Cycle 3 Week 17, Roy Lichtenstein

Sorry for the absence. We had two deaths on two sides of the family, and an interstate travel for one of the funerals. That threw a wrench in a lot of things, DD included.

Here is Lichtenstein, and I hope to post Davis tomorrow. I’m so sorry these are behind.

Lichtenstein is interesting. He was a pop artist, who didn’t really believe pop art was going to have a lasting effect. Yet, it still does, and if you know how to spot it, you can see the influences of his style of work in many places.

He also had great detractors. Since his most well-known pieces were giant re-workings of an inch-high single panel of a comic book or cover, a lot of people accuse Lichtenstein, both in his lifetime, and now, of being a mere copyist, with little true creativity of his own. One website has a “Deconstructing Lichtenstein” page, where you can see many of Lichtenstein’s works and the original comic panels they were based on.  The blogger of that site, David Barsalou, is dedicated to reuniting the original artists with the Lichtenstein works they inspired.  There is also a lot of controversy, even among the comic artists themselves, regarding the royalties the comic artists were never paid for inspiring Lichtenstien’s work. Lichtenstein didn’t acknowledge the comic artists either-but that was also a mark of his times.  The comics themselves rarely, if ever, named the artists who had worked on the issue.

So that may be a great discussion topic for the older students this week: what makes art, and when is art a mere copy?  Can the copy by artistic, or valuable on its own merits?  (another angle of this debate would be looking at the Madrid Prado’s copy of the Mona Lisa, which was likely painted by one of DaVinci’s students, and comparing it to DaVinci’s own creation, currently in the Paris Louvre.  Is the copy worthless because it’s a copy? Does it have its own value as a creative work because it was done by another’s hand in a slightly different style?)

Lichtenstein did do a number of non-comic works, including abstracts, sculptures, and other “canvases” with his Ben Day and Halftone dots. But the comic works are the ones he is best-known for.  Kind of like O’Keefe’s flowers.

The Lichtenstein foundation does have an online gallery of his work, as does wikiart.  Be aware there are a few pieces that have stylized nudes in them (at least one full-front female) so if you don’t want your students seeing those, be sure to look first on your own.

CC c3Wk17Roy Lichtenstein

CC c3wk17 Roy Lichtenstein Timeline