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Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein (1923 -1997) artist and print maker – a leading member of the Pop Art movement.

Lichtenstein was born in New York, into a wealthy Jewish family and raised on the Upper West Side. He left New York to study at Ohio State University for a degree in fine arts, before serving in the army between 1943-46 as an orderly, draftsman and artist.

Returning to his studies in Ohio, Lichtenstein worked under the supervision of Hoyt L. Sherman, a huge influence on his work. After his graduation Lichtenstein was hired as an art instructor at Ohio State, a post which he held for ten years.

In 1957, he moved back to upstate New York and began teaching again, whilst adopting an Abstract Expressionist style, incorporating cameo  images of cartoon characters in his work. From 1960, his interest in Proto-pop imagery was ignited by the influence of Kaprow, his colleague at Rutgers University.

In 1961, Leo Castelli started displaying Lichtenstein’s work at his gallery in New York, giving Lichtenstein his first solo exhibition there in 1962, where the entire show was purchased by influential art dealers before the opening.

In the following year Lichtenstein created his most celebrated image Whaam! (1963) now exhibited at Tate Modern, London - one of the earliest known examples of pop art. In 1964, he began experimenting with sculpture to great success, collaborating with a ceramicist to create his famed Head of Girl (1964) and Head with Red Shadow (1965). Throughout his life, Lichstenstein also experimented with multimedia techniques, including reproducing famous paintings, murals, printing and film.

His work has been exhibited at the Tate, London, the Pasadena Art Museum in California, museums in Amsterdam, London, Bern and Hanover.

 

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