Roy Lichtenstein: History In The Making At Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum presents “Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960,” the first major museum exhibition to investigate the early work of the artist, who became a founder of the Pop Art movement.

The show will be on view August 1 through October 24. The exhibition provides an illuminating prologue to Lichtenstein’s well-known comics-inspired imagery, and tells the largely overlooked story of his early career, when formal experimentation and a keen eye for irony irrevocably defined his art.

Lichtenstein’s fruitful, formative years introduce a revisionist starting point for understanding his work and establish a fresh context for this period in 20th-century modern American art. The exhibition is co-curated by Elizabeth Finch, Lunder Chief Curator at Colby College Museum of Art, and Marshall N. Price, Chief Curator and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. The presentation at the Parrish Art Museum is organized by Alicia G. Longwell, Ph.D., Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator.

Roy Lichtenstein, “Washington Crossing the Delaware II, 1951.” Courtesy Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

“Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960” features approximately 90 paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints — many on public view for the first time. Open in February to a limited audience at Colby, it makes its full, public debut at the Parrish, which is sited in close proximity to where the artist lived and worked for 30 years in Southampton Village. This venue emphasizes Lichtenstein’s bond to the region and the museum, where exhibitions of his work have been held across four decades.

The show examines the period before Pop art and Lichtenstein’s adoption of what would become his signature use of Benday dots. It reveals how Pop emerged in dialogue with European modernism, American history painting, diverse vernacular sources, and popular post-war trends.

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