ROY LICHTENSTEIN, The White Tree, 1980, oil and Magna on canvas, 105 x 210 inches (266.7 x 533.4 cm) © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein’s early appropriation of the aesthetics of American popular culture made him integral to the development of Pop art. A student of the work of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Paul Klee, Lichtenstein incorporated elements of contemporary art theory and popular print media into his painting. In 1961 he began to replicate the Benday dot system used in mass-circulation printed sources such as comics, newspapers, and billboards; this would become a signature element of his painting and sculpture. By mimicking this industrial method and appropriating images from high and low culture, his work realized a broader accessibility that had not yet been achieved in contemporary art. Some of his most recognizable series evolved from imagery drawn from popular culture: advertising images, war-time comics, and pin-up portraits, as well as traditional painting genres such as landscapes, still lifes, and interiors.
Roy Lichtenstein was born in 1923 in New York, where he died in 1997. His work has been exhibited extensively worldwide. Recent surveys include “All About Art,” Louisiana Museum, Humelbaek (2003; traveled to Hayward Gallery, London; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through 2005); “Roy Lichtenstein: A New Gift of Drawings,” National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (2005); “Roy Lichtenstein: Prints 1956–97,” Las Vegas Art Museum (2006); “Roy Lichtenstein: Plakate,” Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Hamburg (2008); “Roy Lichtenstein: The Black and White Drawings 1961–1968,” Morgan Library Museum, New York (2010); “Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art,” Museo Triennale, Milan (2010); “Three Landscapes: A Film Installation by Roy Lichtenstein,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011); “Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective,” Art Institute of Chicago (2012; traveled to National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Tate Modern, London; and Centre Pompidou, Paris); “Roy Lichtenstein: Pop Remix,” National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2013); “Roy Lichtenstein: Intimate Sculptures,” FLAG Art Foundation; New York (2014); and “Roy Lichtenstein: Works on Paper,” Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin (2014).