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Roy Lichtenstein

Girls

May 12–June 28, 2008
980 Madison Avenue, New York

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Works Exhibited

Roy Lichtenstein, Blonde Waiting, 1964 Oil and Magna on canvas, 48 × 48 inches (121.9 × 121.9 cm)© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Blonde Waiting, 1964

Oil and Magna on canvas, 48 × 48 inches (121.9 × 121.9 cm)
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Good Morning...Darling!, 1964 Oil and Magna on canvas, 27 × 36 inches (68.6 × 91.4 cm)© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Good Morning...Darling!, 1964

Oil and Magna on canvas, 27 × 36 inches (68.6 × 91.4 cm)
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But..., 1964 Oil and Magna on canvas, 48 × 48 inches (121.9 × 121.9 cm)© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But..., 1964

Oil and Magna on canvas, 48 × 48 inches (121.9 × 121.9 cm)
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein, Happy Tears, 1964 Oil and Magna on canvas, 38 × 38 inches (97 × 97 cm)

Roy Lichtenstein, Happy Tears, 1964

Oil and Magna on canvas, 38 × 38 inches (97 × 97 cm)

About

[The kind of girls I painted were] really made up of black lines and red dots. I see it that abstractly, that it’s very hard to fall for one of these creatures, to me, because they’re not really reality to me. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a clichéd ideal, a fantasy ideal, of a woman that I would be interested in. But I think I have in mind what they should look like for other people.
—Roy Lichtenstein

Gagosian is pleased to present Girls, a seminal group of paintings by Roy Lichtenstein.

In the summer of 1961 Lichtenstein embarked on a series of iconic images of women, taken directly from newspaper clippings and the romance comic books so prevalent in postwar America. The anonymity of the mass-produced, cheap comic book helped him to capture specific impressions of real things while maintaining the necessary degree of aesthetic distance afforded by what he understood to be the “high restrictive quality of art.” He scrutinized his female subjects, editing and re-presenting the crux of their trials and tribulations in paint on canvas on a greatly enlarged scale. The Girl paintings, together with the war images (or Boy paintings), established him as a major protagonist of American Pop art. In all of Lichtenstein’s art there remains a particular, unmistakably American quality: a knowing and laconic examination of the world that separated him from his Capitalist Realist contemporaries in Europe, who also borrowed from pop cultural sources. His mixing of text and image, and of high and low culture, as well as his strategies involving the appropriated image, continues to be a rich source of inspiration for subsequent generations of artists, from Richard Prince, Jeff Koons, and Raymond Pettibon to John Currin and Elizabeth Peyton.

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