Drawing for Modular Painting with 4 Panels, #3 (2)
Medium: Graphite and colored pencils on paper
Image size: 6.0125 x 6”
Sheet size: irregular; 10 x 9.825”
Frame Size: 17.75 x 17.75”
Included in the Lichtenstein Online Catalogue Raisonne
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An innovative artist and founder of the American Pop Art movement, Roy Lichtenstein is best known for his re-appropriation of the Ben Day dot pattern, a printing process similar to Pointillism, which was initially used in commercial engraving. Alluding to the mechanical technique used in newspapers and comic strips through a use of bold colors, thick lines, and texture and gradient, the artist created works that referenced popular culture by whimsically addressing the gimmicks of their conventions. Hailed ultimately for his style of “paraphrasing” (most notably in the instance of otherwise despised images and subject matter), Lichtenstein remains a pivotal figure of the movement.
The artist created his first portfolio of works in the 1950s, after his studies at the Art Students League of New York. The result was a series of paintings surrounding medieval times, which were rendered in a style reflective of the Swiss-German artist Paul Klee. Lichtenstein’s works would later transition in approach, shifting towards a new style of expressionism that was more inclusive of satire and traditionally reminiscent of American genre cowboys and Indians. It was not until the 1960s, however, that the artist developed his signature style of expression. During this exemplary period in his career, Lichtenstein gained popularity through his trademark use of parody, irony, and cliché. By 1962, he had secured his first solo exhibit at the Leo Castelli Gallery, which was entirely sold out to collectors before the opening night. Lichtenstein’s fame grew exponentially from that point forward.
Roy Lichtenstein was born in Manhattan in 1923. As a boy in New York City, he had a passion for both science and comic books. Upon discovering his interest in art, Lichtenstein began his studies at Parsons School of Design in 1937, and shortly following, studied under Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League. In 1940, Lichtenstein attended Ohio State University; however, his studies were hindered due to his obligations to the US Army during the draft of World War II. During this time, he was greatly influenced by the works of European masters and contemporary artists living in France. Lichtenstein ultimately completed his studies at Ohio State University and thereafter continued his teaching career at different universities. Over the ensuing decades, Lichtenstein continued to hone his craft as a painter, printmaker and sculptor. He passed away in 1997 due to complications from pneumonia. Roy Lichtenstein’s art now hangs in museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and Tate Modern in London.