Profile on: Roy Lichtenstein, pop artist

This is the fifth in a series of posts about interesting, inspiring and influential people. Today’s profile is on artist Roy Lichtenstein, whose work you’ll most certainly be familiar with.

Roy Lichtenstein
Image from Wikipedia

Who: Roy Lichtenstein, American pop artist
Born: 27th October, 1923
Died: 29th September, 1997 (aged 73)
Claim to fame: Old-fashioned comic strip style pop art

Snapshot of Notable Facts & Achievements:

  • Lichtenstein became interested in art and design as a hobby.
  • In 1939 (his last year of high school), Lichtenstein enrolled in summer classes at the Art Students League of New York then continued from 1940 – 1943 at Ohio State University in Columbus.
  • Lichtenstein did military service in World War II in Europe and returned to Columbus in 1946.
  • Completed his Master of Fine Arts in 1949.
  • Was influenced by Cézanne, Picasso, Mondrian and Vincent van Gogh.
  • His early works are categorised under the post World War II art movement Abstract Expressionism.
  • Lichtenstein taught from 1946 – 1951 at Ohio State University, followed by the Sate University of New York at Oswego from 1957 and Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Jersey from 1960 – 1963.
  • At Douglass College he met other artists that encouraged his interest in cartoon imagery, and in 1961 Lichtenstein adopted the comic strip style that he is now synonymous with.


© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago

  • Lichtenstein’s Pop paintings mimic commercial printing techniques and imitations of Ben Day dots used in newspaper printing.
  • He applied these techniques to paintings based on small advertisements from 1962 to approximately 1964.
  • In the mid to late 60s Lichtenstein began producing screen prints. His reputation grew.
  • In the next years he added sculpture to his repertoire, including the use of motifs that referenced Art Deco architecture.
  • Earlier this year, the comic painting Sleeping Girl (1964) from the collection of Beatrice and Phillip Gersh established a new Lichtenstein record $44.8 million at Sotheby’s.

There is an exhibition about Roy Lichtenstein at the Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs, Northern Territory until the 10th of June 2013.

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