In the early 1960s, when the art scene was ruled by the seriousness of Abstract Expressionism, artist Roy Lichtenstein dove head first into the ubiquitous world of pop culture. He plucked images from advertisements and cartoons and rendered them with oversized Ben-Day printer’s dots, which he painstakingly rendered by hand. Since then, dozens of artists—stars like Richard Prince and Jeff Koons—have followed in his Pop Art footsteps, appropriating images from the world around them.
For the first time since his death in 1997, Lichtenstein is getting the major museum treatment with a career-spanning retrospective making stops in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and London. The exhibition, which recently landed at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., honors the artist with more than 100 major paintings spanning his 40-year-career. The works range from Lichtenstein’s early abstract compositions to masterpieces of his innovative Pop style, including his breakthrough work Look Mickey, which marked his first-ever use of pop culture imagery.
Lichtenstein’s artistic influence can still be felt strongly today. To learn more about Lichtenstein and the birth of Pop—including the artist’s rivalry with fellow Pop star Andy Warhol—pick up a copy of Art + NYC: A Complete Guide to New York City Art and Artists from Museyon Guides.
Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
October 14, 2012, through January 13, 2013
National Gallery of Art
National Mall, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20565
image credits: Roy Lichtenstein, Look Mickey, 1961, oil on canvas. Overall: 121.9 x 175.3 cm (48 x 69 in.) Framed: 123.5 x 176.9 x 5.1 cm (48 5/8 x 69 5/8 x 2 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece, 1962, oil on canvas, overall: 137.2 x 137.2 cm (54 x 54 in.) Agnes Gund Collection, New York © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein; Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam!, 1963, oil and Magna on canvas, overall: 172.7 x 421.6 cm (68 x 166 in.), two panels, Tate, London, Purchased 1966 © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein