(1923-1997), USA
  • Born: 1923, Manhattan, New York, USA
  • Died: 1997
Roy Lichtenstein is a pop art painter whose works, in a style derived from comic strips, portray the trivialization of culture endemic in contemporary American life. Using bright, strident colors and techniques borrowed from the printing industry, he ironically incorporates mass-produced emotions and objects into highly sophisticated references to art history.

Born in New York City in 1923, Lichtenstein studied briefly at the Art Students League, then enrolled at Ohio State University. After serving in the army from 1943 to 1946, he returned to Ohio State to get a master's degree and to teach.

Tn 1951, Lichtenstein came back to New York City and had his first one-man show. He also continued to teach, first at the New York State College of Education at Oswego, and later at Douglass College, a division of Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Through the 1950s, Lichtenstein used the basic techniques of abstract expressionism, but incorporated into his compositions such themes as cowboys and Indians and paper money. In 1961, however, while at Douglass College, impressed by the work of colleague Allan Kaprow, he turned to the use of comic-strip and cartoon figures by which he is known today. Flatten... sandfleas (1962, Museum of Modern Art) was the first important example of his new style.

Primary colors--red, yellow and blue, heavily outlined in black--became his favorites. Occasionally he used green. Instead of shades of color, he used the benday dot, a method by which an image is created, and its density of tone modulated in printing. Sometimes he selected a comic-strip scene, recomposed it, projected it onto his canvas and stenciled in the dots. "I want my painting to look as if it had been programmed," Lichtenstein explained.

Despite the fact that many of his paintings are relatively small, Lichtenstein's method of handling his subject matter conveys a sense of monumental size. His images seem massive.

Since 1962, he has turned to the work of artists such as Picasso, Mondrian, and even Monet as inspiration for his work. In the mid-1960s, he also painted sunsets and landscapes in his by-nowfamiliar style. In addition, he has designed ceramic tableware and graphics for mass production.

"I'm interested in portraying a sort of antisensibility that pervades society," Lichtenstein says, summing up his work.

In 1967 his first museum retrospective exhibition was held at the Pasadena Art Museum in California. Also in this year his first solo exhibition in Europe was held at museums in Amsterdam, London, Bern and Hannover. He married his second wife, Dorothy Herzka in 1968.

In the 1970s and 1980s, his work began to loosen and expand on what he had done before. He produced a series of "Artists Studios" which incorporated elements of his previous work. A notable example being Artist's Studio, Look Mickey (1973, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis) which incorporates five other previous works, fitted into the scene.

In the late 1970s, this style was replaced with more surreal works such as Pow Wow (1979, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen). In 1977, he was commissioned by BMW to paint a Group 5 Racing Version of the BMW 320i for the third installment in the BMW Art Car Project. In addition to paintings, he also made sculptures in metal and plastic including some notable public sculptures such as Lamp in St. Mary’s, Georgia in 1978, and over 300 prints, mostly in screenprinting.

His painting Torpedo...Los! sold at Christie's for $5.5 million in 1989, a record sum at the time, making him one of only three living artists to have attracted such huge sums. In 1996 the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. became the largest single repository of the artist's work when he donated 154 prints and 2 books. In total there are some 4,500 works thought to be in circulation.

He died of pneumonia in 1997 at New York University Medical Center.

Title Medium Date Size (cm) Price
Best Buddies
Silkscreen201591x81€ 15,804Picture
Femme au Chapea...
Colour offset lithograph2015155x130€ 1,080Picture
Modern Head Bro...
Object20148x5€ 3,065Picture
Still Life with...
Silkscreen201481x79€ 22,586Picture
Sweet Dreams, B...
Silkscreen201491x66€ 56,464Picture
Silkscreen201463x46€ 0, Not soldPicture
"Seascape 1" , ...
201443x53€ 5,230Picture
Lithograph201348x69€ 10,211Picture
-Maybe he becam...
Colour offset lithograph201328x28€ 459Picture
Colour offset lithograph201318x13€ 452Picture
Sweet Dreams, B...
Silkscreen2013226x163€ 0, Not soldPicture
Drowning Girl
Colour offset201371x71€ 548Picture
Colour offset201323x23€ 351Picture
Three hand sign...
Colour offset201246x46€ 1,545Picture
Colour offset201274x63€ 3,100Picture
Silkscreen2012100x120€ 3,600Picture
Three hand sign...
Colour offset201230x30€ 2,589Picture
Colour offset201268x51€ 12,000Picture
Lithograph2012120x155€ 46,000Picture
Graphic2012148x115€ 60,000Picture
Colour offset201154x54€ 2,800Picture
As I Opened Fir...
Colour offset lithograph201162x155€ 408Picture
Aspen Jazz
Lithograph2011102x66€ 1,967Picture
"As I Opened Fi...
Lithograph201163x153€ 489Picture
As I Opened Fir...
Colour offset lithograph201164x155€ 824Picture
Silkscreen201059x76€ 7,623Picture
Foot and Hand
Colour offset lithograph201042x53€ 9,775Picture
Mirror Series: ...
Silkscreen201087x61€ 2,404Picture
Mirror Series: ...
Silkscreen201075x44€ 1,672Picture
Mirror Series: ...
Silkscreen201076x107€ 1,986Picture
Untitled (Still...
Silkscreen201082x60€ 9,930Picture
As I opened fir...
Colour offset201064x52€ 216Picture
This must be th...
Colour offset lithograph200954x40€ 2,870Picture
As I opened Fir...
Colour offset lithograph200962x52€ 293Picture
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1964
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1965
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1968, Sculpture (Brooch)
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1972
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1973
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1974
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1975
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1980
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1990
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1991
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy 1994
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy
Signature by: LICHTENSTEIN, Roy