(American, 1923–1997), painter and sculptor, was a leading member of the Pop Art movement. Born in New York City, Lichtenstein attended the Art Students League during his teenage years, before enrolling at Ohio State University to study art. In 1943, Lichtenstein was drafted into the army, serving for three years before returning to school. In 1949 he received an MFA, and continued to teach and to paint in Ohio for several years. His early 1950s works, painted in a European Modernist style, frequently depict uniquely “American” subject matters, including scenes of western expansion and even an adaptation of Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
’s famous Washington Crossing the Delaware
In the 1960s, Lichtenstein moved to New Jersey to teach at Rutgers University, and began his iconic comic strip works, which marked a distinct break with his previous aesthetic. He painted images inspired by newspaper ads and comic strips in both subject matter and style, developing a technique
that mimicked the screen-printed Ben-Day dots used in print media. Lichtenstein was motivated to create works that no one would want to hang on the walls, later commenting that “The one thing everyone hated was commercial art; apparently they didn't hate that enough, either. A solo show of such works at the Leo Castelli Gallery
in 1962 garnered him critical acclaim and notoriety in the art world. His work continued to incorporate pop culture
themes, displaying static images of figures
, and other subject matters in an ironic style. His later works feature close examinations of illusionism and the representation of reality in art. A very prolific, celebrated, and sought-after artist, Lichtenstein created many public sculptures
during his lifetime, and his work has been the subject of many retrospectives around the world. He died in New York City in 1997, at 74 years old.