John McHale


    • Male


    About the artist

    1922: Born in Maryhill, Glasgow
    1978: Died in Houston,Texas

    John McHale was an artist and sociologist. He was a founder member of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and a founder of the Independent Group, which was a British movement that originated Pop Art which grew out of a fascination with American mass culture and post-WWII technologies.

    According to McHale's son, the term Pop Art was first coined by his father in 1954 in conversation with Frank Cordell, although other sources credit its origin to the British critic Lawrence Alloway. Both versions agree that the term was in use in Independent Group discussions by mid 1955.

    The critic Reyner Banham called John McHale the "scholar-artist, this 'Father of Pop'. Alloway in his Artforum article on "Pop art Since 1949" notes that "with reference to pop art that could be demonstrated […] John McHale made collages in 1955 out of the then-fresh postwar color printed American magazines."

    McHale's works included fine arts, graphics, exhibition design, television, film and general consultancy to organisations in the US and Europe. He exhibited widely in Europe from 1950. He started as a Constructivist artist and then transitioned into his Pop art and proto Op art. With fellow members of the Independent Group, Richard Hamilton, Reyner Banham and Lawrence Alloway he organised the Growth and Form exhibition in 1951, inspired by the work of the scientist D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson.

    McHale was awarded a scholarship to study with Josef Albers at the Design Department of Yale University in August 1955, and returned to London in June 1956.

    Source: Wikipedia