Joining the dots: Pop master Roy Lichtenstein riffs on the sea at Guild Hall
Roy Lichtenstein, the Pop art master who emblazoned his paintings with cartoon like characters in stylised dots and punchy primary colours, is back in the spotlight just in time for the last balmy days of summer. The exhibition ’Roy Lichtenstein: Between Sea and Sky’, recently opened at Guild Hall in East Hampton, captures the artist’s landscape series, inspired by and hosted mere steps from his longtime summer home.
’This is really a little known chapter of his compelling oeuvre, beginning when Andy Warhol reigned right up to the 1990s,’ says Jack Cowart, executive director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, who curated the exhibition along with Guild Hall’s Christina Mossaides Strassfield.
’Just as common comics were the foundation of much of Roy’s work when tackling the genre of landscape, he opted to veer away from 19th century masters but rather looked to postcards for sunsets and more,’ says Cowart, who knew the artist for over two decades. ’For his vistas, Roy zeroed in on not just canvas but stainless steel, brass and Plexiglas while frequently taking on zany Rowlux, a reflective plastic which the Rolling Stones used to cover their drums to achieve a shimmering surface.’
There’s even a rendition of the artist’s 1967 highway billboard Super Sunset, re-created here by the artist’s longtime assistant.
’We tend for forget that these works then sold for a trifling $75 a pop but today they go for millions to collectors internationally,’ says Cowart. That this series – drawn from private collections nationwide as well as the artist’s foundation – is right under one roof in the bucolic Hamptons, is an artworld event too alluring to miss.