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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.
Released in conjunction with a retrospective exhibit, this critical survey presents Roy Lichtenstein as an artist who transcended subject matter in order to create a visual world both culturally prescient and deeply engaged with art history. Although widely regarded as a preeminent Pop artist, Lichtenstein's work and thematic concerns have received relatively slight critical attention; the nine essays collected here help remedy the situation, with every writer addressing a different mode or period of the artist's oeuvre. Focusing on seemingly small details, such as the blush of Mickey Mouse or Lichtenstein's engagement with Chinese landscapes, the essays manage without exception to clarify his diverse influences and contextualize him in the 20th century, while still complicating easy perceptions of his relation to politics, mass media, or art itself. This engaging academic attention is paired with generous reproductions of Lichtenstein's most famous works, as well as previously unseen rarities. The cohesive yet varied selection of paintings, sculptures, and drawings smartly echo the critical insights, allowing works such as 1961's iconic "Look Mickey" to appear as fresh and as radical today as they were 50 years ago. An artist driven by the image, enraptured by the interaction of objects in visual space, Lichtenstein is presented anew through this essential survey, and his work given its rightful place at the center of modern art. Illus. & photos.
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