Lichtenstein: A Retrospective

Exhibition running from Feb 21 2013 until May 27 2013

Tate Modern is staging the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to foremost Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. It is the first major Lichtenstein retrospective for twenty years, bringing together over 125 of the artist’s most definitive paintings and sculptures. 

Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) is one of the central figures of American Pop Art. In the early 1960s he pioneered a new style of painting, executed by hand but inspired by printing process. He became renowned for works based on comic strips and advertising imagery, coloured with his signature hand-painted Benday dots, as an ongoing examination of representation and originality in mass media culture. 

The exhibition showcases key paintings such as ‘Look Mickey’ (1961), ‘Whaam!’ (1963) and ‘Drowning Girl’ (1963). The artist’s rich and expansive practice is represented by a wide a range of materials, including painting using Rowlux and steel, as well as sculpture in ceramic and brass and a selection of previously unseen drawings, collages and works on paper. 

Alongside the classic paintings of romantic heroines and scenes of war for which Lichtenstein is well known, this exhibition shows other early Pop works, such as images of everyday objects in black and white. Also on display are Lichtenstein’s artistic explorations depicting landscapes, mirrors, and his engagement with art history, revealing his lesser-known responses to Futurism, Surrealism and German Expressionism.  In the final years of his life, he created a series of huge female nudes and beautiful Chinese landscapes, neither of which have previously been shown within the wider context of his oeuvre. 

Roy Lichtenstein was born in New Yorkin 1923, where he lived and worked for most of his life. After studying art at Ohio State University, he taught in New York and New Jersey before rising to prominence with a solo show at Castelli Gallery in 1962. He died in 1997 aged 73. His works are held in major public collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

OPENING HOURS: Daily: 10.00-18.00, Fri-Sat: 10.00-22.00

Image Credits:

Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam! 1963 Tate. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS 2012

Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece 1962 Private Collection © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS 2012

Roy Lichtenstein, Oh, Jeff…I Love You, Too…But… 1964 Collection Simonyi © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS 2012

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