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Art Diary

Roy Lichtenstein: A Centennial Exhibition

1 March 2024

Ponder Pop art for more than a moment and the comic book-esque clichés and playful parodies of Roy Lichtenstein will spring to mind. Alongside contemporaries such as Andy Warhol, Lichtenstein was a key player in the mid 20th-century movement famed for its combination of ‘low’ subject matter – drawn from advertisements, packaging and television – with high art techniques. This unification intentionally challenged the conventions of fine art, which until that point had been largely disconnected from the imagery of popular culture. The Albertina in Vienna plays host to more than 90 of the American artist’s irreverent creations with this major retrospective (8 March­–14 July), including his sardonic depictions of damsels in distress, as seen in Drowning Girl (1963) and We Rose Up Slowly (1964). Both works feature precisely painted Ben Day dots, which were used throughout Pop Art to simulate the spotted pattern found on mass-produced printed images; a nod to the consumerist values that defined the times. Find out more from the Albertina’s website.

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Drowning Girl (1963), Roy Lichtenstein. Photo: Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence; © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/Bildrecht, Vienna

Figures in Landscape (1977), Roy Lichtenstein. Photo: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebaek; © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/Bildrecht, Vienna

We Rose Up Slowly (1964), Roy Lichtenstein. Courtesy Museum MMK Für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/Bildrecht, Vienna