Along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein is regarded as one of the prominent artists in the development and popularisation of the Pop Art movement. Born in 1923 in New York City, Lichtenstein grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with a passion for both science and comic books. With a strong interest in art, Lichtenstein enrolled in the Parson School of Design to attend watercolour classes starting in 1937. He later attended lessons in The Art Student League where he studied under world-renowned Realist painter Reginald Mash. Upon his graduation from the Franklin School for Boys in Manhattan, Lichtenstein attended The Ohio State University, graduating with a graduate and master’s degree in Fine Arts with a period of break between 1943-1946 as he was posted to Europe to served the army during the Second World War. Briefly teaching in Ohio State, Lichtenstein moved to Cleveland from 1951-1957 where he was working as a commercial art instructor, industrial engineer and window display designer.
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Despite these varied professions, Lichtenstein continued on his artistic journey, exhibiting his works in many galleries across the country. Lichtenstein began exploring Abstract Expressionism, which led to the gradual development of incorporating cartoon characters into his Abstract works. From 1961, Lichtenstein began to use cartoon and advertising images in his works along with hard edge figures with bold outlines like an enlarged comic book panel complete with speech bubbles. It was in the 60s that Lichtenstein reached the pinnacle of his fame, his iconic works propelling him into the international spotlight as one of the most important an influential artists of the era and within the Pop Art genre. From the 70s to the 80s, Lichtenstein presented his Still life series of paintings and sculptures depicting everyday objects - including fruit, flowers and vases followed by his Interior series in the 90s which were inspired by furniture advertisements he found in telephone books and billboards all interpreted in his distinctive comic inspired Pop Art style. Adorned with numerous accolades and awards to his name, Lichtenstein has become one of the most instantly recognisable artists that continue to influence and inspire artists to this day.