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"Roy Lichtenstein: Mirror Paintings, 1963 – 1997"
2000-09-16 until 2000-01-21
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg, , DE

In succession to 'Andy Warhol: A Factory', the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg presents another classic of US Pop Art. Roy Lichtenstein is no stranger to the German public; as far back as the 1960s, his work was featured in a number of major private collections, principally devoted to Pop Art, which have since found their way into German museums.

Unlike the 1994 retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (which toured to Munich and Hamburg), this exhibition is devoted to a single theme that preoccupied the artist over several decades: that of 'Mirror' 'Paintings' and 'Reflections'.

Roy Lichtenstein first found his own distinctive style in 1961, when he made a giant enlargement of a Mickey Mouse for his children. From then on, he combed cartoons and comic strips for suitable motifs, which he took from sentimental romances as well as brutal war stories. Lichtenstein’s paintings transform artless clichés into vivid icons of the American Way of Life.

The Wolfsburg exhibition begins with the large triptych 'As I Opened Fire' (1964), one of those works that will be shown exclusively in Wolfsburg. Comic strips gave Lichtenstein an effective modern form for the presentation of reality. Strip cartoons and images from consumer ads became the chosen medium in which he questioned the role of art itself: what is an art object, and how are we to succeed in understanding itNULL

Because he felt himself to be part of the tradition of Modernism, Lichtenstein was fascinated by the subliminal abstraction of the dots, lines, and stripes used to depict objects in comics and in cheap advertising art. Such basic formulas for specific effects underlie the games that he plays with 'reflections' in the mirror series, which is based on images from advertising catalogues.

The exhibition contains a total of 53 works: paintings, drawings, collages, enamel pieces, and sculptures. It has been organized in cooperation between the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg and the Chiostro del Bramante in Rome. The curator in charge is Diane Waldman, formerly Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Catalogue German, app. 100 pages, size 25 x 20 cm, app. 60 color- and b/w-images. With a Preface by Gijs van Tuyl, texts by Diane Waldman and Annelie Lütgens. Price ca. 40,- DM

IMAGE:
GIRL WITH TEAR, 1977
Oil and Magna on Canvas, 178 x 127 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York


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