Roy Lichtenstein (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, brushstrokes, landscapes, mirrors, reflections, 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.

Timeline

1923
Born in New York, USA
1937
Enrolled in Saturday morning watercolor classes at Parsons School of Design, New York, USA
Played clarinet, piano, and jazz flute during high school
1939
Saw Picasso’s 1937 masterwork Guernica at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1940
Studied at the Art Students League, New York, USA
1943
Inducted into US Army
1944
Served as a draftsman and artist in G-3 (Plans and Training)
His division was shipped to England, where he saw exhibitions of Cézanne and Toulouse Lautrec, London, England
1945
His unit went to France, Belgium, Germany
1946
Honorable discharge from the army as Private First Class/121st Engineers P Battalion
Recipient, American Service Medal, Eame Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victorious Medal
BFA, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA
1949
MFA, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA
1995
Recipient, National Medal of the Arts
1996
Recipient, Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
1997
Died in New York, USA

Exhibitions

2013
Pop Art Accrochage, Fluegel-Roncak Gallery, Nuremberg, Germany
Word And Image, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, USA
Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, Tate Modern, London, England
The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art, Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York, USA
Vibrations, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, USA
The 60s In The Guggenheim Collections: From Informel To Pop Art, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
Il Guggenheim: L'avanguardia americana 1945–1980, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy
bedroom, Collectors Contemporary, Singapore
2012
Roy Lichtenstein, The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Pop remix, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia
Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
Roy Lichtenstein, The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Canada
The 1960s, The University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Canada
Roy Lichtenstein: Landscapes in the Chinese Style, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
2011
Roy Lichtenstein, Gallery Tagboat, Tokyo, Japan
ROY LICHTENSTEIN, Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong
Three Landscapes: A Film Installation by Roy Lichtenstein, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Entablatures, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA
ROY LICHTENSTEIN: Dots and Stripes, Galerie Fluegel-Roncak, Nuremberg, Germany
Roy Lichtenstein: Black & White 1961 - 1968, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
Roy Lichtenstein: Posters and more, Ludwig Galerie Schloß Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany
2010
The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: Selected Works, National Gallery of Art Washington, D.C. (solo)
Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art, Museo Triennale, Milan, Italy (solo)
Roy Lichtenstein: Still Lifes, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Roy Lichtenstein: Kunst als Motiv, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Roy Lichtenstein, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2009
Lichtenstein: in Process, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, USA
2008
Liebe. Love. Paare, Gustav-Lubcke-Museum, Hamm, Germany
Ruscha and Pop: Icons of the 1960s, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, USA
2007
Art Market Now, The Columns, Seoul, Korea
Pop Art Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, England
2006
Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern Art, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA
2005
Pollock To Pop: America's Brush With Dali, Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, USA
Contemporary Voices, Foundation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland
2004
Reina Sofía, Roy Lichtenstein, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Hayward Gallery, Roy Lichtenstein, London, England (solo)
Langen Foundation Hombroich, Bilder der Stille – Eröffnungsausstellung, Neuss, Germany
Kunst Haus, International Exhibition of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art, Dresden, Germany
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 20 years, Salzburg, Austria
Centre de Cultura Contemporània, AT WAR, Barcelona, Spain
Albertina, Pop Art & Minimalismus, Vienna, Austria
Neue Nationalgalerie, Das MoMA, Berlin, Germany
Moderna Museet, The Pontus Hultén Collection, Stockholm, Sweden
Wexner Center for the Arts, Splat Boom Pow!, Columbus, USA
Dots, Stripes and Strokes, Andipa Gallery, London, England (solo)
2003
Roy Lichtenstein, BA-CA Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA (solo)
NRW-Forum, AUTO-NOM, Dusseldorf, Germany
Neue Galerie, SUPPORT 1 - Die Neue Galerie als Sammlung, Graz, Austria
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
Museum kunst palast, Dusseldorf, Germany
Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
2002
Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finaland (solo)
Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany (solo)
Galerie Terminus, Munich, Germany (solo)
Tate Liverpool, England
2001
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, USA (solo)
Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Leo Castelli, New York, USA (solo)
2000
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1999
Lawrence Rubin, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA (solo)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA (solo)
1998
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (solo)
1994
Roy Lichtenstein: Retrospective, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (solo)
1993
Galerie Friebe, Lüdenscheid, Germany (solo)
1987
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, USA (solo)
Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany
1975
Centre national d'art contemporain, Paris, France
Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, Germany
1972
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, USA
1969
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
1967
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, USA
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netheralnds
1966
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, USA
1964
Gallery Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, France
1962
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, USA
New Realists, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA
New Painting of Common Objects, Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, USA

Public Collections

MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego - MCASD La Jolla, La Jolla, CA
Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL
Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, TN
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY
Berardo Museum - Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal
Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona, Spain
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Tate Britain, London, England
Tate Modern, London, England
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland
Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Ludwig Galerie - Schloß Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany
Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art - Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran
Museo D'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina - MADRE, Naples, Italy
MART- Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Lichtenstein
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney - MCA, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , Vienna, Austria
National Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
MAMAC - Musee d´Art Moderne et d`Art Contemporain Nice, Nice, France
IAC - Institut d'art contemporain Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes, Villeurbanne, France