Roy Lichtenstein

Kenny Ackerman

Roy LichtensteinAmerican, 1923-1997

Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York in 1923.  He gained an appreciation for art in school. In 1939, Lichtenstein began taking summer classes at the Art Students League of New York.  There he worked under painter Reginald Marsh.  He then went on to Ohio State University to study, but WWII interrupted his studies between 1943 and 1946.  By 1949 Lichtenstein had completed a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Ohio State University.

Early in his career, Roy Lichtenstein’s work was in the style of Cubism, Constructivism and Abstract Expressionism. He used to hide images of cartoon characters within his abstract paintings.  He had his first solo show in New York in 1951.  By 1961, Lichtenstein began to create his first pop art paintings that incorporated cartoon images and used a process that looked like commercial printing using Ben Day dots. It was around this time that Leo Castelli began showing his work.

Roy Lichtenstein was gaining an international reputation in the early 60s.  He resigned from his teaching position at Rutgers University in 1964 and moved to New York where he became immersed in the art scene. However, critics were harsh regarding Lichtenstein’s work claiming it lacked originality.

Lichtenstein began creating sculpture around 1964. Lichtenstein also used masterpieces of Modernism for inspiration, such as artworks by Cézanne, Matisse and Mondrian.  He would recreate them using his own characteristic style.  Roy Lichtenstein is, next to Andy Warhol, the most important Pop-Artist. He died in New York in 1997.