Roy Lichtenstein Woodcuts

Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York in 1923 as the son of a realtor and a housewife. Next to Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein is considered the great artist of the Pop Art movement. The use of familiar subjects like comic strips, bank notes or advertising themes, makes the art of Roy Lichtenstein easily accessible.

Roy Lichtenstein grew up under no specific artistic influence - neither at home nor at school. But at the age of 14 he attended a painting class at Parson's School of Design every Saturday morning. From 1940 to 1943 Lichtenstein studied in New York at the Art Students' League. Then Roy was drafted to the US Army and served in Europe during War II. Back from the army, Roy studied at the Ohio State University from 1946 and received his M.A. in 1949. Like Andy Warhol, Roy worked in the commercial graphic business for a while - making designs and decorating shop windows. From 1957 on, he taught at different universities.

Roy Lichtenstein's first experiments with popular images go back to 1956, when he created the famous Ten Dollar Bill print. Then followed a three year period of abstract painting. "Abstract expressionism" was the dominating art movement at that time. Roy was then in his late thirties and an unknown artist.

The drastic change in Roy's career came with his first painting in the style of a comic strip. It was a painting of Mickey Mouse Artwork and Donald Duck Artwork. The story goes, that he painted it for his kids who had provoked him by saying that "daddy could not paint as well as the images in the comic books". So it may have been his own kids, who are responsible for, the artist's move into the world of art celebraties.

Roy Lichtenstein worked a lot with stencils, thus producing rows of oversized dots that should make his paintings or prints look like a huge mass publication product. Although he prepared and executed his works painstakingly like the old masters, he wanted his works of art look like machine made. One of his peculiarities was, that Roy did not want his brush strokes to be seen.

Other than paintings and sculptures, Roy Lichtenstein, produced number of prints for which he used different techniques: lithographs, screenprints, etchings and woodcuts. Often he combined these techniques in one print.

Lichtenstein is usually characterized as ironic, humorous and witty. Roy openly commented on his own works. The citations below - mostly taken from interviews - show a very sensitive, intelligent and overt personality.

"Commercial art had all of the aspects that were needed to get across a new form of painting which just seemed to be interesting".

"All my art is in some way about other art, even if the other art is cartoons."

When asked, if he disliked the title "pop artist", Roy Lichtenstein answered: "If people use the word pop to differentiate it from art, then I would not like the idea too much. It is inevitable I am going to be called a pop artist. The name is going to stick, no matter what I think."

Roy Lichtenstein Etching

Roy Lichtenstein Screenprint

"Rainforest" Screenprint n 300-gram handmade Fabriano paper. From the Columbus: In Search of a New Tomorrow portfolio. The portfolio was intiated by Artists United for Nature.

Roy Lichtenstein Print

Roy Lichtenstein Artwork

"Sunrise" Offset Lithograph on lightweight, white wove paper.Signed in pencil lower right.1965 is the date given in Bianchini (1971); no other documentation confirming date has been found.

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