The National Gallery of Art in Washington presented the first major exhibition of the work of American icon Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) since his demise.
Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective opened October 14 and was on view until January 13, 2013. The anthology includes more than 100 pieces from all periods of his career: paintings, drawings and sculptures. The exhibition displays the first pop painting by Lichtenstein: Look Mickey (1961), donated to the Gallery by the artist in 1990 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the museum.
ROY LICHTENSTEIN. Look Mickey, 1961.
In the inauguration speech, the Director of the National Gallery of Art, Earl A. Powell III, emphasized, among the many merits of Lichtenstein‘s work, his combination of technical innovation with humor, and the way he moved the boundary between commercial and fine art. Commenting on the display, Powell mentioned the possibility it offers visitors to view works rarely seen before.
The show is arranged in chronological and thematic order: entablatures; early pop; black and white; war and romance (an intense and attractive series that explores the contrasts of expressions of human emotions); brush strokes; landscapes; modern (including posters and works in three dimensions); art history (his own versions of great works of the history of art); mirrors (probably the most complicated series in terms of ideas); studies of the artist (series of monumental works); perfect/imperfect (a series that explores the possibility of the “error”); nudes (purely inspirational fiction and “a challenge to the chaste conventions of classic comic books”) and landscapes in Chinese style.
1. Untitled, 1959.
2. The Ring (Engagement). 1962.
After the exhibition at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, the collection will travel to the Tate Gallery, from February 21 to May 27 2013. The Centre Pompidou in Paris will display a smaller version of the exhibition, from July 2 to November 4, 2013. ■