Feb 19 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
WORKS from the famous Whaam! to lesser known landscapes have gone on display in a retrospective of Pop Artist Roy Lichtenstein.
Tate Modern’s exhibition has been in the making for five years and features more than 125 paintings and sculptures.
The artist was inspired by comic-strips and advertising and was famous for using his signature hand-painted Benday dots.
Works on display include Look Mickey (1961), which was a breakthrough for the 37-year-old artist and considered to be his first Pop painting.
The work was based on an illustration from Donald Duck Lost And Found (1960), owned by the artist’s sons.
Other works such as Sponge (1962) suggest “the portrayal of women as an extension of the household appliance”.
Lichtenstein used comic strip clippings instead of live models for his series of nudes, imagining how the comic book characters would look nude and then painting them.
Co-curator Sheena Wagstaff said that the exhibition was the first “complete retrospective since the artist’s death” in 1997, at the age of 73.
She said: “The Pop images really hit a chord. it was the first time that anyone looked at this type of material and thought about it transcending into art....it caused a stir.
“It was extraordinary for its moment, totally radical. it established Lichtenstein... Scratch any artist and you can probably see the influence of Lichtenstein.
“He’s ubiquitous in the sensibility of most of the artists that are alive today.”
Lichtenstein’s widow Dorothy said of his popularity: “He used to joke that somebody will come and shake him awake and he’d be in a nursing home and someone would be saying ‘time for your medicine’.”
The exhibition, sponsored by Bank Of America Merrill Lynch, runs from February 21 to May 27 at Tate Modern.