Roy Lichtenstein was a famous American pop artist, born October 27, 1923 and died September 29, 1997 (both in Manhattan, New York). After graduating from Ohio State University, he was most known for his role as a leading figure in the new pop art movement in the 1960s, along with other artists such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and James Rosenquist. His particular style of work outlined the basic premise of pop art through the use of parody.
Roy Lichtenstein used the comic strip as his primary source of inspiration, and produced pieces of work that were hard edged and with tongue in cheek humor.
Roy Lichtenstein has several works that he is known for, including the following pieces:
- Whaam! (1963) This particular piece of work is arguably Lichtenstein’s most famous and celebrated works, and is one of the earliest known examples of pop art.
- Drowning Girl (1963). Another one of Lichtenstein’s most famous pieces, this iconic work features thick lines and bold colors, as well as Ben-Day dots.
- Oh, Jeff… I love you, too… But…
- Look Mickey
- Woman with Flowered Hat
Lichtenstein’s first solo exhibition was in 1951 at the Carleback Gallery in New York City. This same year, he moved back to Ohio, but frequently traveled to New York. At this point in time, his style of work was fluctuating between Cubism and Expressionism. Also, it was In this period that his sons, David and Mitchell, were born. Shortly after his second son was born, Lichtenstein moved back to upstate New York and took up teaching again. At this point, his work shifted to the Abstract Expressionism style and he also began to hide small, hidden images of cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse, into his pieces.
In the 1960s, Lichtenstein created a series in which he reproduced masterpieces created by other artists, such as Cezanne, Picasso, and Mondrian. These were popular pieces, and expressed the breadth of Lichtenstein’s creative takes on the classics. Later on, Lichtenstein would revisit this series toward the end of his career, in the 1990s.
In the early 1970s, Lichtenstein purchased and renovated a carriage house in Southhampton, New York, which he converted into a studio. It is here that he lived in relative seclusion. He continued to produce work while here, which included his Mirrors series and the Entablatures.
Roy Lichtenstein received many awards and forms of recognition during his career, including the following:
- 1977 Skowhegan Medal for Painting, Skowhegan School, Skowhegan, Maine.
- 1979 American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York.
- 1989 American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy. Artist in residence.
- 1991 Creative Arts Award in Painting, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.
- 1993 Amici de Barcelona, from Mayor Pasqual Maragall, L’Alcalde de Barcelona.
- 1995 Kyoto Prize, Inamori Foundation, Kyoto, Japan.
- 1995 National Medal of the Arts, Washington D.C.
Throughout his career, Roy Lichtenstein was commissioned to create several major pieces of art, both in the United States and worldwide. One of his commissioned pieces still hangs over the Times Square subway station in New York, exposing his world to millions of people from all over the world on a daily basis.
Roy Lichtenstein Artwork
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