Roy Lichtenstein (1923 – 1997)

Roy Lichtenstein was a leading American Pop artist and one of the most influential artists on the twentieth-century. He was born in New York City in October 1923 and showed a interest in drawing and painting from an early age, spending many hours in the Museum of Modern Art. He later studied at the Art Students League of New York and Ohio State university and held his first solo exhibition in 1951 at the Carlebach Gallery in New York.

Lichtenstein took his inspiration from printed images such as comic strip imagery and advertisements, experimenting by employing the techniques of newspaper printing as a means of producing art. Lichtenstein’s work questioned the accepted canons of taste in art and, by rising commercial art and everyday objects to the status of fine art, pushed the boundaries of what art could be. He mimicked cartoon style, using mechanical patterning such as flat dots to form imagery and to challenge the conventional use of brushstrokes in art. It is these trademark dots that Lichtenstein is best known for today.

Later in his career, Lichtenstein began to expand into sculpture and continued to base his works on “non-art” materials and techniques. A large body of his work produced in the 1970s was influenced by Surrealism, Cubism and Futurism for which he combined, fragmented and juxtaposed imagery and forms. Lichtenstein died in September 1997 aged 73 after falling ill with pneumonia.