Independent Gallery

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein b.New York 1923-1997

A graduate of Ohio State University, Roy Lichtenstein stayed on to teach from 1949 until 1951. Working in Cleveland between 1951 and 1957 he made small-scale paintings relating to American history and the Wild West. Towards the end of the 50s references to Disney characters were incorporated into loose expressionistic works. In 1960 he was appointed as a lecturer at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Through Allan Kaprow, a fellow tutor, he became involved in Happenings meeting Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal.

He began his first Pop Art paintings in 1961. When they were exhibited during the following year at the Leo Castelli Gallery, his bold use of line, speech bubbles and the simulation of Benday dot screens used in comic books caused both great excitement and utter outrage. In 1964 Life magazine asked its readers, ‘Is he the worst artist in the US?’.

Throughout his career his visual language did not change but it’s vocabulary expanded to take in such High Art movements as Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. He has also adapted his trademark techniques to three-dimensional works.

In his editioned work was extremely innovative, experimenting with industrial materials as well as the traditional methods of printmaking.