Pop art guru Lichtenstein dies aged 73

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Roy Lichtenstein, a pioneer of the Pop Art movement best known for his oversized comic book-like images, died last night. He was 73. Morgan Spangle, director of the Leo Castelli Gallery, which has represented Lichtenstein since 1962, said the artist died at the New York University Medical Center. He had been in hospital for several weeks suffering from an undisclosed illness and died of pneumonia.

Born in New York City on 27 October 1923, Lichtenstein was the son of a prosperous realtor, who used his flair for composition to create paintings with a poster-like power. His signature touches were his bold black outlines and the use of the photo- engraver's Ben Day dots.

His work was inspired by commercial art and commercial art in turn reappropriated his images. "I take a cliche and try to organise its forms to make it monumental," he once said. "The difference is often not great, but it is crucial."

He initially experimented with abstract expressionism, but turned to pop with his landmark Look Mickey, I've Hooked a Big One!! in 1961. He took a comic drawing from a bubblegum wrapper and blew it up into a full-scale painting.