Roy Lichtenstein was one of the most influential and innovative artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Born in 1923, he is mostly identified with Pop Art, a movement he helped originate, and his first fully achieved paintings were based on imagery lifted from comic strips and advertisements and rendered in a style mimicking the crude printing processes of newspaper reproduction. These paintings reinvigorated the American art scene and altered the history of modern art. Lichtenstein’s success was matched by his focus and energy, and after his initial triumph in the early 1960s, he went on to create an oeuvre of more than 5,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, murals and other objects celebrated for their wit and invention.
Most famously, Lichtenstein appropriated the Benday dots, the minute mechanical patterning used in commercial engraving, to convey texture and gradations of colour. The dots became a trademark device forever identified with Lichtenstein and Pop Art. Lichtenstein also became a prolific print maker, he employed a host of industrial or “non-art” materials, and designed mass-produced editioned objects that were less expensive than traditional paintings and sculpture.
The artist ventured beyond popular comic book subjects, creating paintings based on oils by Cézanne, Mondrian and Picasso, as well as still life and landscapes. His ‘Interiors’, mural-sized canvases inspired by a minuscule advertisement in an Italian telephone book, explore the perceptual ambiguities of reflections from windows and mirrors.