Roy Lichtenstein, 'Whaam!' 1963

Roy Lichtenstein
Whaam! 1963
Acrylic and oil on canvas
support: 1727 x 4064 mm frame: 1747 x 4084 x 60 mm
Purchased 1966© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Tate Modern, Level 2
21 February – 27 May 2013 (Press view: 18 February 2013) 
Open every day from 10.00 – 18.00 and late until 22.00 on Friday and Saturday

In spring 2013, Tate Modern will stage the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to foremost Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. Co-organised by The Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern, this will be the first major Lichtenstein retrospective for twenty years, bringing together 125 of the artist’s most definitive paintings and sculptures. Built on new research and scholarship, the exhibition will reassess Lichtenstein’s work and his enduring legacy.

Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) is one of the central figures of American Pop Art. In the early 1960s he pioneered a new style of painting, executed by hand but inspired by industrial printing processes. He became renowned for works based on comic strips and advertising imagery, coloured with his signature hand-painted Benday dots, as an ongoing examination of representation and originality in mass media culture. This exhibition will showcase such key paintings as Look Mickey 1961 (National Gallery of Art, Washington), Whaam! 1963 (Tate), Drowning Girl 1963 (Museum of Modern Art, New York) and his monumental Artist’s Studio series of 1973–4. The artist’s rich and expansive practice will be represented by a wide range of materials, including paintings using Rowlux and steel, as well as sculptures in ceramic and brass and a selection of previously unseen drawings, collages and works on paper.

Alongside classic paintings of romantic heroines and scenes of war for which Lichtenstein is well known, the exhibition will show other early Pop works, such as images of everyday objects in black and white. Also on display will be the full scope of Lichtenstein’s artistic explorations depicting landscapes, mirrors and so-called ‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ paintings.

It will also highlight Lichtenstein’s engagement with art history, revealing his lesser-known responses to Futurism, Surrealism and German Expressionism. In the final years of his life, the artist went on to create a series of huge female nudes and sublime Chinese landscapes, neither of which have previously been shown within the wider context of his oeuvre.

Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York in 1923, where he lived and worked for most of his life. After studying art at Ohio State University, he taught in New York and New Jersey before rising to prominence with a solo show at Castelli Gallery in 1962. He died in 1997 aged 73. His works are held in major public collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Ludwig,Cologneand the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is curated at Tate Modern by Sheena Wagstaff, Chairman of the Modern and Contemporary Art Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Iria Candela, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition opened at The Art Institute of Chicago in May 2012 and travels to The National Gallery of Art, Washington in October 2012 and the Centre Pompidou, Paris in July 2013. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is global sponsor of the exhibition. A fully illustrated catalogue has been published by The Art Institute of Chicago and distributed by Yale University Press.

Notes to Editor

About Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Arts

Developing substantive solutions for social and environmental challenges is at the core of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s mission, and the arts and culture platform is a key component of the company’s integrated corporate responsibility strategy.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch helps a broad spectrum of arts programmes thrive, encompassing sponsorships, community grants and loans to museums from the company’s own art collection. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project provides grants for the restoration of paintings, sculptures, archaeological or architectural pieces that are significant to the cultural heritage of a country or region or important to the history of art in order to preserve them for future generations.

Recent and upcoming sponsorships include, Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (March – July 2012), Jeff Koons: The Painter & The Sculptor at Schirn Kunsthalle and the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt (June – September 2012) and Roy Lichtenstein at Tate Modern, London, opening in February 2013. The company is Season Sponsor of the Old Vic Theatre in London, as well as Global Sponsor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which travelled to Russia and Italy this year.

Through the company’s Art in Our Communities® programme, the Bank of America Collection has been converted into a unique community resource. The collection has grown in size and scope in recent decades with artworks from numerous legacy institutions, and offers museums and non-profit galleries the opportunity to borrow complete or customised exhibitions at no cost. This helps to secure vital revenue for those institutions that may lack sufficient resources to fully curate and manage exhibitions on their own, and also guarantees that the collection is shared with as wide an audience as possible. Since its launch in late 2008, more than 50 exhibitions have been loaned to museums around the world. Shows in 2012 include Conversations at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin, Shared Space, part of PhotoEspaña 2012, at the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid (June – July 2012), Andy Warhol: The Portfolios at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London (June – September 2012) travelling to the Museo del Novecento in Milan in October 2013, and Gaze: The Changing Face of Portrait Photography, at Istanbul Modern Museum (October 2012 – January 2013). Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/opportunity and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.

For more Bank of America news, visit the Bank of America newsroom.

For more information on Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Art and Culture programme, please contact:

Hannah Mercer, Cohn & Wolfe, Tel: +44(0)20 7331 2359 / hannah.mercer@cohnwolfe.com

Contact

For public information and tickets please visit www.tate.org.uk or call 020 7887 8888

Twitter  #Lichtenstein

For further press information please contact Duncan Holden / Kate Moores at Tate Press Office:
Call + 44 (0)20 7887 8730 / 4939 / 4906
Email pressoffice@tate.org.uk
Visit www.tate.org.uk
20 John Islip Street
Millbank
London SW1P 4RG

Sponsored globally by Bank of America Merrill Lynch
With additional support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Henry Luce Foundation and The Lichtenstein Exhibition Supporters Group