Text in Art. 4 – Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Fox Lichtenstein  (1923 – 1997) was a major American Pop artist – his work was heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style. Lichtenstein first became interested in art and design as a hobby. His first work to feature the large-scale use of hard-edged figures and Benday Dots was Look Mickey.1961. This piece came from a challenge from one of his sons, who pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said; “I bet you can’t paint as good as that, eh, Dad?”  In the same year he produced six other works with recognizable characters from gum wrappers and cartoons. In 1962 Leo Castelli displayed Lichtenstein’s work at his New York gallery; influential collectors bought the entire collection before the show even opened. This American Pop artist parodied the mindless violence and sexless romance of comic strips to reveal the shallowness of American culture. Lichtenstein’s trademark style borrows comic book techniques as well as subjects. Using bright primary colours with black and white, he outlines simplified forms, incorporating mechanical printer’s (Benday) dots and stereotyped images. By enlarging pulp magazine panels to larger than life-size he slaps viewers in the face with their triviality. Lichtenstein’s use of text in his art was inherent in the comic book style he was parodying.  (Selected information from Wikipedia).

Look Mickey. 1961. Oil on canvas. 48" x 69"
Whaam. 1963. Oil on canvas. 67″ x 160″
Maybe He Became Ill. 1963. Oil on canvas.152x142 cm
Drowning Girl. 1963. Oil on canvas. 67" x 66"

9 thoughts on “Text in Art. 4 – Roy Lichtenstein

  1. John you have featured one of my favorite artists…..and I was so privileged to spend a little time with him at an opening at Leo Castelli Gallery in NY….
    a truly wonderful man with a great sense of humor.


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