Exhibit Information

Morgan Library & Museum

Address 225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Click here for quick directions
Phone Number 212-685-0008

Website http://www.themorgan.org

Roy Lichtenstein: The Black-and-White Drawings, 1961–1968

Opening: 9/24/2010 - Closing: 1/2/2011

INSPIRED BY COMMERCIAL ILLUSTRATIONS AND COMIC STRIPS, THE WORKS WERE ESSENTIAL TO THE ARTIST’S DEVELOPMENT AND ADD AN IMPORTANT CHAPTER TO THE STORY OF POP ART AND THE HISTORY OF DRAWING

Roy Lichtenstein [1923-1997] has long been considered one of the Key-Figures in Pop-Art. His brightly-colored paintings are Cornerstones of Museum-Collections. [This means—like works by Jeff Koons—everyone has to have one!]

The new show at the Morgan Library & Museum presents 55 large-scale, black-&-white works, examining Lichtenstein’s exploration of Drawing. They are important, as he began appropriating Commercial-Illustrations & Comic-Strips as Subject-Matter. [He didn’t have Rembrandt’s Saskia or his Mirror…]

Lichtenstein became famous for simulating Commercial-Reproduction-Techniques such as the famous Benday-Dot Printing-Process. The viewer can follow the development of the black-&-white drawings through the rendering of these dot-patterns. Lichtenstein never drew them freehand, but experimented with a variety of approaches, perfected to mimic the effect of Mechanical-Printing.

Influenced by the Happenings staged by Allan Kaprow, George Segal, & Claes Oldenburg—incorporating everyday-objects & Popular-Culture—Lichtenstein was inspired by such sources as Clippings from Newspapers, Magazines, & Telephone-books.

The show underscores the two themes that came to dominate the drawings—Household-Objects & Comic-Book Scenes of War & Romance—illustrating how Lichtenstein endowed them with a Heightened-Psychological-Resonance & Formal-Intensity, raising them to the level of High-Art. [This Judgment depends entirely on what you regard as a High in Art…]

Keds was inspired by an advertisement for Sears, Roebuck & Company. Lichtenstein reworked the composition to give greater emphasis to the Geometric--Pattern of the Sole.

Bratatat & Jet-Pilot are two drawings inspired by War-Comics. Both are close-up-views of a Pilot in his Cockpit, with attention lavished on the details of his Accoutrements. [Too early for a Cell-Phone, unfortunately…]

As part of a long-ago Aspen Festival of Contemporary-Art, Lichtenstein drew with black-tape on the wall of a white-room, outlining its Architectural-Elements. The only extant part of this Project—a door with the words Nok!! Nok!!—is on-view, together with unpublished-photographs of the room.

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