Why Roy Lichtenstein Matters

American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) has captivated the art world since his debut in the 1960s. His paintings, however, remain controversial: executed in a style previously reserved for advertising and comic books, Lichtenstein’s pieces can appear simplistic, tongue in cheek and imitative. And yet the meticulous and monumental works have become ubiquitous and influential. This hour-long talk discusses why Lichtenstein’s works are more complex than they appear – a perspective that Kate has gained after half a decade of working for the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and closely examining Lichtenstein’s paintings, sculptures, tapestries and drawings.

To find out which The Arts Society chapter I will be presenting this talk at next, please email me.


The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, New York

Image database (including online selections from the catalogue raisonné) of the The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

Lichtenstein holdings at Tate, London

Lichtenstein holdings at The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.


James Rondeau and Sheena Wagstaff, ed. Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, exh. cat. London: Tate Pub.: In association with the Art Institute of Chicago, 2012.

Janis Hendrickson. Roy Lichtenstein: 1923-1997, The Irony of the Banal. Köln: Taschen, 2016.

Lawrence Alloway. Roy Lichtenstein. New York: Abbeville Press, 1983.

Graham Bader. Hall of Mirrors: Roy Lichtenstein and the Face of Painting in the 1960s. Cambridge, Mass.; London: MIT Press, 2010.

Hal Foster. The Hardest Kind of Archetype: Reflections on Roy Lichtenstein. National Galleries of Scotland, 2011.

Hal Foster. The first Pop Age: Painting and Subjectivity in the Art of Hamilton, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Richter, and Ruscha. Princeton, N.J.; Woodstock: Princeton University Press, 2011.

Sara Doris. Pop Art and the Contest over American Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Bernice Rose. The Drawings of Roy Lichtenstein, exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1987.

Kate Ganz, Drawing Then: Innovation and Influence in American Drawings of the Sixties, exh. cat. New York; London: Dominique Lévy, 2016.

Michael Kimmelman. Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre, and Elsewhere. New York: Modern Library, 1999.

Roy Lichtenstein: Landscapes in the Chinese Style, exh. cat. Hong Kong: Gagosian Gallery, 2011.

Lichtenstein girls, exh. cat. New York: Gagosian Gallery; New Haven; London: Distributed by Yale University Press, 2008.

Roy Lichtenstein: Conversations with Surrealism, exh. cat. New York: Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 2005.