Black and White

Roy Lichtenstein's Black and White Head, with Curtains in the Background

Roy Lichtenstein’s Black and White Head, with Curtains in the Background

According to Wiki, Roy Lichtenstein (1923 –1997) was an American pop artist. During the 1960s he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the basic premise of pop art better than any other through parody. Favoring the comic strip as his main inspiration, Lichtenstein produced hard-edged, precise compositions that documented while it parodied often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style. He described pop art as, “not ‘American’ painting but actually industrial painting”. The following is the Saint Louis Art Museum’s description of his sculpture, “Black and White Head”:

Alternating areas of black and white interspersed with patterned dots create the appearance of shadow and light on a woman’s head and stiffly set hairdo. Carefully coiffed bombshell beauties lifted from comics, movies, and television are recurring figures in Roy Lichtenstein’s art. The dots on the woman’s face recall the Ben-Day printing process, which Lichtenstein imitated and manipulated in his paintings and sculptures, a style for which he became best-known. Here Lichtenstein transfers two-dimensional methods into three-dimensional sculpture.

The black and white painting in the background is also a Lichtenstein, entitled “Curtains”. It was a gift to the Saint Louis Art Museum from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer Jr. It was painted in 1962, using oil and magna on canvas. The following text is the Slammer’s write-up on this art work:

In his black and white paintings of the early 1960s, Roy Lichtenstein drew from popular, mass-produced imagery. Here, the source was a newspaper advertisement. The frilly kitchen curtains with matching valance suggest the banal, suburban developments of post-war America. While the image implies a critique of consumerism, it also presents a visual pun on the classical notion of painting as a window onto the world.

Showing some sign of recovery, Dan sent out a Facebook invitation today, to an art opening next month. He will be showing a new piece in this show. In local art news, Anne is almost finished with a pair of mittens for me!

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