Born in Manhattan in 1923, Roy Lichtenstein was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement during the second half of the 20th century. His distinctive artistic style is inspired by the visual language of consumerism and advertising that pervaded American popular culture at the time, and his work recalls a society of widespread commercialism that has remained powerfully relevant to this day.

Having studied in New York City under American painter Reginald Marsh, Lichtenstein briefly served for the US army during World War II, before going on to study and subsequently teach at Ohio State University. In 1951 the artist had his first solo exhibition at the Carlebach Gallery back in New York, and over the following years he continued to experiment with and establish his own artistic ideas, both conceptually and technically. Spending most of his time working and teaching in New York, Lichtenstein started toying with and developing new ideas in response to the prevailing movement of Abstract Expressionism at the time. He experimented by incorporating well-known cartoon characters such as Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse into his work.

It was at the beginning of the 1960s that he rose to prominence, becoming an important and pioneering member of the emerging Pop Art movement, alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Claes Oldenburg. In 1961 his work was first shown at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, and his career began to acquire critical acclaim and attention not just in the United States but worldwide. Settling permanently in New York, he was working at the apex of the new art movement and his name has since become synonymous with the international rise of Pop Art. In 1964 he resigned from his teaching position at Rutgers University to concentrate his efforts full-time on successfully forging his name in the vibrant art scene in the city.

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Roy Lichtenstein


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