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Roy Lichtenstein
Still Life with Picasso
screenprint on Arches 88 paper
Image: 30 × 22 inches (76.2 × 55.9 cm)
Credit Line
Kirk Varnedoe Collection, Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, Gift of Dorothy Lichtenstein.
Accession Number
Born and raised in Manhattan, Roy Lichtenstein took summer classes at the Art Students League in New York before relocating to Columbus, Ohio to study at Ohio State University. After earning his MFA in 1949, he remained at Ohio State as an instructor. His first solo exhibition at New York’s Carlebach Gallery in 1951 featured semi-abstracted views of the American West. However in 1961, he adopted the style that was to become his trademark: comic book figures painted with Benday dots (small, overlapping dots of two or more different colors used in the commercial printing process to create the illusion of a plane of color). The first exhibition of these works, held at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, sold out before it even opened and was lauded by many of the finest collectors in the world. Lichtenstein continued to employ his trademark style, deliberately made to resemble commercial printing processes, for subjects other than comic book figures. Still Life with Picasso was originally produced for a portfolio titled Hommage à Picasso (Tribute to Picasso), which featured 69 artists.

Lichtenstein became well known for his ability to blend fine art with elements of advertising and comic books to upend the traditional notions of high and low art. Curator Kirk Varnedoe consulted with Lichtenstein as he began planning his seminal exhibition High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture, which was on view from October 7, 1990–January 15, 1991, at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).