Roy Lichtenstein's Centennial Celebrations Continue

Roy Lichtenstein (October 27, 1923 - September 29, 1997) would have turned 100 this year. Centennial celebrations are being held in major museums and galleries in Europe and the U.S., and more will be held in 2024. A retrospective of his work is being planned at the Whitney Museum for the Fall of 2026. 

 

Lichtenstein had a long and valued relationship with the Whitney that began in the 1960s, when his work was included in the museum’s  exhibit A Decade of American Drawing, 1955-1965 in 1965. In the many years that followed, Lichtenstein led seminars for the Whitney’s Independent Study Program and the Lichtenstein Foundation donated more than 400 of the artist’s paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and photographs to the museum.

 

The Foundation also gave the museum the building in the West Village where Lichtenstein lived and worked with his wife, Dorothy, from the late 1980s until his death in 1997. The building has been renovated (the work completed on his birthday last month), and will be used by next generation of artists who are invited to take part in the Independent Study Program. The Whitney also has plans to use the building, which is just four blocks away from the museum’s main building, for educational programs for teens. This is the first time, since its inception in 1968, that the Independent Study Program will have a permanent home. 

 

In addition to the upcoming retrospective, the Whitney has put together a catalogue raisonné with images and information about more than 5,500 works.

 


 

 The Tate Modern is currently exhibiting Roy Lichtenstein: Reflections, a collection of prints from the Lichtenstein Foundation’s Artist Room loans and prints  from the Tate Modern Collection. Roy Lichtenstein: Reflections will be on view through December 31, 2023.

 

The Alberta Museum in Vienna is planning a centennial exhibit that will run from March 7, 2024 through July 14, 2024 and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts is planning an exhibit for next spring.

 


 

 Roy Lichtenstein’s big and beautiful Bauhaus Stairway Mural: The Large Version is currently on exhibit at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan. The work was commissioned in 1989 for the atrium of a building in Beverly Hills designed by I.M. Pei. A clothing company moved into the building and asked the building’s owner to remove the 26-by-18 foot tall mural (actually painted on canvas, not directly on the wall), which the company replaced with a clothing poster.

 

Lichtenstein based his painting on German artist Oskar Schlemmer’s 1932 Bauhaus Stairway painting and reimagined it in his own unique Pop style. 

 

 

The owner of the mural, and of the building for which it was built, told The New York Times that he was not happy about it having to place the painting in storage. A clothing company spokesperson, when asked why they wanted the mural removed, declined to comment.

 

The Bauhaus Stairway Mural will be on display in New York through December 22, 2023.

 


 

References:

Jack Murphy. Johnston Marklee renovates Roy Lichtenstein’s former studio to house the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. The Architect’s Newspaper. November 2, 2023. 

James Barron. A New Generation of Artists in Roy Lichtenstein’s Studio. The New York Times/New York Today. October 26, 2023.

Deborah Solomon. Heading Upstairs With Roy Lichtenstein. The New York Times. September 20, 2023.

November 9, 2023
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