Artist Biography

ROY LICHTENSTEIN

1923-1997 – Artist and Sculptor Roy Lichtenstein was born October 27, 1923, in New York City. In 1961 Lichtenstein began to make paintings consisting exclusively of comic-strip figures, and introduced his Benday-dot grounds, lettering, and balloons; he also started cropping images from advertisements. From 1964 and into the next decade, Roy Lichtenstein successively depicted stylized landscapes, consumer-product packaging, adaptations of paintings by famous artists, geometric elements from Art Deco design (in the Modern series), parodies of the Abstract Expressionists’ style (in the Brushstrokes series), and explosions. They all underlined the contradictions of representing three dimensions on a flat surface. In the early 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein explored this formal question further with his abstract Mirrors and Entablatures series. Beginning in 1974 and up to the 1980s, Roy Lichtenstein probed another long-standing issue: the concept of artistic style. All Lichtenstein’s series of works played with the characteristics of well-known 20th-century art movements. Lichtenstein continued to question the role of style in consumer culture in his 1990s series of Interiors, which included images of his own works as decorative elements. In Lichtenstein’s attempt to fully grasp and expose how the forms, materials, and methods of production have shaped the images of Western society, the artist has also explored other mediums such as polychromatic ceramic, aluminum, brass, and serigraphs. From 1962, the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, held regular exhibitions of the Lichtenstein’s work. Roy Lichtenstein participated in the Venice Biennale in 1966, and was honored with solo exhibitions in 1967 and 1968 at the Pasadena Art Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, respectively. Roy Lichtenstein was the subject of a major retrospective at the Guggenheim in 1994, three years before his death September 30, 1997.

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