Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Think art, think primary colours, think thousands of tiny dots and you’ll conclude with the definer and refiner of pop art, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997). For the first time since his death, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, are presenting the largest exhibition of Lichtenstein’s paintings, drawings and sculptures. Over 100 works will fill the exhibition, providing an overview of Lichtenstein’s influential career. Opening on October 14 and running until January 13, 2013, A Retrospective spans Lichestein’s expansive legacy, including his classic early pop art paintings, his distorted versions of paintings by the modern masters, and a series of Brushstrokes, Mirrors, Artist’s Studios, Nudes, and Landscapes in a Chinese Style.

So influential is Lichtenstein, that his work has been the subject of more than 240 solo exhibitions. This new exhibition will be on view across the world, beginning at the National Gallery and then opening at the Tate on February 21, 2013 and again at Centre Pompidou Paris on July 3, 2013. What distinguished Lichtenstein from his contemporaries was his use of intricately hand-painted yet mechanical-looking dots. These dots made up his signature technique and were able to create areas of tone and colour. Opening the exhibition will be The National Gallery’s own Look Mickey (1961), which is an early example of his dot method. A Retrospective will be carefully arranged both chronologically and thematically, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of Lichtenstein’s work.

Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art notes, “With his unique combination of technical invention, deadpan humor, and cultural daring, Roy Lichtenstein moved the line between commercial and fine art and changed the way we look at our world. It is impossible to imagine contemporary art without his signature dots. We are delighted to be able to honor the career of this iconic artist with this major exhibition,” adding that the new exhibition will, “allow our visitors to revisit Lichtenstein’s familiar works and examine those rarely seen. Given his use of art history in so much of his work, the exhibition at the Gallery puts this 20th-century master in a broader context.”

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, October 14, 2012 until January 13, 2012, National Gallery of Art, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565.

1. Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Philip Johnson Fund (by exchange) and Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley Wright, 1971, copyright Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.
2. Cubist Still Life, Roy Lichtenstein, 1974, courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Lila Acheson Wallace, copyright Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.
3. Masterpiece, Roy Lichtenstein, 1962, courtesy of Agnes Gund Collection, New York, courtesy of Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.
4. Femme d’Alger, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963, courtesy of The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection, Los Angeles, copyright Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.
5. Sunrise, Roy Lichtenstein, 1965, Private collection, copyright Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.
6. As I Opened Fire, Roy Lichtenstein, 1964, courtesy of Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, copyright Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.