In 1964 Robert Watts embarked on a project to patent the word “pop,” thus preventing the word from being used commercially. Since the term Pop Art was already widely used in art writing, it couldn’t be patented in that context, but it could be patented in relation to specific products, such as candy, clothing, or lipstick. Addendum to Pop is the product of Watts’s research, installed as a grid of facsimiles of 60 patent documents filed prior to 1964 with the United States Patent Office. With this research in hand, Watts planned to further patent “pop” in 18 different categories, but did not complete this task.
(Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2011.