24 May to 27 September 1998
A concentrated insight into the artist's
work and ideas
|Roy Lichtenstein, who was born in New York in 1923, is considered as one of the chief exponents of American Pop Art, together with Andy Warhol. Pop artists introduced the banal aesthetics of commercialism into their paintings, apparently at face value, in order to challenge Abstract Expressionism's supremacy by means of a new Realism. In 1961, in "Look Mickey", Lichtenstein first used a single image from a comic strip. That work was also the first in which he used the pattern of dots so typical of his art.
Yet closer observation of Lichtenstein's oeuvre, which embraces diverse motifs such as landscapes, still lifes, interiors and quotations from the history of modern painting, reveals that his tribute to the aesthetics of day-to-day life was ambiguous and that his way of working involved both give and take. He selected his subjects very carefully and then transmuted them into a piece of autonomous painting - works that enrich and continue the history of painting through new techniques.
Roy Lichtenstein died in September 1997. This project of the Fondation Beyeler is the first major museum exhibition since his death. The approximately 70 works exhibited represent all the phases of his work from the beginning of the 1960s onwards.
A video lounge furnished with the latest creations by the Danish designer Verner Panton forms an integral part of this exhibition. The lounge contains six monitors on which one can see a selection of classic cartoons, as well as abstract animated films, dating from the 1920s up until the present day. (The films were selected by Frank Braun.)