Roy Lichtensteins largest & most impressive paintings

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Roy Lichtenstein - Bauhaus Stairway Mural, 1989, Creative Arts Agency Building, California
Roy Lichtenstein – Bauhaus Stairway Mural, 1989, Oil and Magna on canvas, 82.3 x 54.9 m, 324 x 216 in, Creative Arts Agency Building, Beverly Hills, California

Published: January 4, 2018

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Introduction

As far as famous pop artists go, it truly does not get any better than Roy Lichtenstein. His style of comic art use made him one of the most well known and respected pop artists. His work has helped to inspire thousands of artists to hone their craft. His incredible pieces such as the Times Square Mural located in New York’s busiest subway station, as well as his 1986 mural titled Mural with a Blue Brushstroke, are some of his most prominent public murals.

What Lichtenstein was famous for

Lichtenstein was in the front line of the Pop Art movement which was captivated by the manufacturing process and mass consumerism. Lichtenstein built a largely successful career based on deceivingly simple works that appropriated from popular comic book characters, pulp fiction, and advertisement. Lichtenstein was skilled at the art of separating, cropping and enlarging certain sections of a mural to make the composition more striking.

Roy Lichtenstein poses for the camera in front of Girl in Window (1964)
Roy Lichtenstein in front of Girl in Window, 1964, made for the New York World’s Fair, Flushing Meadows

The progression of his paintings

Lichtenstein’s first works were based on experimentation with abstract expressionism but his style begun to mature as he started to concentrate on a particular style. His paintings soon started to draw inspiration from the narrative drama of comic books. His works featured certain elements that were characteristically Lichtenstein such as the use of dots. Lichtenstein pieces exemplified pop art’s complex relationship with societal change and pop culture and the changes that came about in the 1960s.

Message of the works

As such, Lichtenstein’s paintings highlight society’s obsession with youth and beauty, the dictatorship of consumer objects and the excitement surrounding advertisement and the media. Mural with Blue Brushstroke may seem muddled with different elements; however, it offered a hedonistic perspective of earthly inconsequentiality.

Conclusion

Along with other popular pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein’s work helped to develop the market drastically in the 1960s. Because of his contributions to the movement, artists started being commissioned and actually receiving recognition for their works. Additionally, contemporary art began to fetch good prices which led to the hyper commoditization of art. Although it has been a while since the world was introduced to a Lichtenstein original, his works are still in very high demand today.

Murals

Weisman Art Museum, Minnesota, 1963

Roy Lichtenstein - New York World’s Fair Mural (Girl in Window), 1963, Minnesota - Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Roy Lichtenstein – New York World’s Fair Mural (Girl in Window), 1963, Oil and Magna on plywood, 6.30 x 4.88m, 248 x 192 in, Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, Minneapolis

CAA Mural – Creative Arts Agency Building, California, 1989

Roy Lichtenstein in front of Bauhaus Stairway Mural, 1989, Creative Arts Agency Building, California
Roy Lichtenstein – In front of Bauhaus Stairway Mural, 1989, Oil and Magna on canvas, 82.3 x 54.9 m, 324 x 216 in, Creative Arts Agency Building, Beverly Hills, California

Greene Street Mural, 1983 & 2015

Roy Lichtenstein - Greene Street Mural, 1983, 18 × 96 1:2 feet, Castelli Gallery, New York, Dec 3, 1983 – Jan 14, 1984
Roy Lichtenstein – Greene Street Mural, 1983, 18 × 96 1/2 feet, Castelli Gallery, New York, Dec 3, 1983 – Jan 14, 1984

Roy Lichtenstein and Leo Castelli during the making of Greene Street Mural, 1983
Roy Lichtenstein and Leo Castelli during the making of Greene Street Mural, 1983
Photo: Michael Abramson

Roy Lichtenstein - Greene Street Mural (study), 1983, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 23 x 108 cm (9 x 42 1/2 in)
Roy Lichtenstein – Greene Street Mural (study), 1983, graphite and colored pencil on paper, 23 x 108 cm (9 x 42 1/2 in)

Roy Lichtenstein - The Greene Street Mural, Gagosian Gallery, New York, Sep 10 – Oct 17, 2015
Roy Lichtenstein – Greene Street Mural, Gagosian Gallery, New York, Sep 10 – Oct 17, 2015

Roy Lichtenstein - The Greene Street Mural, Gagosian Gallery, New York, Sep 10 – Oct 17, 2015
Roy Lichtenstein – Greene Street Mural, Gagosian Gallery, New York, Sep 10 – Oct 17, 2015
Photo: Rob McKeever

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, 1989

Roy Lichtenstein - Israel - Tel Aviv Museum of Art Mural, 1989
Roy Lichtenstein – Tel Aviv Museum of Art Mural, 1989, Oil and Magna on canvas, 7 x 17.4 m (overall), 275 9/16 x 669 5/16 in, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Meshulam Riklis Hall

Roy Lichtenstein - Israel - Tel Aviv Museum of Art Mural, 1989
Roy Lichtenstein – Tel Aviv Museum of Art Mural, 1989, Oil and Magna on canvas, 7 x 17.4 m (overall), 275 9/16 x 669 5/16 in, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Meshulam Riklis Hall
Photo: Shutterstock/timeout.fr

AXA Equitable Center, NYC, 1984–86

Roy Lichtenstein - AXA Equitable Center, New York - Mural with Blue Brushstroke, 1984–86 1
Roy Lichtenstein – Mural with Blue Brushstroke, 1984–86, Oil and Magna on canvas, 816 x 384 inches; 20.73 x 9.75 m, AXA Equitable Center, New York City
Photo: Kennedy/yelp.com

Roy Lichtenstein - AXA Equitable Center, New York - Mural with Blue Brushstroke, 1984–86 3
Roy Lichtenstein – Mural with Blue Brushstroke, 1984–86, Oil and Magna on canvas, 816 x 384 inches; 20.73 x 9.75 m, AXA Equitable Center, New York City
Photo: christianmontone/flickr.com

42nd Street Station, Times Square Mural, NYC, 1990

Roy Lichtenstein - New York - 42nd Street Station, Times Square Mural, 1990
Roy Lichtenstein – Times Square Mural, 1990 (fabricated 1994; installed 2002), Porcelain enamel on steel, 16 panels, 1.85 x 16.26 m (overall), 73 x 640 1/2 inches, NYCT Times Square, 42nd Street Station, New York City
Photo: Rob Wilson/mashable.com

Roy Lichtenstein - New York - 42nd Street Station, Times Square Mural, 1990
Roy Lichtenstein – Times Square Mural, 1990 (fabricated 1994; installed 2002), Porcelain enamel on steel, 16 panels, 1.85 x 16.26 m (overall), 73 x 640 1/2 inches, NYCT Times Square, 42nd Street Station, New York City

Roy Lichtenstein - New York - 42nd Street Station, Times Square Mural, 1990
Roy Lichtenstein – Times Square Mural, 1990 (fabricated 1994; installed 2002), Porcelain enamel on steel, 16 panels, 1.85 x 16.26 m (overall), 73 x 640 1/2 inches, NYCT Times Square, 42nd Street Station, New York City
Photo: ArtKiss/artkiss.eu

Roy Lichtenstein - New York - 42nd Street Station, Times Square Mural, 1990
Roy Lichtenstein – Times Square Mural, 1990 (fabricated 1994; installed 2002), Porcelain enamel on steel, 16 panels, 1.85 x 16.26 m (overall), 73 x 640 1/2 inches, NYCT Times Square, 42nd Street Station, New York City
Photo: ArtKiss/artkiss.eu

Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany, 1970

Roy Lichtenstein - Germany - University of Dusseldorf Brushstroke Mural, 1970 1
Roy Lichtenstein – Brushstroke Mural, 1970, Magna on plaster, 4 walls, 36.6 x 10.67 m, 144 x 420 inches, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany

Roy Lichtenstein - Germany - University of Dusseldorf Brushstroke Mural, 1970
Roy Lichtenstein – Brushstroke Mural, 1970, Magna on plaster, 4 walls, 36.6 x 10.67 m, 144 x 420 inches, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany
Photo: DUS-Fan/deutsches-architektur-forum.de

Roy Lichtenstein - Germany - University of Dusseldorf Brushstroke Mural, 1970
Roy Lichtenstein – Brushstroke Mural, 1970, Magna on plaster, 4 walls, 36.6 x 10.67 m, 144 x 420 inches, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany
Photo: DUS-Fan/deutsches-architektur-forum.de

Roy Lichtenstein - Germany - University of Dusseldorf Brushstroke Mural, 1970
Roy Lichtenstein – Brushstroke Mural, 1970, Magna on plaster, 4 walls, 36.6 x 10.67 m, 144 x 420 inches, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany

Roy Lichtenstein - Germany - University of Dusseldorf Brushstroke Mural, 1970
Roy Lichtenstein – Brushstroke Mural, 1970, Magna on plaster, 4 walls, 36.6 x 10.67 m, 144 x 420 inches, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany

Roy Lichtenstein - Germany - University of Dusseldorf Brushstroke Mural, 1970
Roy Lichtenstein – Brushstroke Mural, 1970, Magna on plaster, 4 walls, 36.6 x 10.67 m, 144 x 420 inches, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany
Photo: Andreas Bretz/rp-online.de

All images by Roy Lichtenstein Foundation/lichtensteinfoundation.org unless otherwise noted.

Video: Roy Lichtenstein interview, 1966

10min 42sec

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