Gagosian is pleased to participate in TEFAF New York Spring with a special presentation of works by Roy Lichtenstein.
Merging mechanical reproduction, drawing, and bright color, Lichtenstein’s work is synonymous with Pop art, a movement he helped to inaugurate. Paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from 1962 to 1980 attest to his broad range of styles and subject matter.
In his early work, Lichtenstein borrowed from mass media, most notably imitating the Benday dot printing process used in comic books and newspapers in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Head: Yellow and Black (1962) depicts a young woman in profile, a dense field of dots shading the background. The subject is based on illustrated advertisements for new hairstyles that appeared in magazines during the 1950s, and its reductive palette recalls the then-ubiquitous Yellow Pages—vernacular print culture translated into oil paint on canvas. Relatedly, in Girl in Mirror (1964), Lichtenstein depicts a smiling woman’s reflection in porcelain enamel on steel, a highly durable medium often used for street and advertising signs.
Perceiving the connections between printed illustrations and Modernism—flat planes, bold geometries, compressed space—Lichtenstein soon turned to reinterpreting art historical movements including Impressionism, Futurism, and Abstract Expressionism. The jagged lines of Woman Reading and Forest Scene (Study), as well as the juxtaposed patterns in the sculpture Expressionist Head (all 1980), further transform the German Expressionists’ own painterly interpretations of woodblock prints, while Modern Painting with Ionic Column and Modern Sculpture with Glass Wave (both 1967) explore Art Deco’s interplay between curved and straight lines, as well as abstract and classical motifs.
In 1976, Lichtenstein began a series of sculptures in painted and patinated bronze depicting partially filled drinking glasses. Glass V (1977–78) and Little Glass (1979) create optical illusions as planes of blue and yellow outlined in black cause the image to flip between two- and three-dimensionality, transparency and reflection. These sculptures epitomize Lichtenstein’s ability to combine the illusionistic techniques of painting, sculpture, and design—a feat that has had a far-reaching impact on modern and contemporary art at large.
To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at [email protected].