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(1923 – 1997), USA

Roy Lichtenstein Biography

Alongside artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein was a leading figure of the American Pop Art movement, amassing an important legacy through his painted parodies of comic strips and advertising techniques using the Ben-Day dot printing technique.

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Coming from an upbringing in New York that was immersed in the arts, Roy Lichtenstein's earlier influences in the 1940s were artists like Rembrandt, Daumier, and Picasso, as well as Hoyt L. Sherman who taught Lichtenstein at Ohio State University and encouraged his critical perspective of accepted art canons.

Lichtenstein's fascination with vernacular commercial imagery developed throughout the 1940s and 50s. It was the outcome of experiments during his time teaching at Ohio State University and later the State University of New York at Oswego, and his academic hiatus in between spent working in various commercial and industrial professions in Cleveland. These ideas were fermented when teaching at Rutgers University's Douglass College in the late 1950s, where Lichtenstein's colleagues included Geoffrey Hendricks, Allan Kaprow, and George Segal.

The hallmarks of Roy Lichtenstein's Pop Art style emerged in the 1960s. Seminal large-scale works such as Drowning Girl (1963), and the iconic diptych Wham! (1963), borrowed and altered imagery found in romantic and action comic strips, advertisements, and chewing gum wrappers. Highlighting the lowly mass-produced origins of his subjects, Lichtenstein used homemade stencils and oil paint to recreate the Ben-Day dots used in commercial printing.

Roy Lichtenstein's art in the late 1960s continued to interrogate artistic processes, in particular landscape paintings and still lifes by artists like Cezanne, Mondrian, and Picasso, which he reimagined through his semi-abstract 'Brushstrokes' paintings (1965–1966).

This preceded Lichtenstein's experimentation with abstraction in the 1970s, characterised by simple lines and planes of colour. In the 1980s, he began parodying the gestural brushwork and abstract compositions of Abstract Expressionism with commercial techniques antithetical to that movement.

Alongside his paintings, Lichtenstein became heavily involved in printmaking and sculpture. His coloured bronze and steel sculptures are seemingly drawn on the three-dimensional space like his two-dimensional drawings and prints.

Lichtenstein was also a major contributor of public art. Throughout his career, he painted murals in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. He has also produced various forms of monumental sculpture since the late 1980s, which can be found in public spaces across the globe.

When Lichtenstein passed away in 1997, he left behind a legacy of light-hearted but intellectually rigorous works which, themselves, have ironically been appropriated and parodied for non-art purposes across the globe.

His works can be found in major institutions worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.

Roy Lichtenstein solo exhibitions include:

The Loaded Brush, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria (2019); Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Tate Modern, London (2012–2013); Three Landscapes: A Film Installation by Roy Lichtenstein, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012); Roy Lichtenstein: Sculpture, Gagosian, New York (2005); Roy Lichtenstein: All About Art, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Humlebaek, Denmark (2003); Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1994); Roy Lichtenstein 1970–1980, Fundación Juan March, Madrid (1983); Pop Art: Roy Lichtenstein, Neue Galerie der Stadt Aachen, Aachen, Germany (1975); Roy Lichtenstein, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (1962).

Roy Lichtenstein group exhibitions include:

Found, Made, Cast, Castelli Gallery, New York (2017); From Kandinsky to Pollock: the Art of the Guggenheim Collections, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (2016); Les années Pop, 1956–1968, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2001); Drawing Now, MoMA, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (1976–1977); Art in the Mirror, MoMA, New York (1966); Six Painters and the Object, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1963); 66th Annual American Exhibition: Directions in Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago (1963); Drawings: Lee Bontecou, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Tworkov, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (1962).

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2020

Roy Lichtenstein Featured Artworks

Before the Mirror by Roy Lichtenstein contemporary artwork
Roy LichtensteinBefore the Mirror, 1975Lithograph and screenprint with embossing on BFK Rives roll stock paper
Marian Goodman Gallery Contact Gallery
As I Opened Fire by Roy Lichtenstein contemporary artwork
Roy LichtensteinAs I Opened Fire, 1964Triptych print
51 x 62 cm
Dellasposa Gallery Contact Gallery
Glass V by Roy Lichtenstein contemporary artwork
Roy LichtensteinGlass V, 1977–1978Painted and patinated bronze
69.62 x 37.75 x 17.75 inches
Gagosian Contact Gallery
Crying Girl by Roy Lichtenstein contemporary artwork
Roy LichtensteinCrying Girl, 1964Enamel on metal
116.8 x 116.8 x 3.2 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Reflections on Crash by Roy Lichtenstein contemporary artwork
Roy LichtensteinReflections on Crash, 1990
Not for sale
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery
Portrait of a Woman by Roy Lichtenstein contemporary artwork
Roy LichtensteinPortrait of a Woman, 1979Oil and magna on linen
70 x 54 inches
Gagosian Contact Gallery

Roy Lichtenstein Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Roy Lichtenstein, Roy Lichtenstein at Pace Gallery, Palm Beach, USA
18 March–11 April 2021 Roy Lichtenstein Pace Gallery, Palm BeachPalm Beach
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, American Pastoral at Gagosian, Britannia Street, London
23 January–14 March 2020 Group Exhibition American Pastoral GagosianBritannia Street, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Continuing Abstraction at Gagosian, Basel, Syria
10 June–13 July 2019 Group Exhibition Continuing Abstraction GagosianBasel

Roy Lichtenstein Represented By

Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian New York, Athens, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong

Roy Lichtenstein In Ocula Magazine

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Richard Bell Calls for a Reckoning Ocula Conversation Richard Bell Calls for a Reckoning By Emma-Kate Wilson, Sydney

Aboriginal Australian artist Richard Bell reflects on his largest solo exhibition yet, showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

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Salman Toor Goes Stratospheric at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auction Ocula News Salman Toor Goes Stratospheric at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Auction Hong Kong, 20 April 2021

Prices for Hong Kong artist Matthew Wong also continued their ascent, exceeding the high estimate several times over.

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Basquiat and Beeple Lead 2021’s Priciest Works at Auction Ocula News Basquiat and Beeple Lead 2021’s Priciest Works at Auction Hong Kong, 29 March 2021

Auctions at Christie's this month brought in results that rival the highest prices paid for contemporary art at auction in 2020.

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How Keith Haring Acquired the Painting Sotheby’s Priced at Just $100 Ocula News How Keith Haring Acquired the Painting Sotheby’s Priced at Just $100 New York, 8 September 2020

David Bowes distinctly remembers the day he traded paintings with the iconic New York artist.

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In Ocula Advisory

Six London Gallery Weekend Highlights Advisory Pick

Ocula Advisory select six exhibition highlights on view during London Gallery Weekend.

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Roy Lichtenstein In Related Press

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Roy Lichtenstein: 1961 to 1965 Related Press Roy Lichtenstein: 1961 to 1965 1 November 2019, Gillian Pistell

In the autumn of 1961, performance artist Allan Kaprow arranged a meeting between Roy Lichtenstein and Ivan Karp, director of the influential Leo Castelli Gallery in New York. The purpose of the meeting was to show Karp four of the new 'comic book paintings' that Lichtenstein had recently made. The paintings, The Engagement Ring (1961), Girl...

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Say hello to my little zine! The NY Art Book Fair takes over Moma PS1 Related Press Say hello to my little zine! The NY Art Book Fair takes over Moma PS1 19 September 2016, ARTNews

The NY Art Book Fair draws a huge crowd every year, and so it wasn’t a surprise that there were lines everywhere at this year’s edition—lines to get into the bathroom, lines to see certain booths, lines for the KAWS signing (the longest line of all), and lines simply to get into the fair itself. But those lines moved quickly, and...

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Tate Modern's Switch House Related Press Tate Modern's Switch House 23 June 2016, Art Agenda

“When racism and sexism are no longer fashionable,” the Guerilla Girls asked in 1989, “what will your art collection be worth?” Predicting that “the art market won’t bestow mega-buck prices on the work of a few white males forever,” their printed notice listed 67 female artists (several of whom are now on...

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8 Artist Haunts of Long Island and the Hamptons Related Press 8 Artist Haunts of Long Island and the Hamptons 28 July 2015, Paddle 8

Malcolm Gladwell claims that "you can learn as much–or more–from one glance at a private space as you can from hours of exposure to a public face.” If the walls of these coastal homes could talk, we would be endlessly entertained with stories from the private lives of art power couples, from Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner to...

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