Los Angeles, CA
Featuring more than twenty of Lichtenstein’s pivotal works from Gemini G.E.L.’s collection (1969–1996), Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein Prints by Gemini G.E.L. explores the democratization of art that gave rise to the Pop Art movement. As antidote to the intellectual, non-figurative style of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art transformed conceptions of fine art by appropriating images from popular culture and elevating them to the level of “high” art. At the same time, a renaissance in printmaking made art accessible to more people than ever before. Lichtenstein was a vanguard of the movement, breaking down barriers between art and life. Pop for the People coincides with Gemini’s fiftieth anniversary and with the major exhibition The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L. at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Lichtenstein’s life and work offer a unique vantage point to explore how the art community, operating in centers on both the East and West Coasts, initiated a new art form that gave art to the people. The exhibition chronicles Lichtenstein’s early history and sheds new light on the relationships he forged with artists, curators, critics, dealers, and printers who molded the Pop Art movement. It highlights Lichtenstein’s longtime friendship and work with Gemini G.E.L. founders Stanley Grinstein and Sidney Felsen, who played a formative role in shaping the Los Angeles art scene and helped transform the city into a global center for printmaking and Pop Art.
To probe the values at the core of the Pop Art movement, the exhibition will also include works from the Skirball’s permanent collection by Andy Warhol, another leading figure of the movement. Additional works by Lichtenstein—including large-scale paintings, prints, and drawings—will illustrate his commitment to socially conscious art making and will explore the influence of his personal history and Jewish identity on his art.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website