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Roy Lichtenstein - Posters Opens at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Roy Lichtenstein, Modern Art Poster, verwandt als Ankündigung einer Lichtenstein Ausstellung der Leo Castelli Gallery, New York 1967. © VG BildKunst, Bonn 2008.

HAMBURG.- Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg presents today Roy Lichtenstein - Posters - First composed: C. 70 exhibits from the period 1962 – 1997, on view through March 1, 2009. In all, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) designed something like seventy posters, which are brought together here for the first time. They give an overview of the prolific motives which fill the world of an artist who, with his trademark dot matrices painted in a two-dimensional plane, became a bye-word for American Pop Art together with Andy Warhol.

Lichtenstein already designed a poster for his first exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in 1962 – his last dates from the year of his death. The sheets trace the course of his series of works from the 60s through to the 90s.

A number of near-contemporary posters with reproductions will be on view alongside the posters designed by Lichtenstein. The exhibition, complemented by work by other artists of the American Pop Art school as well as by comprehensive background materials, will give an insight into the work of one of the best-known artists of our times.

On the occasion of this exhibition, the collector Claus von der Osten has donated his almost complete collection of Lichtenstein posters to the Museum. An illustrated, fully coloured catalogue will be published by Prestel-Verlag.

Roy Lichtenstein was born on October 27, 1923 in New York City. He studied a degree of fine arts at Ohio State University. Hoyt L. Sherman, one of his teachers, had a significant impact on his work. He later entered the graduate program at Ohio State University and in 1949 received an M.F.A. He had his first solo exhibition at the Carlebach Gallery in New York in 1951. He later moved to upstate New York and began using an Abstract Expressionism style. He began doing Pop paintings with carton images in 1961. This same year Leo Castelli started displaying Lichtenstein’s work at his New York gallery and held a solo show for him in 1962. The entire collection was purchased before the show opened. He became famous all over the world.

He once stated, "I think my work is different from comic strips- but I wouldn't call it transformation; I don't think that whatever is meant by it is important to art".

The first museum exhibition was held in 1967 at the Pasadena Art Museum in California. Solo shows were also held that year at museums in Amsterdam, London, Bern and Hannover. He donated in 1996 154 prints and two books to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, which became the largest single repository of his work. In 1997 he died of pneumonia.

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December 19, 2008

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