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The first topics that brought Lichtenstein’s work to public attention was appropriated from comic strips, but his later themes owed their visual syntax to themes from “high” culture, particularly the history of modern art. Pictured here is an example of his interpretations of Oskar Schlemmer's Bauhaus Staircase, In any case, his sense of irony is coupled with a strikingly positive spirit.

Roy Lichtenstein became a leading figure in the new art movement during the 1960s - along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist and among others. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody. Inspired by the comic strip, Lichtenstein produced precise compositions that documented while they parodied, often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style. His artwork was considered to be "disruptive". He described pop art as "not 'American' painting but actually industrial painting". His paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City.

*1923-1997

Roy Lichtenstein

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Magna on canvas, 152,0 x 152,0 cm
 Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
 © akg-images
 Roy Lichtenstein © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Bildrecht, Wien 2021 Lichtenstein, Roy (1923-1997), USA

251 | M-Maybe (Bild eines Mädchens), 1965

Oil and magna on canvas, 127,3 x 102,2 cm 
 Private Collection
 © Christie‘s Images Ltd – ARTOTHEK
 Roy Lichtenstein © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Bildrecht, Wien 2021

252 | Woman with Flowered Hat (Frau mit Blumenhut), 1963

Oil and magna on canvas, 2 parts, each 172,7 x 210,8 cm
 Tate Gallery of Modern Art, London, UK
 © akg-images
 Roy Lichtenstein © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Bildrecht, Wien 2021

253 | Whaam!, 1963

Oil and magna on canvas, 238,8 x 167,7 cm 
 The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA 
 © akg-images
 Roy Lichtenstein © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Bildrecht, Wien 2021

254 | Bauhaus Stairway (Bauhaus Treppe – nach Oskar Schlemmer), 1988

Oil and magna on canvas, three panels, each 254,0 x 152,5 cm, together 254,0 x 457,5 cm
 Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel, Switzerland
 © akg-images
 Roy Lichtenstein © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Bildrecht, Wien 2021

255 | Peace through Chemistry (Frieden durch Chemie), 1970

Oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 171,6 x 169,5cm
 Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
 © Fine Art Images – ARTOTHEK
 Roy Lichtenstein © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Bildrecht, Wien 2021

256 | Drowning Girl (Ertrinkendes Mädchen), 1963

Oil and magna on canvas, three panels, each 254,0 x 152,5 cm, together 254,0 x 457,5 cm
 Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, USA
 © akg-images
 Roy Lichtenstein © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Bildrecht, Wien 2021

257 | Figures in Landscape (Figuren in Landscha), 1977

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Lichtenstein extended his source material to art history, including the work of Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, and experimented with three-dimensional works. During a trip to Los Angeles in 1978, Lichtenstein became fascinated by lawyer Robert Gore Rifkind’s collection of German Expressionist prints and illustrated books, and in 1980 began exploring the Expressionist stylistic vocabulary in paintings such as The White Tree, which evokes the lyricism of Der Blaue Reiter landscapes, and Expressionist Head that mimics Erich Heckel’s 1919 woodcut, Portrait of a Man. Lichtenstein also created a number of small pencil drawings that he used as templates for woodcuts, a medium favoured by Emile Nolde and Max Pechstein among other Expressionist artists. The culmination of this exploration was the Expressionist Woodcut Series, 1980. This set of seven woodcuts includes motifs that echo the Expressionist masterpieces, such as Dr. Waldmann, which recalls Otto Dix’s Dr. Mayer-Hermann, 1926, and Reclining Nude: an addition to Lichtenstein’s repertoire of iconography that had hitherto excluded nude figures. Lichtenstein’s use of appropriated imagery has influenced artists such as Richard Prince, Jeff Koons and Raymond Pettibon.

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