National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Look Mickey Roy Lichtenstein (artist)
American, 1923 - 1997
Look Mickey, 1961
oil on canvas
overall: 121.9 x 175.3 cm (48 x 69 in.) framed: 123.5 x 176.9 x 5.1 cm (48 5/8 x 69 5/8 x 2 in.)
Gift of Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art
1990.41.1
Not on View
From the Tour: Selections from the Modern and Contemporary Collections
Object 5 of 8

One of the key figures in the history of so-called pop art, Roy Lichtenstein shared with his contemporary Andy Warhol a fascination for the visual languages of printed mass media and consumer culture during the 1960s. Lichtenstein was especially preoccupied with cheap newspaper advertising and cartoon or comic book illustration, which he enlarged and transposed—making subtle alterations—directly into paint on canvas. At the time the simplistic narratives and boldly graphic visual mannerisms of comics and advertising were understood to resist the powerful postwar legacy of abstract expressionist painting—the highly subjective processes and grand claims for psychic content that characterized the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and other New York School artists whose achievement had recently placed American art at the center of a world stage. Substituting the banalities of resolutely flat printed commercial imagery in black, white, red, yellow, and blue for layered, complex, rarefied efforts in large-scale abstraction, pop art, by implication, also challenged the conventional hierarchies of visual "art." Widely recognized as Lichtenstein's first painting to employ cartoon imagery, Look Mickey shows a scene adapted from the 1960 children's book Donald Duck Lost and Found. In Lichtenstein's transformation of the storybook illustration, the composition is simplified and rendered in the bold outlines and primary colors of a mass-produced image, making it appear even more "pop" than the original picture.

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