Roy Lichtenstein was a multifaceted child with many talents: from sports, to musical abilities, and a keen interest in science from a young age. Finding out about his intrigue for so many things, it has become clear that acheiving greatness was a certainty for Roy.
The art up close shows us something the prints do not, the imperfections that a brush creates, and in that a real feeling for the work. With the prints you are left to think that his work is graphic, but here, raw on the canvas, so much more is communicated. Walking through this artist’s work was like taking a walk through his mind. The exhibition at the Tate Modern is divided into rooms that cleverly guide you through Roy Lichtenstein’s development and artistic journey.
When in the War and Romance room, I could not help wonder if he had been in a war at some point… It turns out that it was his father who served in WWI: he saw the world travelling with the unit he served in. The thought also crossed my mind whether or not he had many relationships and left many a damsel in tears; to be in an artist’s life brings its own joys and sorrows.
After studying history of art during my fashion degree, I had an image of his work in my mind. I would have said he fit into the Pop Art category. In reality he lends himself various techniques: cubism, surrealism, and De Stijl. His later work of nudes and Chinese landscapes catapults him into the new age, and his admiration for the greats such a Picasso, Matisse and Roualt is evident in his work and technique.
Skipping forward twenty odd years from the above painting, we arrive at his late nudes. Here his fascination with he female body is clear. He stripped characters of their clothing with his mind, but did not use live models. The women are captured in sensuous poses almost in moments of happiness.
This retrospective shows the beauty of that which is change, and that nothing is complete or final. Change and movement are the one thing we can count on, so keep on moving.