Thursday, 16 May 2013

Lichtenstein @ Tate

Lichtenstein @ Tate
Oops. A few days without any blog posts. So much for ten minutes per day with a photo.

I'll have to make do with a catchup post today, and it's another one from a gallery.

I first saw the famous Roy Lichtenstein 'Whaam!' picture many years ago when it was on display in what is now the Tate Britain. I think the gallery was still simply the original Tate Modern at the time.

I think the Tate owned Whaam! and along with a few other landmark modern pictures like the almost all red 'Eve' by Barnett Newman, some of the Mark Rothko's and even some of the Jackson Pollocks, it created some striking ways to observe art.

Then I saw a few more Lichtensteins in New York, probably at the Whitney. Something that doesn't always seem apparent from the pictures is the sheer size of some of the paintings.

artist studio + the dance
The artist studio pictures and the bedroom 'interior with water lilies' seemed massive and surprisingly intense the first time I saw them and indeed the Donald Duck picture hanging on the wall in the artist studio is pretty much a full size replica of the original painting.

Although Roy Lichtenstein is known for the comic style pop pictures, I found the hybrid ones of Picasso and other artists in Lichtenstein's style to be particularly interesting, along with the triptychs showing deconstruction of a picture through various stages.

The show at Tate Modern finishes at the end of the month, but is well worth a look, providing a unique assembly of Lichtenstein's work and a chance to step through the development of his style.

As he said: "I'm interested in what would normally be considered the worst aspects of commercial art. I think it's the tension between what seems to be so rigid and cliched and the fact that art really can't be this way."
Lichtenstein @ Tate


OldLady Of The Hills said...

This is a show that I would really like to see. I need to see a whole roomful or three of his work.....
I understand that Lichtenstein is considered one of the Greats of a certain period---And I see what a wonderful technician he is---BUT....I don't honestly understand why these comic book paintings are that much better than the 'originals'. i don't get it, at all. Maybe I am just dense.

rashbre said...

Naomi I agree it is a great debating point.

Lichtenstein is most known for the comic style painting, but I suppose I'm interested in how he carried the technique into other areas, like the variations of other artist work (van Gogh, Mondrian etc.) adapted to a Lichtenstein style.

He also had a humorous streak like that quote about his larger paintings along the lines of "In America the biggest is the best".