Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 1923. In 1937, he attended a painting class at Parson’s School of Design. From 1940 to 1943, he studied at the Art Students League in New York, until he was drafted to the U.S. Army and served in Europe during WWII. When he returned from service, Lichenstein studied at Ohio State University in 1946 and received a Masters degree in 1949.
Much like Andy Warhol, he was employed in the commercial graphic business for a time, producing designs and decorating shop windows. In 1956, he created his famous “Ten Dollar Bill” print, which was one of his first experiments with popular images. During the mid-1950s, Lichenstein was still an unknown artist, but a drastic change came in his career with his first painting in the comic strip style, which depicted Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
He sometimes worked with stencils, producing rows of large dots that made his prints or paintings look like mass publication products. Although he modeled his preparation and execution of his works after the Old Masters, he wanted his works to look like they were machine made. Lichenstein produced a number of prints, including etchings, woodcuts, screenprints and lithographs, often combining all of these techniques in one print. His work is commonly characterized as humorous, witty and ironic.
In 1966, Lichenstein participated in the Venice Biennale and he was honored with solo exhibitions in 1967 and 1968 at the Pasadena Art Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY, respectively. In 1994, he was the subject of a major retrospective at the Guggenheim. Roy Lichenstein died in 1997.