Lichtenstein was most recognized for his innovate combinations of lines, dots, and colors. As the artist deviated from the Abstract Expressionist style, he began incorporating popular, recognizable imagery in his work. Lichtenstein became a major influence in the creation of the Pop Art movement, bringing popular images and culture into the world of fine art throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the types of objects he was inspired by included comic books, advertisements, and children’s books. The Skirball exhibit seeks to celebrate this influence and how it began the movement to make fine art enjoyable for the masses. As the Skirball Cultural Center puts it, ‘Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A. explores how the artist, a vanguard of the Pop Art movement buoyed by a renaissance in printmaking, made fine art accessible to the American public in ways that had not been achieved before.’
The exhibit features a variety of Lichtenstein’s work, including prints from both his Bull Profile and Surrealist series. Some of the most famous works featured are Sunrise and Shipboard Girl. Some of the more political works featured include Bobby Kennedy and Gun in America, both of which were featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1968. Other pieces included cross a wide variety of subject lines, including such everyday items as clothing, shopping bags, and paper plates. There are over 70 pieces on view, and some of the work featured comes from Lichtenstein’s collaboration with Stanley Grinstein and Sidney Felson, co-founders of Gemini G.E.L., an LA-based artists’ workshop.
One of the most exciting features of this exhibit, though, is a three-dimensional reproduction of Lichtenstein’s Bedroom at Arles. The painting itself is a reimagination of the famous Van Gogh painting Bedroom in Arles. This installation takes things a step further, creating a life-sized version of the bedroom, complete with chairs and a bed you can sit on.