- NAME: Roy Lichtenstein
- OCCUPATION: Illustrator, Painter
- BIRTH DATE: October 27, 1923
- DEATH DATE: September 29, 1997
- EDUCATION: The Ohio State University, Franklin School for Boys (now Dwight School), Parsons School of Design, Art Students League
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Roy Fox Lichtenstein
- AKA: Roy Lichtenstein
Best Known For
Roy Lichtenstein was an American pop artist best known for his boldly-colored parodies of comic strips and advertisements.
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Lichtenstein became known for his deadpan humor and his slyly subversive way of building a signature body of work from mass-reproduced images. By the mid-1960s, he was nationally known and recognized as a leader in the Pop Art movement that also included Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg. His art became increasingly popular with both collectors and influential art dealers like Leo Castelli,
who showed Lichtenstein's work at his gallery for 30 years. Like much Pop Art, it provoked debate over ideas of originality, consumerism and the fine line between fine art and entertainment.
By the late 1960s, Lichtenstein had stopped using comic book sources. In the 1970s his focus turned to creating paintings that referred to the art of early 20th century masters like Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger and Salvador Dalí. In the 1980s and '90s, he also painted representations of modern house interiors, brushstrokes and mirror reflections, all in his trademark, cartoon-like style. He also began working in sculpture.
In the 1980s, Lichtenstein received several major large-scale commissions, including a 25-foot-high sculpture titled "Brushstrokes in Flight" for the Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio and a five-story-tall mural for the lobby of the Equitable Tower in New York.
Lichtenstein was committed to his art until the end of his life, often spending at least 10 hours a day in his studio. His work was acquired by major museum collections around the world, and he received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the National Medal of Arts in 1995.
Lichtenstein married twice. He and his first wife, Isabel, whom he married in 1949 and divorced in 1967, had two sons, David and Mitchell. He married Dorothy Herzka in 1968.
Lichtenstein died of complications from pneumonia on September 29, 1997, at the New York University Medical Center in Manhattan.
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Pop art, which started in the mid 1950s in the U.K. and just a few years later in the U.S., is the use of popular ad and news imagery, usually in an ironic and/or kitschy sort of way. Whether conceptual or experiential, pop art is art for the masses...and thanks to Andy Warhol, we'll never look at Campbell's Soup cans the same way again.
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