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Lichtenstein of the Week

Where else to start but the beginning? Among the earliest works in Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective (open now to members and May 22 to the public) are paintings from the late 1950s that iterate Lichtenstein's exploration into the dominant style of the time, Abstract Expressionism. This post-war style—think Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko—was characterized by gestural brushstrokes, emotional disclosure, the illusion of spontaneity, and generally abstracted subject matter...not exactly the hallmarks of Lichtenstein's mature work. The room reminds us that artists don't magically arrive at their signature style, but work through different ideas to find their own voice.

Lichtenstein went on to create his first Pop painting, Look Mickey, in 1961, so he wasn't long for this type of painting, but he did return to the brushstroke much later in his career. Stay tuned...

Image Credit: Roy Lichtenstein. Untitled, 1959. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. Private Collection.