Painting on Blue and Yellow Wall
Woodcut and lithograph
47 3/16 x 31 9/16 in.
Edition of 60
Pencil signed, dated and numbered
Accompanied with COA by Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art
Condition: This work is in excellent condition.
ABOUT THE WORK:
Painting on Blue and Yellow Wall is from Lichtenstein's Paintings Series. This work is a parody and self parody made up of juxtapositions. It is the representation of an image and an image in itself, where "high art" and "low art" collide in a single setting. Painterly abstract expressionistic brushstrokes are interwoven with Lichtenstein's own interpretation of abstract expressionist brushstrokes in a balanced composition. The positioning of the portrayed canvas is interesting in itself. The represented canvas is almost denied full attention as it competes with the vibrant yellow and blue wall-field of simulated wood grain. The frame of the depicted Abstract Expressionist image is unleveled and cropped. The act of cropping is fundamentally "Pop," as it insists on the object-quality of a work of art rather than the illusion of the work of art as a window on the world.
ABOUT THIS ARTIST:
Roy Lichtenstein (October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was a prominent American Pop artist. His work defined the basic premise of pop art better than any other through parody. Favoring the old-fashioned comic strip as subject matter, Lichtenstein produced hard-edged, precise compositions that documented while it parodied often in a tongue-in-cheek humorous manner.
In 1961, Lichtenstein began his first pop paintings using cartoon images and techniques derived from the appearance of commercial printing. This phase would continue to 1965, and included the use of advertising imagery suggesting consumerism and homemaking. His first work to feature the large-scale use of hard-edged figures and Ben-Day dots was Look Mickey in 1961. This piece came from a challenge from one of his sons, who pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said: "I bet you can't paint as good as that, eh, dad?".
Lichtenstein had his first one-man show at the Castelli gallery in 1962; the entire collection was bought by influential collectors before the show even opened. It was at this time, that Lichtenstein began to find fame not just in America, but worldwide. His work featured thick outlines, bold colors and Ben-Day dots to represent certain colors, as if created by photographic reproduction. However, rather than attempt to reproduce his subjects, his work tackled the way mass media portrays them.
In the 1970's and 1980's, his style began to loosen and he expanded on what he had done before. His style was replaced with more surreal works. His "mirror" paintings consist of sphere-shaped canvases with areas of color and dots. Lichtenstein also created a series of still lifes (paintings that show inanimate objects) in different styles during the 1970's. In the 1980's and 1990's, Lichtenstein began to mix and match styles. Often his works relied on optical (relating to vision) tricks, drawing his viewers into a debate over the nature of "reality".
Lichtenstein’s work is included in numerous museums, such as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Denver Art Museum, Denver; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Foundation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
About Roy Lichtenstein (Artist)
Roy Lichtenstein is one of the principal figures of the American Pop art movement, along with Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg and Robert Rauschenberg. Drawing inspiration from comic strips, Lichtenstein appropriated techniques commercial printing in his paintings, introducing a vernacular sensibility to the visual landscape of contemporary art. He employed visual elements such as the halftone dots that comprise a printed image, and a comic-inspired use of primary colors gave his paintings their signature “Pop” palette.
Born and raised in New York City, Lichtenstein enjoyed Manhattan’s myriad cultural offerings and comic books in equal measure. He began painting seriously as a teenager, studying watercolor painting at the Parsons School of Design in the late 1930s, and later at the Art Students League, where he worked with American realist painter Reginald Marsh. He began his undergraduate education at Ohio State University in 1940, and after a three year-stint in the United States Army during World War II, he completed his bachelor’s degree and then his master’s in fine arts. The roots of Lichtenstein’s interest in the convergence of high art and popular culture are evident even in his early years in Cleveland, where in the late 1940s, he taught at Ohio State, designed window displays for a department store and painted his own pieces.
Working at the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement in the 1950s, Lichtenstein deliberately eschewed the sort of painting that was held in high esteem by the art world and chose instead to explore the visual world of print advertising and comics. This gesture of recontextualizing a lowbrow image by importing it into a fine-art context would become a trademark of Lichtenstein’s artistic style, as well as a vehicle for his critique of the concept of good taste. His 1963 painting Whaam! confronts the viewer with an impact scene from the 1962 DC Comic All American Men of War. Isolated from its larger context, this image combines the playful lettering and brightly colored illustration of the original comic with a darker message about military conflict at the height of the cold war. Crying Girl from the same year featured another of Lichtenstein’s motifs — a woman in distress, depicted with a mixture of drama and deadpan humor. His work gained a wider audience by creating a comic-inspired mural for the New York State Pavilion of the 1964 World's Fair, he went on to be represented by legendary New York gallerist Leo Castelli for 30 years.
In the 1970s and ’80s, Lichtenstein experimented with abstraction and began exploring basic elements of painting, as in this 1989 work Brushstroke Contest. In addition to paintings in which the brushstroke itself became the central subject, in 1984 he created a large-scale sculpture called Brushstrokes in Flight for the Port Columbus International Airport in Ohio. Still Life with Windmill from 1974 and the triptych Cow Going Abstract from 1982 both demonstrate a break from his earlier works where the subjects were derived from existing imagery. Here, Lichtenstein paints subjects more in line with the norms of art history — a pastoral scene and a still life — but he has translated their compositions into his signature graphic style, in which visual elements of printed comics are still a defining feature.
Lichtenstein’s work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, and many others. He was awarded National Medal of Arts in 1995, two years before he passed away.
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