May 16–September 3, 2012 – The Art Institute of Chicago
This exhibition, the first presentation of the full scope and breadth of Roy Lichtenstein’s career since his death in 1997, aims to offer a new, scholarly assessment of the work of this foremost Pop artist. Lichtenstein is an artist whose work is widely known, reproduced, copied, and parodied—he is an artist that we seem to know well but in fact the true diversity and complexity of his oeuvre is little understood.
Presenting over 130 paintings and sculptures, as well as over 30 little- or never-before-seen drawings and collages, this exhibition gives full consideration to all periods of Lichtenstein’s career, including but not limited to, pre-Pop expressionist work, classic Pop Romance and War cartoon paintings, Mirrors, Brushstrokes, Explosions, Artist’s Studio paintings, late nudes, and Chinese Landscapes. Special consideration is given to Lichtenstein’s relationship to art historical sources, ranging from Picasso and Cubism through Surrealism, Futurism, German Expressionism, and the American West.
Finally, the exhibition offers an examination of the artist’s use of alternative media like Plexiglas, Rowlux, and perforated steel in an attempt to broaden the understanding of his art beyond the strictly canonical early Pop paintings.