The world of American contemporary art suffered a severe loss with the death at 73 of one of its major leader Roy Lichtenstein on September 29 th 1997.
Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York city in 1923 and after a happy childhood he started to draw and paint at home while showing a keen interest in Jazz music in the late 1930's.
In 1939 he attended the summer courses of the Art Students League with Reginald Marsh and painted New York streets as well as boxing bouts. In 1940, he decided to become an artist and left New York two years later to study at the School of Fine Arts of the Ohio State University. Strongly influenced by Professor Hoyt L. Sherman for whom art was a well-ordinate perception his style was close to that of Expressionist painters. Between 1943 and 1945, Lichtenstein served in the U.S army in Britain, France, Belgium and Germany. After the war he studied briefly in Paris and was back at the Ohio State University in 1946 where he was awarded a degree.
nfluenced by Cubist painters, Lichtenstein taught art until 1951 and married Isabel Wilson in 1949.
He exhibited his works in the Chinese Gallery in New York and has his first personal exhibition in the Ten-Thirty Gallery, in Cleveland, Ohio. He had another personal exhibition in the Carlebach Gallery in New and had a freer expressionist style.
In 1951 he built wood objects, horses, riders, Indians and painted similar themes in his paintings. He then went to Cleveland where he worked as a designer and had other
Ipersonal exhibitions at the John Heller Gallery in New York.
A year later he concentrated on strictly American themes. In 1956, he produced a print of a 10 dollar bill and painted Abstract Expressionnist paintings and cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and so on.
In 1958 he had a personal exhibition at the Condon Riley Gallery in New York. In 1960, he became a deputy professor at the Rutgers University, New Jersey. He met Allan Kaprow who made him discover happenings. He also befriended Robert Watts, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, George Segal and Lucas Samaras.
Lichtenstein produced his first Pop Art works in 1961 with newspaper photographic and cartoon techn iques and also reproduced advertising images. His paintings were exhibited in the Leo Castelli Gallery in October of that year and a few weeks later he discovered the works of Andy Warhol. He then had several exhibitions organised by Leo Castelli and paid tribute to Picasso and Mondrian between 1962 and 1964.
Lichtenstein became a celebrated artist from then on, gave up his job at the Rutgers University and devoted his time totally to painting. After divorcing his first wife he married Dorothy Herzka in 1965 and settled in Southampton, Long Island, in 1970. Eleven years later, he had an important retrospective held in the U.S, Europe and Japan.
Roy Lichtenstein, who died of a lung infection, was one of the most expensive artists in the world as several of his works went beyond the US $ 5 million mark in various auction sales.
His major contribution was to introduce Pop Art with Warhol with humour as the main basis. It was only at the age of 40 that he reached fame using popular comic strips as his major themes in opposition to the works of Willem de Kooning but in complete harmony with the social life of fellow Americans. FOR PICKS GO TO:http://www.art-service.com/