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This film was produced on the occasion of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It provides a useful overview to the work of Roy Lichtenstein, a seminal Pop artist, and gets behind the sometimes-impenetrably-slick surfaces of Lichtenstein's canvases and prints, to show how such works have their genesis.
Lichtenstein starts out by drawing freehand, and the film shows many examples of sketches which he later refines into finished paintings. Lichtenstein says about drawings, "It's a way of describing my thoughts as quickly as possible," and those thoughts are often on art history.
Bernice Rose, who curated the exhibition, breaks Lichtenstein's oeuvre into distinct periods, many of which pursue versions of past art. Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, Art Deco, Surrealism, and Abstraction have all provided this Pop artist with imagery. Lichtenstein works these styles through the prism of commercial art that he investigated in his early paintings. As he states, "the cartoon seems to have everything I need to make modern drawings."
This film presents a lively look at Lichtenstein's vision and technique.