Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A.

October 7, 2016–March 12, 2017

About the Exhibition

Renowned for his inventive interplay of line, dot, and color, Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) shaped a new form of fine art. Departing from the intellectual, nonfigurative style of Abstract Expressionism, Lichtenstein depicted everyday objects and drew inspiration from comic books, advertisements, and children’s books. By integrating such popular imagery into the realm of fine art, he invited viewers to recognize the world around them in his work.

Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A. explored 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 exhibition featured prints from Lichtenstein’s Bull Profile and Surrealist series, as well as the iconic Sunrise and Shipboard Girl. Additional works on display ranged from political subject matter to paper plates, clothing, and shopping bags.

The exhibition also highlighted Lichtenstein’s longtime collaboration with Stanley Grinstein and Sidney Felsen, cofounders of the prominent Los Angeles artists’ workshop Gemini G.E.L. Their groundbreaking printing house played a formative role in shaping the Los Angeles art scene and helped transform the city into a global center for printmaking and Pop Art.

Finally, to make Lichtenstein’s creative work truly accessible to all visitors, the Skirball transformed one of its galleries into an interactive space where visitors could step into Lichtenstein’s reimagination of Vincent van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles, brought to life in three-dimensional form.