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2019 Roy exploration 14x11.jpg

Roy's exploration, 2019, 

Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)

2019 Roy polyphony 14x11.jpg

Roy's polyphony, 2019, 

Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)


Roy's exploration

In 1960, Roy Lichtenstein teaches at Rutgers University (NJ) and creates artworks influenced by abstracts expressionists. He will declare later that he was trying to get away from the influence of Picasso and looking for his personal style.


His circle includes the artists Claes Oldenburg and Georges Segal introduced to him by Allan Kaprow, his friend and mentor who will later present his work to Ivan Karp and Leo Castelli. The comment of Oldenburg is based on his quote “If I didn't think what I was doing had something to do with enlarging the boundaries of art, I wouldn't go on doing it”. Allan Kaprow declared that one could “make art that did not look like art”

Roy's polyphony

In 1997, Roy Lichtenstein has received recognition and fame. At 73, he still works actively and continues exploring new ways of showing that “what distinguishes good from bad painting is the formal statement, the position of marks and contrasts. If you forget that I'm trying to depict a table, a window or some flowers, abstract qualities to do with size and positioning become important. That's what Mondrian was doing."

In this series, one of his last, he mixed prints and hand painted brushstrokes as a way to connect pop and abstract art. His statement at the occasion of his exhibition at the Venice Biennale was “I'm trying to make paintings like giant musical chords, with a polyphony of colors that is nuts but works”.

He gets a comment from Ilena Sonnabend, art dealer and ex wife of Leo Castelli who bought his work even before her husband gave him a representation and who had a reputation for being great at identifying future art stars.

Lichtenstein influenced many artists and among them, the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

Sources: Lichtenstein Foundation, The Transformation of the Avant-Garde: The New York Art World, 1940-1985 By Diana Crane

Modern art’s missing link: the Jersey scene, 1999, New York Times

Remembering Roy Lichtenstein: The day that Pop died, Richard Cork

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