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