplasia of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone. He showed no indication of an end to his growth even at the time of his death.

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1950 – Genesis Breyer P-Orridge born. English singer-songwriter, musician, poet, writer and performance artist.

In the latter capacity s/he was the founder of the COUM Transmissions artistic collective, which operated from 1969 through to 1975, while as a musician, P-Orridge fronted the pioneering industrial band Throbbing Gristle, from 1975 through to 1981, and then the acid house band, Psychic TV, from 1981 through to 1999.

An occultist, s/he is also a founding member of Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth.

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1987 – Andy Warhol died. American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist.

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Almanac – October 27

312 – Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross while preparing for the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.
Constantine’s victory gave him total control of the western Roman Empire, paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion for the Roman Empire and ultimately for Europe.

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1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued the Extermination Order, which ordered all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.

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1914 – Dylan Thomas born. Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems, “Do not go gentle into that good night”, “And death shall have no dominion”, the “play for voices”, Under Milk Wood, and stories and radio broadcasts such as A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. He became popular in his lifetime, and remained popular after his death; partly due to his larger than life character, and his reputation for drinking to excess.

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1923 – Roy Lichtenstein born. American pop artist. During the 1960s, his paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City and, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, and others he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the basic premise of pop art better than any other through parody. Favoring the old-fashioned comic strip as subject matter, Lichtenstein produced hard-edged, precise compositions that documented while it parodied often in a tongue-in-cheek humorous manner. His work was heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style. He described Pop Art as, “not ‘American’ painting but actually industrial painting”.

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1932 – Sylvia Plath born. American poet, novelist and short story writer.Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections: The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. In 1982, she became the first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

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Almanac – September 29

Michaelmas
One of the old Quarter Days of the year, and also a time of hiring fairs

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1902 – William  McGonagall died. Scottish weaver, doggerel poet and actor. He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of or concern for his peers’ opinions of his work – at least that’s the official view. Contemporary accounts suggest that he was actually a pretty good performance poet,  and his works were made to hear, rather than to be read. He wrote about 200 poems, including his infamous “The Tay Bridge Disaster”, as well as one about the Victoria Hall Disaster, here in Sunderland.

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1916 – John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire during a share boom in the USA.

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1935 – Jerry Lee Lewis born. The Killer.

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1997 – Roy Lichenstein died. American pop artist. During the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, and others he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the basic premise of pop art better than any other through parody, favoring the old-fashioned comic strip as subject matter, his work was heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style. He described Pop Art as, “not ‘American’ painting but actually industrial painting”.

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