Roy Lichtenstein

About


Roy Lichtenstein (1923 – 1997) was an internationally acclaimed American Pop Artist whose work appropriated images from mass media and advertising in bold, primary colors. His highly intelligent interpretation of comic books and pop culture is expressed through witty, restrained irony and perfectly balanced composition. Lichtenstein questioned categories of high and low art, embracing imagery accessible to everyone and meticulously reproducing the effects of industrial printing techniques by hand. Although his artwork was often met with resistance throughout his career, Lichtenstein is now regarded as one of the defining figures of Pop Art.

Biography


Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York City in 1923. By age 14 he was spending Saturday mornings painting at the Parson’s School of Design and in 1939 he dedicated a summer to studying art at the Art Students’ League in New York City with Reginald Marsh.

After serving in the United States Army During World War II, Lichtenstein returned to school and received his master’s from Ohio State University in 1949. Initially, Lichtenstein struggled to define himself against the dominance of Abstract Expressionism in New York. His first experiment with Pop Art was in 1956 when he created the iconic Ten Dollar Bill.  However, this depiction was still indebted to older forms of modernism and the conventions of analytical cubism.

Inspired by his children, and his post-graduate experience designing commercial and industrial graphics, Lichtenstein experimented with appropriating the subject matter of comic books and cartoons. However, it wasn’t until he embraced the flat, bright style of the source material itself that his work truly began to define the new category of Pop Art. His 1961 Look Mickey (Partial and promised gift to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) represents his earliest translation of popular media into oil paint. Throughout his career he continued to refine his use of flat planes of color, precise contour, and mechanically rendered shading in order to call attention to popular media with a minimum of pictorial means.

Lichtenstein prepared popular content for the canvas through an arduous process of sketching and collage. Working to achieve a machine-made aesthetic, he fastidiously reproduced the Ben Day dot shading system with a level of finish that ultimately erases the artist’s hand. Lichtenstein’s reputation was also established through his innovative printmaking techniques, which produced complex works combining lithography, silkscreen, woodcut, and etching.

 Lichtenstein died in New York in 1997 but remains a foundational figure to any consideration of the Pop Art movement.

Exhibition


2015 – “Important Works on Paper” Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art

2013 – “Lichtenstein: A Retrospective,” Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom

2013 – “The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art,” Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York, New York

2012 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

2012 – “Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective,” The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

2012 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta

2011 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Gallery Tagboat , Tokyo, Japan

2011 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Black & White 1961 – 1968,” Albertina, Vienna, Austria

2010 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art,” Museo Triennale, Milan, Italy

2010 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Still Lifes,” Gagosian Gallery, New York, New York

2010 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Kunst als Motiv,” Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

2009 – “Lichtenstein: in Process,” Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee

2008 – “Ruscha and Pop: Icons of the 1960s,” Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire

2007 – “Art Market Now,” The Columns, Seoul, South Korea

2006 – “Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern Art,” The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut

2005 – “Pollock To Pop: America’s Brush With Dali”  Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

2004 – “Roy Lichtenstein: All About Art,” Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2004 – Neue Nationalgalerie, Das MoMA, Berlin, Germany

2004 – “Dots, Stripes and Strokes,” Andipa Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2003 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Sculpture on the Roof Metropolitan Museum of Art,” New York, New York

2003 – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

2002 – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany

2002 – Tate Liverpool, United Kingdom

2001 – Gagosian Gallery, New York, New York

2001 – Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, New York

2001 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Inside-Outside Museum of Contemporary Art,” North Miami, Florida

2000 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Reflections/ Riflessi Chiostro Del Bramante,” Rome, Italy

2000 – Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, New York

1999 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Interiors Museum of Contemporary Art,” Chicago, Illinois

1999 – Lawrence Rubin, Zurich, Switzerland

1999 – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

1998 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Foundation Beyler, Basel, Switzerland

1998 – Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

1997 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Man Hit by the 21st Century,” The Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

1994 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York

1993 – Galerie Friebe, Lüdenscheid, Germany

1989 – “Roy Lichtenstein: The Mirror Paintings,” Mary Boone Gallery, New York, New York

1988 – “Lichtenstein’s Picassos: 1962-1964,” Gagosian Gallery, New York, New York

1987 – Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas

1984 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Eight New Paintings,” Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

1980 – “Roy Lichtenstein Graphic Work: 1970-1980,” Whitney Museum of American Art, Whitney Downtown Branch, New York, New York

1978 – “Roy Lichtenstein: The Modern Work 1965-1970,” Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts

1976 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” School of Visual Arts, New York, New York

1975 – Centre national d’art contemporain, Paris, France

1975 – Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Germany

1974 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Galerie Mikro, Berlin, Germany

1972 – Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas

1971 – “Roy Lichtenstein: Mirror Paintings,” Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, New York

1970 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois

1969 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York

1968 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” The Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom

1967 – Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California

1967 – Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1966 – Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

1964 – Gallery Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, France

1962 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, New York

1962 – “New Painting of Common Objects,” Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California

1951 – “Roy Lichtenstein,” Carlebach Gallery, New York, New York

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