Lichtenstein: Girls

Lichtenstein: Girls

by Richard Hamilton
     
 

In the summer of 1961, Lichtenstein embarked on a series of iconic images of women, taken directly from newspaper clippings and the romance comic books prevalent in post-war America. The anonymity of mass-produced, cheap comics helped him capture specific impressions of real life, while maintaining the necessary degree of aesthetic distance afforded by what he

Overview

In the summer of 1961, Lichtenstein embarked on a series of iconic images of women, taken directly from newspaper clippings and the romance comic books prevalent in post-war America. The anonymity of mass-produced, cheap comics helped him capture specific impressions of real life, while maintaining the necessary degree of aesthetic distance afforded by what he understood to be the "high restrictive quality of art". The "Girl" paintings, together with the war images (or "Boy" paintings), established him as the major protagonist of the American Pop Art movement. His amalgamation of text and image, high and low culture, and his strategy to involve appropriated images continues to be a rich source of inspiration for subsequent generations of artists, from Richard Prince, Jeff Koons, and Raymond Pettibon to John Currin and Elizabeth Peyton.
 
A conversation between Jeff Koons and Dorothy Lichtenstein opens the catalogue. The publication also brings together and exceptional collection of over 130 images of paintings, drawings, sources, and documentary photographs. Included in these images are 22 full-colored plates of the "Girl" paintings, 18 of which are featured in the exhibition. The catalogue closes with a select chronology of Roy Lichtenstein's life, pinpointing important exhibitions and occasions.
 
An artist's book response to the "Girl" paintings created by Richard Prince is also included as an insert.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Book Review

“. . . gathers more than 130 paintings, sculptures, drawings and collages — going beyond the classic Pop Art to survey the full scope of Lichtenstein's career.”—New York Times Book Review

Library Journal

As coffee-table books go, this catalog accompanying a 2008 Gagosian Gallery exhibition is like a cappuccino: light, frothy, and a lovely respite. It doesn't provide deep historical context for pop art and its revision of painting or an explanation of Roy Lichtenstein's benday techniques or influential mixing of high and low culture. It's all about image: the breathy, melodramatic glamour girls of Lichtenstein's Girl painting series, begun in 1961. Impeccable reproductions of Masterpiece, Happy Tears, Kiss, and 19 other works are accompanied by the little-seen original source pictures and quotes from romance comics as well as Lichtenstein's drawing studies, emphasizing both his appropriation tactics and his impressive manipulation of scale. Three artists get involved: Jeff Koons interviews Lichtenstein's wife, Richard Prince compiles romance novel covers into a detachable artist's book, and Hamilton's 1964 tribute, A Little Bit of Roy Lichtenstein for..., is reproduced on the inside covers. For more nourishment, the inquisitive reader should look elsewhere (e.g., Graham Bader's Roy Lichtenstein, Michael Lobel's Image Duplicator, or Diane Waldman's Roy Lichtenstein), but the casual browser will be pleasantly sated. Recommended for art history special collections.
—Prudence Peiffer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300149272
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Pages:
94
Product dimensions:
12.30(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.70(d)

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