Pop art is that mid 1950’s art movement which knocked the art world on its can (think Andy Warhol – Campbell Soup can) by challenging the notion of what is art and introducing popular culture into the mix. Along with Warhol, the artwork of Roy Lichtenstein is probably what comes to mind when one conjures up an image of American Pop Art. Combing through the halls of a museum is not what my husband and I consider fun, unless it is a car museum. We take a very curatorial approach to museums (save the arguments to the contrary), going for exactly what interests us. In this case the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit at Le Centre Pompidou in Paris. There is just something about his use of bold colors, graphic nature and sense of whimsy one finds captivating. Please note, these pictures do not include any of the works for which photography was prohibited. Roy Lichtenstein established a style based on Ben-Day dots, primary colors, and clean lines. The colors are usually very concise with no mixing or smearing into one another. In 1961 after producing a painting Look Mickey, based on the stylized commercial images of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, his work turned to images of the comic strips and advertisements. On rare occasions he deviated from his norm such as these which are color on color rather than the typical color on white. In 1962 he began woking on paintings which echoed a thematic movement based on works by Picasso, Mondrian, Léger, Brancusi and Matisse, though in a more simplified form. He continued t0 capture the zest of other artists later on such as in this 1985 painting titled Fishing Village. Personally I am drawn to his interiors and was lucky enough to select one from Deitch Projects to use on a interior design project a few years back. He was very prolific right up until he died. In 1995 he shifted gears. For his final triumph he took inspiration from the Chinese paintings he had admired since art school. Be began a series of landscapes with almost monochromatic use of colors which capture a softer more spiritual sensibility. And there is always a but… Clearly my husband, Jeff, gravitated to this comical work for a number of reasons. Oddly enough this painting was created the year I was born. So if any of you are the connect-the-dots or find-hidden-meanings people, what is your take on this?
The exhibit in Paris closed November 4th. But if you would like more information on some of the works in the exhibit take a peek at France 24 for your own mini showing.