“Pop Art looks out into the world. It doesn’t look like a painting of something, it looks like the thing itself.” – Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein, an American artist born in New York in the early 1920s, is best known for referencing popular culture and advertisements in his work. Alongside Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, he was an integral part of the Pop Art movement.
Lichtenstein depicted his subjects as if they came from a commercial press, adopting the Ben-Day dots method used to create shading and secondary colors in comic strips and newspapers. In 1962, Leo Castelli chose to represent Lichtenstein, exhibiting his comic-like paintings for the first time. The show sold out instantly and by the second solo exhibition at the gallery, his works had already been shown at museums and galleries across the US.
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)
Reflections on Girl (from the Reflections series), 1990
Lithograph, screenprint, relief, and metalized PVC collage with embossing
Estimate: $100,000 – $150,000
In the late 1960s, in an attempt to expand his practice, Lichtenstein became less narrative and more abstract through his exploration with brushstrokes. As most modern artists maintained the subject of a painting as the painting itself, he took this further by using a compositional element as the subject of his work. After moving to Southampton with his wife Dorothy in the 1970s, he began exploring with bronze forms and encountered Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Purism, and Surrealism. Lichtenstein also had a busy mural career, completing four between 1960 and 1970 and five between 1983 and 1990. Major public art commissions can also be found in Miami, Columbus, Minneapolis, Paris Barcelona and Singapore.
Drowning Girl, Whaam!, and Look Mickey are regarded as Lichtenstein’s most famous works. In January 2017, Masterpiece sold for $165 million, making it one of the 10 most expensive paintings ever sold.
Written by: Katya Khazei
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