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Basic Data

The American painter, graphic artist and sculptor Roy Lichtenstein is considered one of the most influential and innovative artists of the second half of the 20th century. His artistic work, together with the work of Andy Warhol, heralded the beginning of the Pop art movement.

  • Born: 27 October 1923
  • Place of birth: New York City, USA
  • Died on: 29 September 1997
  • Nationality: American
  • Studied at: Ohio State University School of Fine Arts, Cité Universitaire Paris
  • Teachers: Hoyt L. Sherman
  • Similar artists: Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Indiana, Jim Dine, Julian Opie
  • Era: Modern art
  • Stylistic direction: Pop art

Roy Lichtenstein has been known since the 1960s for his large-scale implementation of comic drawings. In doing so, he enlarges the screen dots typical of newspaper offset printing and pairs them with generous areas of color. Today he is famous worldwide for these grid dots and his brushstroke works (“Brushstrokes”). His artworks are among the icons of the 20th century and are represented in numerous important art institutions around the world.


Roy Fox Lichtenstein was born in New York City on October 27, 1923 and grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Roy showed artistic ability early on: he drew and painted as a teenager and spent many hours at the American Museum of Modern Art. His role models were Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Piet Mondrian. Eventually, he was able to develop his interests at Parsons School of Design, where he received a watercolor soffit. From 1940 he attended the Art Students League and enrolled at Ohio State University that same year.

After joining the army in 1943, he encountered the works of European masters while stationed in France. The young Lichtenstein then returned to OSU, where he graduated with a degree in Fine Arts and received his master's degree in 1949. In addition to teaching as a lecturer in the faculty, Lichtenstein exhibited his work in various exhibitions. During this time he also met his future wife and gallery assistant, Isabel Wilson, with whom he had two sons. From 1951 to 1957 he lived with his family in Ohio and worked as a graphic and technical draftsman. This was followed by employment at New York State University Oswego and at Rutgers University.

While the artist initially turned to American abstract expressionism, he found his typical style in the 1960s: the first drawings emerged in which cartoon figures appeared, which he found in comic books or on chewing gum paper. He begins to paint large-format pictures based on these models, transferring the grid dots of the print and speech bubbles onto the canvas. Unlike Andy Warhol, who used screen prints for his canvas paintings, Lichtenstein painted by hand in the classic way. With these pictures and the support of his gallery owner Leo Castelli, the painter achieved his international breakthrough. He stopped teaching and moved back to New York City.

Lichtenstein was also inspired by the works of classical modernism, such as by Henri Matisse or Paul Cézanne. From the 1970s, the painter designed monumental murals and turned to sculpture in the 1990s. In 1995 the painter was honored with the highly endowed Kyoto Prize for his work. In 1996 he received his PhD from George Washington University in Washington D.C. an honorary doctorate. A year later, in 1997, Lichtenstein died of complications from pneumonia in his hometown.



  • 04.04.2022 - 05.06.2022 Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making – Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus.
  • 27.11.2021 - 08.05.2022 Pop Art | From Warhol To Panamarenko – Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent.
  • 24.09.2021 - 09.01.2022 The Cool and the Cold. Malerei aus den USA und der UdSSR 1960–1990 – Gropius Bau, Berlin.
  • 19.06.2021 - 12.09.2021 Sweet Lies. Fiktionen der Zugehörigkeit - Ludwig Forum, Aachen.
  • 19.06.2021 - 12.09.2021 Lovely Creatures - Tiere, Monster, Menschen in der Kunst - Ludwig Forum, Aachen.
  • 29.05.2021 - 22.11.2021 Acrimboldo Face to Face – Centre Pompidou-Metz, Paris.
  • 07.05.2021 - ∞ Wonderland – Albertina, Vienna.
  • 05.03.2021 - 04.04.2021 Roy Lichtenstein – Broad Art Museum, East Lansing.
  • 23.01.2021 - 24.05.2021 Nachleuchten. Nachglühen - Kunsthaus Baselland.
  • 01.07.2020 - 25.04.2021 MISFITTING TOGETHER - MUMOK Wien, Vienna.
  • 20.06.2020 - 23.08.2020 Mapping the Collection – Museum Ludwig Köln, Cologne.
  • 03.04.2020 - 26.07.2020 Pop on Paper. Von Warhol bis Lichtenstein – Kulturforum Berlin/ Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.
  • 08.02.2020 - 14.06.2020 Sight Seeing – Kunsthalle Emden.
  • 08.11.2019 - 15.03.2020 Der montierte Mensch / The Assembled Human - Museum Folkwang, Essen.
  • 06.11.2019 - 11.01.2020 ACCROCHAGE - Galerie Boisserée, Cologne.
  • 01.09.2019 - 31.12.2019 Westkunst - Ostkunst. A Selection from the Collection - Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.
  • 18.05.2019 - 18.08.2019 Frozen Gesture. Gesten in der Malerei - Kunst Museum Winterthur.
  • 09.06.2018 - 22.04.2019 ZERO - Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart.
  • 12.07.2018 - 14.10.2018 A Tale of Two Worlds - Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires.
  • 09.12.2017 - 21.05.2018 AMERICA! AMERICA! HOW REAL IS REAL? - Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden.
  • 01.11.2017 - 04.11.2018 From the Collection: Artists at Mid to Late Career - The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
  • 21.06.2017 - 19.08.2017 ROY LICHTENSTEIN (Manhattan 1923 – 1997 Manhattan) - Galerie Boisserée, Cologne.
  • 09.03.2017 - 18.06.2017 The American Dream - pop to the present - British Museum, London.
  • 19.03.2016 - 24.07.2016 From Kandinsky to Pollock. The Art of the Guggenheim Collections - Palazzo Strozzi, Florence.
  • 24.02.2016 - 15.05.2016 International Pop - Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.
  • 17.09.2015 - 24.01.2016 The EY Exhibition: The World Goes Pop - Tate Modern, London.
  • 11.07.2015 - 18.10.2015 American Icons: Masterworks from SFMOMA and the Fisher Collection - Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence.
  • 26.06.2014 - 31.01.2015 Roy Lichtenstein: Intimate Sculptures - FLAG Art Foundation, New York.



  • 1996: Honorary doctorate in fine arts from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1995: Kyoto Prize, Kyoto.
  • 1993: Amici de Barcelona Award, L’Alcalde de Barcelona.
  • 1991: Creative Arts Award, Brandeis University.
  • 1979: Honorary doctorate in fine arts from Southampton College, New York.
  • 1953: Award for woodcut at Contemporary Printmaking Exhibition, Ohio State University.
  • 1951: Museum Purchase Award, Brooklyn Museum.



  • Roy Lichtenstein. Documentation by Chris Hunt, 51 min, USA 1991.
  • Roy Lichtenstein. Porträt, Documentation by Michael Blackwood, 43 min, Germany 1975.



  • Roy Lichtenstein: 1923-1997. Die Ironie des Banalen, Janis Hendrickson, Cologne 2016.
  • Lichtenstein - posters, exhibition catalog, Jürgen Döring & Claus von der Osten, Munich, London, New York 2013.
  • Roy Lichtenstein - black & white 1961 - 1968, exhibition catalog, Isabelle Dervaux (Publ.), Ostfildern 2011.
  • Roy Lichtenstein: posters and more, exhibition catalog, Christine Vogt (Publ.), Oberhausen 2011.
  • Roy Lichtenstein: Kunst als Motiv, exhibition catalog, Gianni Mercurio, Cologne 2010.
  • Roy Lichtenstein und Ostasien, Karen Bandlow, Petersberg 2007.
  • Die Parodie im Frühwerk Roy Lichtensteins: Comic-Gemälde 1961-1964, Eva Wattolik, Kromsdorf 2005.
  • Roy Lichtenstein, classic of the new, exhibition catalog, Eckhard Schneider (Publ.), Cologne 2005.
  • Roy Lichtenstein - Spiegelbilder 1963 - 1997, exhibition catalog, Gerard Hadders (Publ.), Ostfildern-Ruit 2000.
  • Roy Lichtenstein, exhibition catalog, Delia Ciuha (Publ.), Ostfildern-Ruit 1998.