Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Biography

Considered one of the greatest artists of the Pop Art movement, Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York in 1923 and grew up on Manhattan's Upper West Side.  He took watercolour classes at Parsons School of Design and the Art Students League.  In 1940, Lichtenstein attended the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. However, his studies were interrupted in 1943 when he was drafted and sent to Europe for World War II.  After his wartime service, he completed his undergraduate degree in fine arts.  Lichtenstein briefly taught at Ohio State before moving to Cleveland and working as a window-display designer for a store, an industrial designer and commercial art-instructor. 

 

In 1957, he moved back to upstate New York and and started incorporating hidden images of cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny into his abstract works.  During the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and among others, he became a leading figure in the new art movement.  His themes are based on printed imagery such as comics and advertisements.  His works on paper are characterised by a use of bold colours and strong lines, which are heightened by his successful combinations of a variety of mediums such as linocut, etching, lithograph, woodcut and screenprint.  

 

Lichtenstein was the first American to exhibit at the Tate Gallery in 1964 and his first museum retrospective was held at the Pasadena Art Museum in California in 1967.  In 1995, Roy Lichtenstein was presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton.

 

After the artist's death in 1997, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established in 1999.  

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