Hard to find somebody who has never came across one of Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings, in a magazine, at the supermarket, on tv… Born in New York, in an upper mid-level class environment, his work defined the basic premise of pop art, and he defined it as: “not American painting but actually industrial painting”. His most famous pieces are inspired by both popular advertising and comic strips. But that you all know and you all have seen.




Now Gagosian Hong Kong is now showing art amateurs an unexpected side of this painter, from Saturday 12th November until December 22nd 2011 you can enjoy ‘Landscapes in the Chinese Style’.


Roy Lichtenstein said: “I think the Chinese Landscapes impress people with having somewhat the same kind of mystery Chinese paintings have, but in my mind it’s a sort of pseudo-contemplative or mechanical subtlety… I’m not seriously doing a kind of Zen-like salute to the beauty of nature. It’s really supposed to look like a printed version”. 



LICHTENSTEIN 1997 Landscape with Scholar’s Rock 

Although Roy will always be synonymous with Pop Art, he continued to make inventive new work for almost three decades beyond 1960s, he constantly mined antecedent imagery and took inspiration from a diverse array of sources. Seizing on traditional Chinese painting, in particular from the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), Lichtenstein garnered inspiration on how to craft the delicate, ethereal atmosphere so implicit to Landscapes in the Chinese Style from the monochromatic prints of Edgar Degas featured in a 1994 exhibition at the Met Museum in New York.



 LICHTENSTEIN 1996 Flower with Bamboo 

Roy re-interpreted the traditional scenes and motifs using his own established methods and materials. Carefully stylized, those paintings are formed with simulated Benday dots and block contours, rendered in hard, vivid color, with all traces on the hand removed. Consistent with his entire oeuvre, Landscapes in the Chinese Style play with American stereotypes and clichés by incorporating the elements of Asian culture most familiar to Western viewers – a crooked bonsai tree in Landscape with Fog 919960, a pointed coolie hat in landscape with Boats (1995).



So if you are in Hong Kong, go to floor 7th of Pedder Building, and enjoy!


Pictures courtesy of Gagosian Hong Kong, the rest of the material belongs to ©Agirlinhonghong.blogspot.com