Yesterday, I went to The Art Institute of Chicago where I visited the on-going exhibition of the works of Roy Lichtenstein. It is a huge exhibition, the first major survey of his work since his death in 1997. It covers 50 years of Lichtenstein’s art and includes over 100 paintings and some sculptures and drawings that have never previously been publicly shown. For me, enlightening. While I have enjoyed his Pop Art “comic book” style, I was never aware of the depth and the scope of this artist’s work. The exhibition is only in Chicago for another 2 weeks but then will travel to the National Gallery in Washington, DC and finally to Paris’ Centre Pompidou . I highly recommend that, should you find yourself in one of these cities, you check it out. Actually, the Lichtenstein exhibition may be the perfect excuse to visit Paris or Washington!
I was particularly taken with a section that is comprised of paintings of mirrors, mirrors that reflect nothing but capture the essence of “mirror-ness”. Lichtenstein worked within his well established patterns of dots, flat blocks of color and strong lines and curves to give the impression of light and reflection. The impression of reflection, not reflection. Absolutely fantastic!!
In another section, he has parodied some extremely well known artistic pieces, re-creating them in a style all his own. I was taken by Lichtenstein’s rendering of Brancusi’s Sleeping Head, one of my all time favorite sculptures.
There are several of Lichtenstein’s Art Deco sculptures done in the years 1967-68. He has recreated elegant Art Deco motifs found in the theatres of the 20′s and 30′s. As the wall-text, explains, Lichtenstein has “humorously stylized an already stylized style”. A “must see”!
So then, I go to the Poster Catalogue. While we have but two Lichtenstein posters, they are 2 very different ones. Our webmaster has the MOMA poster on the wall in his office so I have spent many hours with that dramatic woman representative of Lichtenstein’s best known style. The poster for the exhibition at the Daniel Templon Gallery show cases his mastery of bold brush strokes.
Roy Lichtenstein is a multifaceted artist. Get to this exhibition if you possibly can. A real treat!