The Reception of Pop Art in Belgium between 1962 and 1970

2010 > 2011

Promotor(s) : Dr. Frederik Leen

Researcher(s) : Carl Jacobs

Scientific committee


  • Prof Dr Frederik Leen (Curator; Head of the Department of Modern Art)


  • Prof Dr Hans Dewolf (Associate Professor, Department of Art Studies, Free University of Brussels)


  • Prof Dr Alexander Streitberger (Professor in the fields of Art History, Archeology and Musicology, Université Catholique de Louvain)

Research Fellow:

  • PhD student Carl Jacobs (MA in Art Sciences)

Starting date: 01.01.2010
Ending date: 31.12.2011 (extended to 31.01.2012)


In January 2010, work began on the research project The Reception of Pop Art in Belgium between 1962 and 1970. Three research themes were defined. The preliminary research question focused on outlining the research topic with the key question of whether Pop Art is to be seen as a homogeneous international movement or rather or a label which can cover very divergent oeuvres.  Subsequently, the research focused on the impact of Pop in Belgium and the way Pop was interpreted and assimilated by Belgian artists. A central question here was the role of Pop in shifting the primary orientation of the Belgian art world from France to the Anglo-Saxon world, and in particular to the United States.  Given that Pop implied specific artistic choices with regard to content and iconography, it was important to investigate not only structural factors but also to clarify the similarities, shifts and differences in iconography between Belgian Pop and Anglo-Saxon Pop. The final research theme examined whether the iconography of Pop Art originated in a specific socio-economic context or from a more general intellectual movement and looked for the causes of the change in artistic orientation in Belgium from Paris to a more internationally focused view.