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Lichtenstein - Pop Artist.

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Lichtenstein "Roy Lichtenstein was the master of the stereotype, and the most sophisticated of the major Pop artists in terms of his analysis of visual convention and his ironic exploitation of past styles. The work for which he is now known was the product of a long apprenticeship. "He was born in New York City in October 1923. His parents were middle-class and he described himself as having had a quiet and uneventful childhood. Though art was not taught as part of the curriculum at his high school, in his junior year he started to draw and paint as a hobby. His first subjects were jazz musicians (the product of a youthful enthusiasm for their music), and his work was affected by Picasso's Blue and Rose Period paintings, which he knew from reproductions. "In his last year of high school, 1939, he enrolled for summer art classes at the Art Students' League under Reginald Marsh. ...read more.


He moved to Cleveland and worked on and off as an engineering draughtsman for various companies while continuing to paint and intermittently show his work in New York. His earliest proto-Pop work was painted in 1956 - a picture of a dollar bill - but it had no immediate successor. From 1957 until 1960 his work could, broadly speaking, be classified as Abstract Expressionist; he had previously passed through Geometric Abstraction and a version of Cubism. "In 1960 Lichtenstein was appointed Assistant Professor at Douglas College at Rutgers University of New Jersey, which put him within striking distance of New York. He met and had long discussions with Allan Kaprow, and he also met Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Lucas Samaras and George Segal. He attended a number of early 'Happenings', but did not participate in them actively. These contacts revived his interest in Pop imagery, and a more immediate stimulus was provided by a challenge from one of ...read more.


In 1966 he showed at the Venice Biennale, and in 1969 he was given a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, which later toured America. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1970, and then moved to Southampton, Long Island, thus following a pattern set by many successful American artists. "Lichtenstein's development as a mature painter was marked by his propensity for working in successive series or thematic groups. The later groups tended to be interpretations and to some extent parodies of earlier Modernist styles - Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism. In the early 1980s Lichtenstein created sculptural maquettes constructed from flat shapes as three-dimensional graphic imitations of German Expressionist woodcuts. These, like his series of painted or sculpted brushstrokes of the 1980s, painstakingly created an ironic suggestion of spontaneity. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he returned to the use of Ben-Day dots in a new and refined application of his earlier style. Roy Lichtenstein died in September 1997." ...read more.

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