Roy Lichtenstein

August 22, 2011

Known for his comic-book style imagery bursting with bold colors, Roy Lichtenstein propelled Pop Art to the forefront of the public consciousness in the 1960s. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Lichtenstein not only defined a modern artistic movement, but he also appropriated, parodied, and experimented with existing styles. Before shipping off to France and Belgium to fight in Word War II, he studied art at the Art Students League of New York and began coursework at the Ohio State University. He returned to Columbus, Ohio and completed his MFA while teaching at the university. After achieving minor success as an artist in Cleveland and New York, he accepted a teaching position at Douglass Residential College in New Jersey. There he began clipping and including comic strips into his abstract paintings. It was in 1961 – a pivotal year for the eager artist – that Lichtenstein presented his Benday comic strip paintings to Leo Castelli. Intrigued by Girl with a Ball (1961), Castelli agreed to represent Lichtenstein, beginning a career-spanning partnership. Shortly thereafter, Lichtenstein established a studio in New York and began exhibiting his work internationally, including exhibitions at the Venice Biennale in 1966 and the Guggenheim, New York in 1968. Using his signature Benday dots to create a commercial yet unpretentious style, Lichtenstein depicted landscapes, scenes plucked straight from comic books, food items, and consumer packaging. Throughout the 1970s, 80s, and well into the 90s, he experimented with a variety of forms – ceramic, Plexiglas, serigraphs, and even tapestry – to examine what constitutes artistic style and genre. Cunning and punchy, he presented his own take on contemporary genres in works such as Brushstrokes (1967), Bull Head III (1973), and “Modern Art I” (1996). Immediately iconic, his imagery and style has been replicated and appropriated by a generation of artists.

“Chronology.” Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.
“Roy Lichtenstein.” Collection Online. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2012.


Leave a Reply