C H R O N O L O G Y


1923
Oct. 27. Roy Fox Lichtenstein is born in Manhattan at Flower Hospital on 64th Street and Eastern Boulevard [now York Avenue], to Milton (1893–1946) and Beatrice (née Werner; 1896–1991). His father, who was born in Brooklyn, served in World War I. Milton Lichtenstein earns his living as a real-estate broker for the Garage Realty near 40th Street and Broadway. His mother, who was born in New Orleans and raised in Connecticut, is a homemaker as well as a gifted piano player. They reside on the Upper West Side of Manhattan initially on West 92nd Street. Later they move near Straus Park, the triangle at the intersection of Broadway, West End Avenue and 106th Street.


1927
Dec. 17. R.L.’s sister Renee is born.


1928-36
R.L. attends kindergarten near 104th Street and West End Avenue and grades 1 through 7 at P.S. 9 (84th Street and West End Avenue). Drawing, playing marbles in the street and roller-skating in Riverside Park, and building model airplanes are childhood pastimes. Science becomes a life-long intrigued. Frequently visits the Museum of Natural History, the Plan.

Fall. R.L. attends kindergarten near 104th Street and West End Avenue and grades 1 through 7 at P.S. 9 (84th Street and West End Avenue). Drawing, playing marbles in the street and roller-skating in Riverside Park, and building model airplanes are childhood pastimes. Science becomes a life-long intrigued. Frequently visits the Museum of Natural History, the Plan.
1920s
R.L. develops a strong interest in drawing and science and spends time designing model airplanes. Listens to radio shows including “Flash Gordon” and “Mandrake the Magician.” Summers with his family in Cedarhurst, Long Island and at Lake Buel nearby Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Becomes an avid swimmer.
1932
R.L.’s family moves to a smaller apartment on 505 West End Avenue at West 84th Street over concerns about the Depression.


1934
R.L.’s family moves again to 305 West 86th Street, 11A where with his father, mother, sister and maternal grandfather settle into a seven room apartment. Milton Lichtenstein’s business is unaffected by the Depression and his children grow up with live-in help and formal meals.


1935
R.L. spends next two his summers at Camp Sagamore, a sleep-away camp on Lake George, New York. He is considered one of the “fastest” runners of his bunk and earns the distinction of “camp breast-stroker of the Warriors.”


1936
R.L. begins 8th grade at Franklin School for Boys, a private school located at 18 West 89th Street in Manhattan (now called the Dwight School). Natural science, Latin, and Mendel’s theory of genetics are among his courses. Lichtenstein recalled his interest in art was piqued because Franklin offered no such instruction.


1937
R.L. enrolls in Saturday morning watercolor classes at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan (66 Fifth Avenue) where he paints still lifes and flower arrangements.
During R.L.’s. High School years he plays clarinet, piano and jazz flute. Visits jazz clubs around East 52nd Street, Staples on 57th Street and the Apollo Theater in Harlem with his friend . Forms a small band. Spends his summers at Camp Belgrade on Belgrade Lakes in Maine where he recalled making “romantic watercolors” of the forest trees and the lake. Spends his last summer of High School as a waiter at the camp. Purchases his first art book, Thomas Craven’s Modern Art: The Men, the Movements, the Meaning (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1934). One of the illustrations he recalls in it was Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror, 1932
1938
R.L.’s works include renditions of generic jazz musicians.


1939
May. Picasso’s 1937 masterwork Guernica is brought to the Museum of Modern Art to raise funds and support for Spain’s refugees. R.L. sees it with his sister and mother.
Visits the 1939-40 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens whose theme is “Building the World of Tomorrow
Paints directly from the model
1935-1942
During this period, R.L. makes drawings based on George Gershwin’s musical, Porgy & Bess, but destroys them. Takes life painting classes with live models nearby where he lives


1940
June. R.L. graduates from Franklin.
July 1–Aug. 9. Attends Reginald Marsh’s painting class at the Art Students League (215 West 57th Street). Class is primarily taught by an assistant. R.L. learns to paint directly from the model and studies anatomical drawing and Renaissance techniques, such as glazing and underpainting, applied to subjects of modern life. Feeling that Marsh’s paintings at the time had “a very brassy, commercial quality,” Lichtenstein is ultimately dissatisfied with the classes’ insistence on technique above process
Sept 23. R.L. begins the Autumn Quarter at Ohio State University, chosen because his parents felt he could earn a degree and pursue his interest in art. His first art classes there are Art Appreciation and Advanced Freehand Drawing. Other classes include: “Education Survey,” “Field Artillery,” and Botany. He is also required to complete a course in Physical Education. Hobbies include bodybuilding. R.L. first lives in private housing on North High Street at OSU before pledging Phi Sigma Delta. Moves into the fraternity house at 1968 Iuka Avenue in Columbus. Communal sleeping on unheated top floor of frat house. Decorates fraternity house for a party.

Paintings of the period include abstract works based on landscapes, still lifes and figure studies.


1941
Winter. R.L. takes Elementary Design and Elementary Freehand Drawing during the Winter Quarter at OSU along with Field Artillery and Comprehension and Reading.
Spring. R.L.’s Spring Quarter classes at OSU include “Drawing from the Head,” and “Introduction to Literature,” as well as continued classes in Field Artillery.
Autumn R.L. takes courses in History, “Drawing from Life” and “Masters of Modern Literature” at OSU while continuing the Military Science Dept’s course in Field Artillery.
Moves to apartment on North High Street with sophmore Marvin Sakol above Islay’s Ice Cream Shop


1942
Moves to Summit Street where he shares an apartment with his college friend Charles Batterman. Shows Batterman High School drawings after Porgy & Bess. Speaks to Batterman of his admiration of Picasso’s Guernica and Daumier’s oil painting, The Third Class Carriage (ca. 1863-65) on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. R.L. also mentions his interest in the Bayeux Tapestry of Normandy, a 30 foot-long, embroidered portrayal of the Norman Conquest of England. R.L. creates oil painting of Batterman’s feet soaking in a basin.
Winter R.L. takes courses in Intermediate Design and Sculpture. Creates a blue ceramic water buffalo sculpture
Fall R.L.takes first drawing class with Hoyt Leon Sherman at OSU where he learns about kinaestetic drawing which is based on psychological optics. Dubbed “drawing by seeing” Sherman eventually constructs a flash lab where using a tachistoscope he projects slides of objects in quick succession in a completely darkened room. Students must then draw based on their automatic recall of afterimages formed on their retinas in the flash laboratory. Though R.L. does not attend class in Sherman’s flash lab, Sherman’s theories became the basis on which he stated his own initial ideas about art commenting, “organized perception is what art is all about.”

Other classes at OSU included mechanical drawing, a comprehensive survey of Western art and history, along with Asian and Indian art, economics, humanities and the natural sciences.
Spring R.L.’s first class in oil painting at OSU along with a course on the “Evolution of Design” and “History through the Ages.”
Summer: R.L. takes Portrait painting and Drawing during summer session at OSU
Autumn R.L. completes Autumn Quarter classes in Drawing, Principles of Advertising and Technical Problems at OSU


1943
R.L. paints Portrait of a Man, 1943 that resembles Picasso’s Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1906.
Feb. 6 R.L. is inducted into U.S. Army at Fort Dix in New Jersey.
Feb. 9 R.L. enters active service
March. R.L.begins basic training at Camp Hulen in Texas, an anti-aircraft training base. Learns to hit targets using anti-aircraft scopes with a stereo to tell distance & speed. Short stay at Camp Maxey in Lamar County Texas for new classification. Applies to A.S.T.P. program (Army Special Training Program). Fails medicine, but passes in languages. Army cuts languages program and sends him for engineering instead.
December. Enters engineering A.S.T.P. at De Paul University in Chicago for Basic Engineering, where he takes classes in math and science for 24 weeks before army cancels program. Travels to loop in Chicago to hear jazz.


1944
Jan. R.L. passes his physical exam for the air corps.
Feb. Transferred to Fort Sheridan in Illinois. Studies French on his own time
March. R.L.arrives at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, for its pilot-training program. Hitch hikes with pals to New Orleans. Due to the enormous number of casualties in the Battle of the Bulge and the consequent need for soldiers to replace them, the pilot-training program is terminated a month later.

April. Arrives at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and reports to division headquarters of the 69th Infantry Division of the 9th Army. Serves as an orderly to a two-star Major General. Among his duties at Shelby is enlarging the cartoons of William H. Maudlin that appear in the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes for his commanding officer.
June. R.L. serves as a draftsman and artist in G-3 (Plans and Training)
August. Finds opening for draftsman in the intelligence section of the Engineers battalion of 69th Infantry Division of the 9th Army where he draws maps.

Works from this period include drawings done in black watercolor paint or charcoal stick of the rugged terrain of Mississippi swamps with dark areas which one of his war buddies calls “somber shadows.”
Dec Once U.S. gains back ground following the Battle of the Buldge, R.L.’s division is shipped to Europe on a small converted luxury liner called Le Jeune. Boat contains a library where he reads Edgar Allan Poe, and philosophers such as Kirkergard and John Locke.
Dec. 14. R.L. arrives in England. Once there, he sees exhibitions of Cézanne and Toulouse Lautrec in London. Buys book on Chinese painting and African masks. Continues to draw in conté crayon, ink and ink wash on paper. Subjects include trees in London parks./
Combat tour in England includes stops in Southampton, Winchester, Weymouth and Portland.


1945
Jan. R.L.’s unit arrives in France and sets up camp in a building once occupied by German troops. Does quite a bit of drawing in between his army tasks of maintaining roads and bridges. Thanks to electric generators, he is able to listens to the radio frequently. On furlough to Paris, R.L. buys three portfolios of reproductions of Rembrandt’s etchings.
Combat tour in France includes stops at Le Havre, Forges les Eaux, and Soissons.
Feb. Arrives in Belgium where his engineer unit is now expected to pass inspections, go on five mile marches and polish equipment.
April. R.L. writes home that he has gotten only fair results with his drawings and paintings in black & white tempera.
Combat tour in Belgium includes stops in Elsenborn, Krinkelt and Wirtzfeld. His unit breaks through Siegfried line.
May. At Leipzig, Germany, the 69th Division of the 1st Army is the first to meet up with the Russians on the Remagen Bridge crossing the Rhine. Though R.L. does not physically participate, he is given a battle star ribbon. Receives oil paints from home. While 1st Army is headed back to the states, R.L.’s unit is transferred to the 9th Army and remains in Europe.
Combat tour in Germany includes stops in Dahlem, Heinerscheid, Luxembourg. They cross the Rhine and reach Neider-Lahstein, in Germany, Heckhaltzhausen (sp??), Gie_en, Bergheim, Kassel, Witzenhausen, Heiligenstadt, Kölleda, Marktredwitz ??, Groitzsch, and Naunhof.
June A Private First Class in H&S First Company, 121 Engineer Combat Battalion, APO 29, U.S. Army, R.L. is sent to the picturesque German town of Oberammergau near Austria in the Bavarian Alps to work at the Army’s Information & Education (I&E) school. Receives his driver’s license after a week-long driving course and learns how to drive and maintain cargo trucks and jeeps. As part of his involvement with I&E, he must prepare and give _ hour lectures on the War in Europe and the Pacific as well as the Japanese Army based on information he culls from Fortune magazine.
July Paints in gouache
Sept. I&E disbands and R.L. is assigned to do more drafting work. Travels by rail to Paris on a 3-day pass where he visits Louvre. Remarks on El Grecco’s Christ on the Cross Adored by Donor, ca. 1590; Cezanne’s Card Players, 1890-1892 and Daumier’s La Blanchisseuse, 1863. At the Louvre bookshop, buys a small book on Roualt’s work. Writes home that he has been doing stacks of drawings and is pleased with the results. Writes of his admiration of Picasso, Roualt and Matisse. Buys books on Goya’s etchings, and Seurat’s paintings whom he remarks he is not particulary fond of. Return from Paris includes a short stopover in Kassel.
Oct. Receives commendation for his work in I&E. Works as a typist for the personnel section of the Army. Interviews for classes at the Sorbonne and is accepted. Travels to Paris via plane from Bremen where for the first time he sees the city’s lights from the air.
Oct 29-Dec. R.L. takes history and French language classes at the Cité Universitaire in Paris. Visits Chartre to see the cathedral among other art trips the school arranges outside the city. Contemplates studying with Léger who is one of the few modern masters teaching in Paris at the time. He passes Picasso’s studio on rue des Grands Augustins, but decides not to call on the Spanish master. His studies are interrupted after just 400 hours of course work. In December, Lichtenstein is furloughed home to see his father who is very ill. Returns to U.S. and reports to Fort Dix.


1946
Jan. R.L.’s father dies; on January 11 he receives an honorable discharge from the army as Private First Class/121st Engineers P Battalion. Awarded American service Medal, Eame Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victorious Medal. Receives $20 per week under the government provision known as the 52-20 clause. Regularly visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art with his mother and sister.

March. R.L. returns to Ohio State University to complete his degree under the G.I. Bill and the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. Takes courses in Renaissance art and Watercolor painting.
June. R.L. receives B.F.A. degree from Ohio State University, College of Education: School of Fine and Applied Arts.
Sept. Joins Fine Arts department as an instructor. In October begins teaching drawing and a course called Design 423 where he employs his own flash lab stacking boxes in a darkened room and asking his students to draw the afterimage using big block of charcoal or crayon on paper.
Creates Pre-Columbian-like sculptures from carved stone, terracotta and ceramic. Figures have Picassoesque-features.


1947
Jan. R.L. enters Graduate School from the College of Education at Ohio State University. Classes again include Technical Problems through Spring Quarter.
Resides at 394 15th Avenue in Columbus

Occasionally returns to New York and begins to visit galleries, especially Charles Egan Gallery and Betty Parsons Gallery on 57th Street. Paintings are bulbous figures with animated features. Continues to work in ceramic whose details emulate Miró.

Begins to create jewelry in silver, bronze and steel using the lost wax process. Uses a small electrical kiln in his studio for enameling.


1948
Autumn. R.L. begins classes in Art History research and criticism.
Winter R.L. enrolled in “Advanced Research Problems,” and “Research in Art History, Criticism & Philosophy of Art.”
R.L.produces pastels, oils, and drawings. Subjects include musicians and landscapes. Begins using fairy tales as subjects, and includes references to “Beauty and the Beast” and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Makes first self-portrait.

Begins showing his work at the Ten-Thirty Gallery in Cleveland [1515 Euclid Avenue] where he meets gallery assistant, Isabel Wilson (b. July 26, 1921; d. September 25, 1980). Previously married to artist, Michael Sarisky, Wilson is a painter and good friend of the gallery’s director, Algesa O’Sickey.


1949
June 12. R.L. marries Wilson.
Aug. 1–31. R.L.is in his first group exhibition in New York, at Chinese Gallery (38 East 57th Street). Run by Harald Wacker, the gallery shows American Art along with Chinese ceramics and other classical Chinese art forms. R.L. promised a show in the summer which he refuses. Chinese Gallery closes that fall.
Autumn. R.L. takes 2 classes in painting at OSU, one with Hoyt Sherman. R.L.’s M.F.A. thesis “Paintings, Drawings, and Pastels,” is coupled by a series of his own poems that pay homage to “the Wonderful Wizards of Art:” Braque ,Cézanne, Gaugin, Klee, Lautrec, Matisse, Ma Yuan, Rembrandt, Rousseau, Picasso, and Van Gogh.

Dec. 12–30. Ten-Thirty Gallery exhibits R.L.’s paintings with work by two ceramists, Harry Schulke and Charles Lakosky.


1950
R.L. moves with his family to 1496 Perry Street in Columbus. Isabel develops her skills as an interior designer and becomes a representative for Knoll. She is strongly influenced by the Barcelona Group of architects such as Bertoia, Rison and Noguchi and recommends their furniture designs to her clients.
Summer. R.L. takes “Mural Painting,” “Research: Oil & Watercolor Painting,” and his final Technical Problems class at OSU.

Giant beetles, flowers and birds along with medieval imagery account for much of his subject matter at the time. R.L. makes mosaic tables.


1951
R.L. brings paintings around to galleries in New York, such as M. Knoedler and Sidney Janis, carting them on top of his station wagon.
March 21–May 20. R.L.’s To Battle, a woodcut, is exhibited along with works by more than 200 other artists in the Brooklyn Museum’s juried show The Fifth National Print Annual Exhibition. R.L.’s work is one of 20 selected to receive a Brooklyn Museum Purchase Award and enter the collection. Members of the jury include Albers, who the preceding year was appointed Chairman of the Design Department at Yale University.
April 30–May 12. R.L.’s first solo exhibition in Manhattan, at Carlebach Gallery (937 Third Avenue). The show includes paintings rendered in muted pinks, blues, and mauves, and assemblages made from found wood, metal pieces, and found objects such as screws and drill buffers. Carlebach finds it too difficult to focus on both American art and primitive art and stops showing American art altogether.
June. R.L., along with several other instructors receives letter denying him tenure at Ohio State University in Columbus. The Lichtensteins soon move to Cleveland where his wife finds work as an assistant interior decorator at Jane L. Hanson, Inc. Lichtenstein family moves to the Music Center Building at 1150 Prospect (Huron Street) across from Gray’s Armory. Notebook is filled with cartoon-like drawings. One such work is of bananas.

August. R.L.’s King on Horseback takes first prize in sculpture at the Ohio State Fair. Draws clowns and other fairground scenes in his sketchbooks.


Dec. 31–Jan. 12, 1952. John Heller Gallery in New York (108 East 57th Street) presents a solo exhibition of R.L.’s work, consisting of 16 paintings based on American frontier themes, and several self-portraits as a knight. Hoyt Sherman contributes a brief preface to the show’s brochure. One painting in the show, Death of the General, is reproduced in ARTnews and Art Digest.

Shows jewelry at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in New York

Begins to incorporate titles and advertising copy in some woodcut compositions and paintings, such as Emigrant Train – After William Ranney, 1951 and The Explorer, ca. 1952.


1952
March 2–22. Solo exhibition of 17 of R.L.’s works—paintings, drawings, and prints—at Art Colony Galleries in Cleveland (11504 Euclid Avenue). One pencil drawing priced at $30, entitled Knight Storming Castle, includes a collage element of a photo of a castle taped onto it; it is described by an art critic for The Cleveland News as “truly like the doodling of a five-year-old.” The show receives an enormous number of responses from viewers, both negative and positive.
Autumn. R.L.’s works shown in several national and regional juried exhibitions, including Denver where he showed his ca. 1950 oil Insect with Man; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he exhibited a woodcut from 1951 entitled Hunter with Dog; a 1952 woodcut for the University of Nebraska A Cherokee Brave, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art where his charcoal Two Indians ca. 1952 was included.


1953
Resides at 1150 Prospect Avenue. Isabel is assistant decorator at Habe L. Hanson
Jan. 26–Feb. 7. R.L.’s second solo exhibition at John Heller Gallery, consisting of oils and watercolors based on Americana themes. One of them, The Diplomat, is reproduced in ARTnews.
Sept. 20–Oct. 3. R.L.is one of 50 artists represented in the opening exhibition of Art Colony Galleries’ third season.
Nov. Receives an award for his 1952 woodcut A Cherokee Brave in the Contemporary Printmaking Exhibition at Ohio State University.
Uses diagonals to shade areas in some of his paintings


1954
R.L.moves to 1863 Crawford Street in Cleveland. Begins to employ a rotating easel of his own design.
March 8–27. R.L.’s third solo exhibition at the John Heller Gallery, consisting of paintings based on American folklore themes and others that feature depictions of machine parts based on engineer’s blueprints. Some works include toys. Robert Rosenblum and Fairfield Porter review the show for Art Digest and ARTnews, respectively.
Oct. 9. R.L.’s son David Hoyt Lichtenstein is born.
.

1955
R.L.creates several wall-mounted assemblages of painted wood.
Butler Museum of American Art (Youngstown, Ohio) purchases R.L.’s painting The Surrender of Weatherford to Jackson, the first of several of his works to enter the museum’s collection.
R.L. works on the “before” models of a low-income Cleveland neighborhood for a proposed renovation project for Cleveland photographed by Margaret Bourke White for Life magazine.
Jan. 9. Art Colony Galleries’ three-person show with R.L., Christine Miller, and Louis Penfield opens. Among the 13 paintings by R.L. are Indians, A Flying Device, and Perpetual Motion Machine. One critic describes them as “Klee-like and surprising.”
Oct.-Nov. R.L. displays some of his jewelry at the Brooklyn Museum Gallery Shop.


1956
R.L.creates a lithograph called Ten Dollar Bill, his first proto-Pop work, in an edition of 25.
March 10. R.L.’s son Mitchell Wilson Lichtenstein is born.


1951–57
R.L. works at various jobs, most lasting about six months each, including: teaching drawing at the Cooper School, a commercial-art school; designs logo of a knife, spoon and fork for Hydecker, a commercial catering company, works as an engineering draftsman in the Product-and-Process Department at Republic Steel; decorates display windows and floors part-time at Halle Brother’s’s Shaker Square Department Store branch which is directly across from his studio; draws black-and-white dial markings in the designs for volt and amp meters and for Hickok Electrical Instrument Company. Teaches drawing to Dr. Karl Salus, a psychologist and friend and his young daughter Carol. Commissioned by Salus to paint Carol’s portrait, R.L. is reluctant to sign the finished canvas. Travels frequently to New York during his six years in Cleveland. While R.L. is in Ohio, his friend Stanley Landesman introduces him to Herman Cherry and Warren Brandt, through whom he learns about the Cedar Bar on University Place in Manhattan. He occasionally drops into the bar, which is frequented by de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Pollock, among others, but is too reserved to make contact with any of them.


1957
Moves to 2421 Edgehill Road in Cleveland Heights
Jan. 8–26. R.L. has another solo exhibition at John Heller Gallery, consisting of paintings based on Americana themes. Works described by critics as ‘acrid in color,’ “…flatly patterned…industrial comments…spontaneously felt depictions of a grown-up’s child-world.”
Feb. R.L. is invited to exhibit with Group 5, an association of Cleveland artists who banded together in deference to their omissions from the May show at the Cleveland Art Institute. R.L. shows several paintings and constructions.

May. R.L. shows his lithographic prints at Karamu House in Cleveland, a center established by Russell and Rowena Woodham Jelliffe where different races, religions and creeds could practice dance, printmaking, theater and writing.
Sept. R.L. takes position as assistant professor of art at the State University of New York at Oswego.
Moves to 11 West 6th Street in Oswego where he shares a 2 family house with Bruce and Helen Breland
Begins to use Abstract Expressionist style in his paintings, which include renderings of cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Bugs Bunny.


1958
August. Teaches Industrial Art Design summer course at SUNY Oswego and graduate course in painting.
6 of R.L.’s oil paintings are sent to the Landraw Gallery in Los Angeles along with works by several other Heller Gallery artists.


1959
Moves with family to 52 Church Street in Oswego. He continues to teach Industrial Arts during the summer and graduate courses in painting.
June 2–27. R.L.’s untitled abstractions are shown for the first time, in a solo exhibition at Condon Riley Gallery (24 East 67th Street). Most of the paintings feature scant traces of bright color on an unprimed background; some contain heavy impasto.


1960
Spring. R.L. resigns from the State University of New York at Oswego after accepting another position as assistant professor of art at Douglass College, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey. His courses at Rutgers are “Art Structure” and “Design and Advanced Design.”
Moves residence and studio to 66 South Adelaide Avenue, Highland Park, New Jersey. Paints in the bedroom.
June 6-24 Sees Dine’s and Oldenburg’s works at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New Form-New Media I organized by Steve Joy.
Autumn. Through Allan Kaprow, a fellow teacher at Rutgers, R.L. meets Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras (a student of Kaprow’s the previous year), George Segal (then completing his M.F.A. degree), and Robert Whitman; and through Robert Watts, another professor in the department, he meets George Brecht, Geoffrey Hendricks, Dick and Allison Higgins, and George Maciunas, all artists who will be involved with the Fluxus group.
Sept. Begins to teach adult classes in painting and drawing on Saturday mornings at the photography and art center in Princeton.
Attends some of Kaprow’s informal Happenings at Rutgers.
Brings several of his abstract canvases to Leo Castelli Gallery (44 East 77th Street) and shows them to Castelli, and his wife at the time, Ileana Sonnabend.
Leaves John Heller Gallery.


1961
Meets Letty Lou Eisenhauer, a graduate student working as a secretary in the Douglass Art department, who often performs in Happenings. She recalled his paintings at the time consisted of “small squares that gave the impression of mushy fields.”
Jan. R.L. shows Kaprow his semi-abstract paintings with cartoon figures embedded in paint which are later destroyed or used on the floor while painting his later Pop works.
Jan. 11–27. At Douglass College, R.L.exhibits 12 abstract pictures. These ribbon paintings were made by putting three of four colors onto plate glass and then saturating a rag or torn-up bedsheet with them and drawing it across a surface. One work is painted on several pieces of refrigerator-crate plywood nailed together.
Summer. R.L. paints Look Mickey, based on an image he finds in one of his children’s Little Golden Book series
1. It is his first painting without any expressionism. Seeking an industrial texture for his work, he seized on the graphic conceit of using Benday or half-tone dots and flat printed areas. In Look Mickey he created the half-tone effect with a plastic-bristle dog-grooming brush dipped in oil paint and pressed onto the canvas. These works also contained his first use of a dialogue balloon, as well as obvious pencil marks.
Summer Ileana Sonnabend and Billy Klüver come to R.L.’s studio on 26th Street. Klüver buys Radio. Sonnabend asks R.L. to show with him in Paris. Irving Blum ask R.L. to show with him.
Begins to stencil Benday dots onto canvas using a roller to distribute paint over a handmade metal screen and then employing a small scrub brush to push the paint through it.
Creates his first paintings depicting advertising images of consumer products, some of which are diptychs and are put together with hinges.
Autumn. Creates his first works utilizing only black and white (or blue and white) to emulate printed reproductions.
Autumn. Kaprow makes appointment for R.L. to see Ivan Karp, director of the Leo Castelli Gallery. He brings The Engagement Ring, Girl with Ball, Look Mickey, The Refrigerator, and Step-on-Can with Leg to the gallery. Karp arranges for Castelli to see them (except for Look Mickey). Castelli finds Girl with Ball interesting and, several weeks later, agrees to represent R.L.
Warhol takes his paintings to Leo Castelli Gallery and shows them to Karp. Karp shows Warhol R.L.’s painting Girl with Ball.
With Karp, visits Warhol’s studio (at 1342 Lexington Avenue), where he sees Warhol’s comic-strip and consumer-goods paintings.
Begins a series of black-and-white drawings (which he continues until 1968), using ink and Speedball pen.
Oct. R.L.’s first works consigned to Leo Castelli Gallery. He begins to receive a stipend from the gallery.
Nov. Castelli sells Girl with Ball to architect Philip Johnson. Other sales include Roto-Broil, Transitor Radio (which features a real leather strap) to collectors Richard Brown Baker, Walter Netsch, Burton Tremaine, and others.
Through Leo Castelli Gallery, R.L.meets Rauschenberg and Johns.
Trial separation from Isabel. R.L. moves residence and studio briefly to Broad Street in New York.


1962
R.L. returns to live and work in Highland Park.
Experiments with acrylic emulsion paint, in particular, Liquitex, but quickly abandons it for Magna, an acrylic paint manufactured by Boucour that is soluble in turpentine, but without the “yolky” or “milky” quality of Liquitex. Uses a Magna-based varnish in between coats of Magna color. Because Magna dried too quickly, he continues to use oil paint for his simulated Benday dots and later diagonals.
Creates paintings based on works by Cézanne and Mondrian.
Paints isolated words on canvas, in Art and In, but soon abandons the idea.
Creates his first paintings based on All-American Men of War comics, such as Blam, Takka Takka, and Live Ammo. His works often begin with a detailed preliminary colored pencil drawing, but not a straight copy of the source. Employs an opaque projector to enlarge the drawing on canvas. Works are then outlined quickly in pencil and re done again in pencil, so they could be easily erased. For small canvases, he would often paint his canvases upside down or at various angles using his rotating easel to rid his compositions of illusory space.
Feb. 10–March 3. First show of R.L.’s paintings at Leo Castelli Gallery, featuring works such as Turkey, Washing Machine, The Engagement Ring, The Kiss, The Refrigerator, Blam, and The Grip. Prior to the show, everything is sold.
Feb. 26. Newsweek magazine reviews R.L.’s show at Leo Castelli Gallery and reproduces Girl with Ball.
March. Art International publishes Max Kozloff’s article “‘Pop’ Culture, Metaphysical Disgust, and the New Vulgarians,” the first article to link Dine, R.L., Oldenburg, and Rosenquist as a cohesive group (together with Peter Saul and Robert Watts).
April. Donald Judd’s review of R.L.’s show at Leo Castelli Gallery is published in Arts magazine.
April 3–May 13. The Kiss is included in 1961, a group exhibition at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, curated by Douglas MacAgy.
May 26–June 30. R.L.’s black and white pen-and-ink drawings shown publicly for the first time, in Leo Castelli Gallery’s group show Drawings: Lee Bontecou, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein. Evolves a frottage technique for his drawings by placing a sheet of paper on a window screen and rubbing it with a pencil to achieve the look of machine-applied dots. Lichtenstein’s finished drawings at the time depict different subject matter than his paintings and do not require preliminary sketches.
June 15. R.L. is one of several featured artists in an article in Life magazine on the new art.
Aug. 6–31. Art of Two Ages: The Hudson River School and Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at Mi Chou Gallery in New York (801 Madison Avenue) features works by Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand, and R.L.
Sept. ARTnews publishes critic Gene R. Swenson’s “The new American ‘Sign Painters,’”an article about the work of Dine, Stephen Durkee, Indiana, R.L., Rosenquist, Richard Smith, and Warhol.
Sept. 25–Oct. 19. R.L.’s comic-strip and consumer-goods paintings are shown on the West Coast for the first time, in the Pasadena Art Museum’s group exhibition New Painting of Common Objects, curated by Walter Hopps.
Oct. 25–Nov. 7. Art 1963—A New Vocabulary exhibition at the Art Council of the YM/YWHA in Philadelphia (401 S. Broad Street) features paintings, collages, assemblages, combines, and machines by Brecht, Dine, Johns, Kaprow, R.L., Marisol, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Segal, Tinguely, and Watts. Exhibition brochure includes a dictionary of terms written by some of the artists to describe the new art.
Oct. 31–Dec. 1. Sidney Janis Gallery presents International Exhibition of the New Realists, featuring “factual paintings and sculpture” by American and European artists, including Dine, Klein, R.L., Oldenburg, Rosenquist, Rotella, Segal, Tinguely, and Warhol.
Nov. 2. R.L. is the featured speaker for a session entitled ‘”Sign” Painters’ for the 18th Annual Design Conference of the American Society of Industrial Designers’ conference Industrial Design and its Relationship to the Arts at the Walldorf Astoria
Nov. 18–Dec. 15. R.L.’s Takka Takka is included in group exhibition My Country ’Tis of Thee at the Dwan Gallery in Los Angeles (10846 Lindbrook Drive), along with works by Indiana, Johns, Kienholz, Marisol, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Rivers, Rosenquist, Warhol, and Wesselmann.
R.L.’s Head—Red and Yellow is acquired by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo) for its permanent collection.
Close cropping of imagery appears in drawings and paintings


1963
R.L. is commissioned by Philip Johnson to create a mural, his first large-scale work, for the New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York.
Separates from Isabel, who moves with the children to Princeton.
Takes leave of absence from Douglass College and moves residence and studio to 36 West 26th Street in Manhattan. The building houses other artists who also live there illegally.
Begins series of canvases depicting women from D.C. Comics’ Girls’ Romances and Secret Hearts.
Seeks out Beckley Perforating Co. in Garwood, New Jersey to replace his handmade metal screen with manufactured metal screens to apply Benday dots to canvas. Hires an assistant to paint in Benday dots.
For his drawings, instead of placing the paper on top of the screen, he rubs touché stick through its holes to achieve larger, more uniform, machine-looking dots.
March 14–June 2. The Guggenheim Museum presents Six Painters and the Object, organized by Alloway, featuring works by Dine, Johns, R.L., Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, and Warhol; the show travels throughout the U.S.
April. Three paintings by R.L., including Girl with Ball, are included in Pop Goes! The Easel exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston), organized by Douglas MacAgy.
April 1–27. R.L.’s first exhibition at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, featuring Sock, Masterpiece, Sponge, Sponge II, Portrait of Madame Cézanne, Drowning Girl, and other works from 1962 and 1963.
April 18–June 2. George Washington, Aloha, The Refrigerator, Electric Cord, Handshake, and Femme d’Alger are included in The Popular Image Exhibition at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art (Washington, D.C.), organized by Alice Denney.
April 28–May 26. Leo Castelli Gallery lends Girl with Piano and Magnifying Glass for Popular Art: Artistic Projections of Common American Symbols at the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Atkins Museum of Fine Arts (Kansas City).
May 17. Time magazine publishes a letter by William Overgard stating that R.L.’s I Can See the Whole
Room . . . and There’s Nobody in It! is taken from the last panel of his August 6, 1961 comic strip “Steve Roper.” R.L.’s painting and Overgard’s panel are reproduced alongside each other in the magazine.
June 5–30. R.L.’s first solo exhibition in Europe, at Sonnabend’s gallery in Paris. He travels to Paris for the opening, his first trip back to the city since the war.
Sept. Karp, in “Anti-Sensibility Painting,” an article in Artforum, uses the term “common-image artist” to refer to Lee Bontecou, Bruce Conner, R.L., Richard Lindner, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Samaras, Warhol, and Wesselmann.
Sept. 28–Oct. 24. R.L.’s second solo exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery, including Drowning Girl, Baseball Manager, Torpedo . . . Los!, and Whaam!.
Autumn. R.L.begins to use opaque projector to render images. Pencil marks disappear from his compositions.
Oct. 24–Nov. 23. R.L.’s Pop works are shown for the first time in Britain in The Popular Image, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London (17–18 Dover Street), organized by Alan Solomon.
Nov. 19–Dec. 15. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery presents Mixed Media and Pop Art, organized by Gordon
M. Smith, featuring works by Dine, Johns, R.L., Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, and
Warhol, as well as lesser-known artists in the museum’s collection.
Dec. 13. A symposium on Pop art is held at MoMA. Speakers include Dore Ashton, Geldzahler, Hilton Kramer, Stanley Kutz, and Leo Steinberg, with Peter Selz as moderator. Neo-Dada and New Realism are rejected as names for the new movement in favor of the term “Pop art.” Artists in the audience include Duchamp, R.L., Maciunas, Rosenquist, and Warhol.


1964
Jan. 31. Life magazine publishes an article on R.L. asking “Is he the worst artist in America?” The idea comes from the author Dorothy Seiberling, then married to Leo Steinberg. Both are keen on R.L.’s work and the title is an attempt to entice Life magazine to publish the piece. Lichtenstein fully supports the idea.
Begins to make Benday dots larger, in proportion to size of his canvases.
Creates a series of frightened and crying women in close-up views.
Dialogue balloons begin to disappear from his paintings.
Begins series of landscapes, signaling a move toward inventing his own subject matter.
Begins to incorporate plastic, Plexiglas, and metal into some of his landscapes.
Makes first large enamel piece, a tray with an image of a large hot dog. Seeks out Architectural Porcelain Fabricators, Inc. (ARPOR) in Orangeburg, New York to create editions of enameled works inspired by the enameled look of a Good Humor truck and subway signs. At ARPOR makes group of editioned sixteen-gauge steel sculptures based on explosion images depicted in comic books combining metal screens and metal elements which he has enameled in primary colors.
April. Cover of Art in America features R.L.’s “pop panorama” drawing of the New York World’s Fair, commissioned for this issue.
April 22. Opening of New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow, New York. The Theaterama building of the New York State Pavilion features R.L.’s mural, along with murals by nine other artists. After the fair closes in October 1965, the murals are deinstalled. Following repairs, R.L.’s mural is sent to the University of Minnesota.
June 30. R.L.resigns his teaching position at Douglass College.
Autumn. R.L.meets Dorothy Herzka at Paul Bianchini Gallery in New York (16 East 78th Street) during the preparations for the show American Supermarket, which had its grand opening on October 6, 1964. The show mimics sales and promotional techniques of supermarkets.
Makes a mask for a costume party which includes illusions to shadows. For a fashion magazine, RL attempts to make a model up in black line and dots on her face. This leads him to buy several plaster mannequin heads near his West 26th Street studio in the hat-manufacturing district of New York and creates Painted Mannequin Head emphasizing the shadowing across each of their faces.
Oct. 24–Nov. 19. Temple of Apollo, R.L.’s first painting featuring a reference to classical art, is shown at Leo Castelli Gallery along with several landscapes and enamel works.
Nov. 24. Solo exhibition of his landscapes at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.
Dec. 7. Creates his own costume and performs as the “Spear-Bearer” for Dick Higgins restaging of Dzhone_’ opera HRU_ALK at the Café au Go Go in New York.
Billy Klüver and noted Dada and Surrealist expert Arturo Schwartz assemble the publication The International Anthology of Contemporary Engravings: The International Avant-Garde: America Discovered Volume 5 (Galleria Schwartz, Milan). Along with R.L.’s etching On, 1962, it also contain Warhol’s first print.
Rosa Esman begins Tanglewood Press with the portfolio, New York Ten which includes Seascape, 1964, a color screenprint on clear Rowlux by R.L.

Employs an airbrush for the first time to create his painting Duridium, 1964 of a razor blade.


1965
R.L. officially separates from Isabel, who receives custody of the children. Moves to 190 Bowery, where he sets up residence and studio on the 3rd floor of a nine-room warehouse, a former German bank built in 1917. Adolph Gottlieb lives in the same building, and others in the neighborhood include Malcolm Morley, Nevelson, and Rothko.

May 22-23 Participates in the planned group swim with other Pop artists et, al. at the conclusion of Oldenburg’s Happening Washes at Al Roon’s health club in New York City.
Spring Spends one week in Caracas, Venezuela promoting Jacinto Quirarte’s Pop Art show.
Begins collaboration with the potter Hui Ka Kwong, a colleague from Rutgers, creating a series of ceramic heads and another of stacked cups and saucers.
Experiments with Modern motifs in his poster of the World’s Fair grounds for the Cartoonists Association.
Dealers Marian Goodman, Ursula Kalish, and Sunny Sloane along with art consultant and art framer Barbara Kulicke establish Multiples Inc. for edition pieces of art. Prompted by the newspaper strike of 1962-63 when banners were first used to advertise art show, they also open the Betsy Ross Flag and Banner Company with Robert Graham of New York’s Graham Gallery to produce banners by artists. R.L.’s Pistol, 1964, is the most popular and sells out.

Publication of John Rublowsky’s Pop Art, the first book devoted to the movement, featuring the work of R.L., Oldenburg, Rosenquist, Warhol, and Wesselmann.
Jan. Stedelijk Museum purchases As I Opened Fire for its permanent collection.
April R.L. creates prints for 11 Pop Artists, Volume 1, II and III. The project is directed by Rosa Esman and published by Original Editions, New York, a fine art program promoted and financed by Philip Morris, Inc.
Autumn. R.L. creates his first Brushstroke painting inspired by a comic strip panel.
Nov. 20–Dec. 11. Leo Castelli Gallery presents Brushstroke series along with recent ceramic pieces.

The National Cartoonists Society publish R.L.’s poster, This Must be The Place, 1965


1966
Dialogue balloons disappear from R.L.’s canvases.
Creates several paintings featuring drips and blots of paint against a graph-paper grid background.

Feb. R.L. contributes work to Los Angeles Peace Tower, a monument designed by Mark di Suvero. The tower was vandalized as soon as it was erected.

April 15 R.L. is one of thress panelists which includes Larry Rivers and Frank Stella at a symposium sponsored by the San Francsico Art Institute on Pop art.
Summer. R.L.designs poster, based on 1930s Hollywood motifs, for 4th New York Film Festival, which takes place September 12–22.
June 18–Oct. 16. The U.S. is represented at the 33rd Venice Biennale by an exhibition of works by Helen Frankenthaler, Kelly, R.L., and Jules Olitski, organized by Geldzahler.
Autumn. RL’s first experiments making collage paintings with vinyl and Rowlux. He begins to use concealed motors and light fixtures in his Rowlux collages.
Oct. 1. Leo Castelli Gallery offers for sale 800 signed black-and-white china pieces designed by R.L. and produced by Durable Dish Co., at $40–50 per six-piece place setting.
Nov. 4–Dec. 1. The Cleveland Museum of Art presents R.L.’s first solo museum exhibition, Works by Roy Lichtenstein, organized by Ed Henning.
Gemini G.E.L. opens in Los Angeles. Founded by Ken Tyler and Sidney, the workshop is the most technically advanced of its time.
The Jackson China Company produces R.L.’s glazed black & white ceramic 16-piece Dinnerware Objects which he makes in association with Durable Dish Company.
Creates his drawing Alka Seltzer, 1966, made with graphite and lithographic crayon on cream wove paper. Food disappears for some time from his imagery.
List Poster Program Commission.
The Tate Gallery in London purchases Whaam!, 1963


1967
March 23. R.L.’s divorce from Isabel is finalized by the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Mercer County. Isabel lives at 30 Nassau Street in 1968 and then 446 Carter Road in Princeton, New Jersey.
April. Arts magazine publishes an article by Salvador Dalí entitled “How an Elvis Presley Becomes a Roy Lichtenstein.”
April 18–May 28. The Pasadena Art Museum, in collaboration with the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), presents first traveling retrospective of R.L.’s work, organized by John Coplans. First solo-exhibition catalogue devoted to his work is published.
April 28-October 29, 1967. Uses Beckley Perforating Co.s’ specially made metal screen designed by Robert Cruden with graduating Benday dots for the first time for his mural, Modern Painting for Expo ’67 in American Painting Now at the U.S.A. Pavilion in Montreal for Expo '67.
Summer. R.L. rents Rivers’s house in Southampton with friends.
Mid-August. At the invitation of the Aspen Institute and several collectors [John Powers, Larry Aldrich, Robert Earl Anderson], a number of artists were invited for a month-long residency as part of the Aspen Festival of Contemporary Art. They were given spaces in the Brand Building (at the corner of Hopkins and Gelena Streets and then owned by Robert Earl Anderson) in which to work before opening them to the public. Lichtenstein used a small room next to Dewain Valentine's studio, painted it white and used black electrical tape to create a "cartoon" interior, an early environment or faux construction. Visitors remember that there were two doors in Lichtenstein's space, one Nok!! Nok!! and the other Slamm, each with a door knob painted to reflect a shadow. Also in tape were a radiator and steam and a "Klick" near the light switch. The building was subsequently demolished, though a least one of the Lichtenstein doors is extant
Autumn. In collaboration with Guild Hall in Paramus, New Jersey, R.L. creates a series of sculptures made of brass, mirror, tinted glass, marble, aluminum, and other materials.
Nov. 4–Dec. 17. Stedelijk Museum presents R.L.’s first retrospective in Europe, organized by director E.L.L. de Wilde and chief curator W.A.L. Beeren; the show travels to three other museums.
Appointed Regents Professor, University of California, Irvine


1968
R.L.makes first Stretcher Frame paintings.
Makes his first modular paintings featuring repeated design imagery, inspired by an art project he completed in 3rd or 4th grade at Franklin.
Jan. 6–Feb. 4. The Tate Gallery presents Roy Lichtenstein (a version of the Stedelijk Museum’s show), the museum’s first show dedicated to a living American artist, organized by Richard Morphet
May 24. The cover of Time features R.L.’s painting of Robert F. Kennedy that the magazine commissioned for this issue.
June. Maurice Tuchman, curator of the L.A. County Museum of Art, invites R.L. to participate in his Art and Technology exhibition, to be held in 1971. R.L. proposes creating a film based on a series of shots of a woman’s face exposed to alternating light sources. The proposal is altered during his residence in Los Angeles the next year. June 21. Cover of Time features R.L.’s rendering of a gun (based on his 1964 felt banner Pistol) for its cover story “The Gun in America.”
Summer. Visits the Pasadena Art Museum with curator John Coplans and sees Constructivist paintings of heads by German Expressionist artist Alexei Jawlensky. Coplans also discusses his ideas with R.L. for an exhibition on serial paintings.
Shares house on Wooley Street in Southampton with Diane and Paul Waldman.
Sept. 12 R.L. tours Universal Film Studios in the San Fernando Valley as an artist-in-residence. He decides to create a film and his first proposal which he later rejects was comprised of sequences of a woman’s face where contrasting red and green lights or dots of light would appear on either side of her face.
Sept. 10 R.L. made Fellow for Life at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Sept. 17–Oct. 27. R.L. sees Coplans’s exhibition Serial Imagery at the Pasadena Art Museum, and, inspired by the works by Claude Monet included in the show, begins making his Haystack and Rouen Cathedral lithographs.
Nov. 1. Marries Dorothy Herzka.



1969
Jan.–July. Completes his first serial prints (six Haystack and seven Rouen Cathedral lithographs) at Gemini G.E.L. in collaboration with master printer Kenneth Tyler.
Feb. 3. Returns for two-week stay at Universal City Studios, at which time he decides to create seascape films for the Art and Technology exhibition.
Summer. R.L.shares house on Wooley Street in Southampton again with friends. With the assistance of his friend Joel Freedman of Cinnamon Productions, R.L. begins to film in Southampton clouds, the ocean, and tropical fish in a tank in both color and black and white. Returns to Universal with his film footage and adds several shots from their archive. Returns to Southampton to complete the three closed-loop seascape films for the Art and Technology exhibition. Two of his movies feature split-screens of Benday dots above either a partly sunny sky or gentle waves. His third film features a split-image of swimming goldfish and flying seagulls.

Sept. 23 R.L. buys premises on Gin lane in Southampton, New York.

Sept. 19–Nov. 16. First New York retrospective of R.L.’s paintings and sculptures, at the Guggenheim Museum, organized by Waldman; the show travels to three other U.S. museums. The Guggenheim Museum purchases Preparedness, the first work by R.L. to enter the museum’s collection.
Autumn. Creates his first Mirror paintings inspired by the air-brushed quality of mirror sales catalogues. Begins to photograph his own source material such as magnifying mirrors that produce abstract shadows and shapes. Begins series of Pyramid works.
Publication of first monograph on R.L.’s drawings and prints, by Waldman.


1970
March 15–Sept. Two of R.L.’s seascape films are shown, using 35mm rear-screen projectors, in an exhibition organized by Maurice Tuchman at the American Pavilion of Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan.
R.L. finds house in Southampton, where he sets up his studio and a permanent residence the following year.
Oct. R.L. completes final work on his drawing for a very large mural—12 by 245 feet on four continuous walls—for the University of Düsseldorf’s School of Medicine. His assistant Carlene Meeker executes the mural assisted by several students from the university.

Begins to prime his own canvases by wiping them with tape to remove lint and applying two thin coats of gesso and one thin coat of underpainting white to them. Uses a Magna varnish in between coats of color Magna.

Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


1971
R.L. begins Entablature series in black and white using his own photographs of Wall Street’s Neo Classical buildings as sources. Starts to size and prime his own canvases.
March 13–April 3. R.L.’s Mirrors exhibited publicly for the first time, at Leo Castelli Gallery.
May 10–Aug. 29. R.L.’s two seascape films are shown at the Art and Technology exhibition at the L.A. County Museum of Art.
May 12. R.L. is inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Boston).
Sept. Leo Castelli moves his gallery to 420 West Broadway in SoHo.


1972
Publication of first monograph on R.L.’s paintings and sculptures, by Waldman.
R.L.begins Still Life series (which he continues through 1975). Increasingly uses diagonal stripes in place of Benday dots.
Begins to incorporate quotations of his own work in his Still Life paintings; also begins to incorporate references to works by Henri Matisse.
October. Frank Perry’s film “Play It as it Lays,” based on a novel by Joan Didion premieres. R.L. serves as visual consultant.


1973
R.L.begins series of trompe-l’oeil and Cubist Still Lifes, which include his first use of faux-woodgrain pattern.
Autumn. Begins Artist’s Studio series (which he continues through 1974) and incorporates quotations of some of his early 1960s paintings and drawings into some of the compositions most notably, Look Mickey, 1961
Creates several paintings showing the influence of De Stijl and Russian Constructivism.


1974
R.L.begins to paint his first works influenced by Italian Futurism.
Begins new series of Entablatures, using metallic colors and mixing sand with paint to highlight surface texture.
Sept. R.L.’s Modern Head, a 30-foot-high sculpture in metal, wood, and polyurethane made at Lippincott, a foundry in Connecticut, is assembled on a site in the Santa Anita Fashion Park in Arcadia, California. (It is removed in October 1988).


1975
R.L.begins series of paintings based on works by Purist artists Charles-Édouard Jeanneret [Le Corbusier] and Amédée Ozenfant (which he continues through 1976).


1976
R.L.paints Office Still Lifes based on newspaper illustrations of office items and business furniture.
Completes final series of Entablature Paintings.
Creates several self-portraits in Futurist style.
Warhol creates a silkscreen portrait of Lichtenstein.


1977
R.L.begins series of paintings based on works by Surrealist artists—including Dalí, Ernst, Miro—and Surrealist works by Picasso. Dialogue balloon briefly returns in his work La, La, La, 1977
Begins to make painted and patinated sculptures in bronze, with the assistance of Carlos Ramos and in collaboration with two foundries, Lippincott and Tallix, in Beacon, New York. Using the lost wax process, rubber molds encased in ceramic are made from RL’s wooden maquettes and wax is then steamed out and bronze poured into the mold. Bronze is patinated black and colored areas are created using a brand of polyurethane anti-aircraft paint called Bostic often in combination with Magna.
Creates large outdoor sculpture, Lamp, for Gilman Paper Company in St. Mary’s, Georgia.
April 26. R.L. receives Skowhegan Medal for Painting.
May 13. Is awarded Doctorate of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia.
June. BMW commissions R.L.to create an exterior design for their 3201 race car, driven later in the year at Le Mans.


1978
R.L.contributes cover design for catalogue to the Whitney Museum’s exhibition Art about Art, organized by Jean Lipman and Richard Marshall. After its run at the Whitney Museum (July 19–Sept. 24), show travels to three other venues.
Visits Los Angeles, where he sees Robert Gore Rifkind Collection of German Expressionist graphic art.
Begins to feature North American Indian motifs in his works.
March. R.L. is commissioned to create a banner for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for its entry way to the museum’s contemporary Art Galleries. The banner depicts three yellow pyramids surrounded by thick black outlines and black Benday dots.


1979
Makes his last Surrealist-inspired works.
Begins German Expressionist–inspired works based on paintings and woodcuts by artists such as Erich Heckel, Franz Marc, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.
The Mermaid, R.L.’s first public sculpture commission, is dedicated and installed at the Miami Beach Theatre for the Performing Arts.
May 23. R.L.is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, New York. 1980
May. R.L.awarded honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Southampton College in New York.
July 11. BBC’s London premieres of its profile on R.L. in Southampton studio as part of its program Seven Artists.


1980
Sept. 25. Isabel Lichtenstein (1921-1980) dies.


1981
R.L.creates four Woman paintings using modified Abstract Expressionist brushstroke based on de Kooning’s third Woman series, from the late 1950s.
May 8–June 28. The Saint Louis Art Museum presents an exhibition of R.L.’s paintings and sculptures from 1970–80, organized by Jack Cowart; the show travels to museums in U.S., Europe, and Japan.


1982
R.L. begins to combine loosely painted brushstrokes with constructed Abstract Expressionist brushstrokes in his paintings.
Begins series of paintings incorporating frame motif, and Paintings and Two Paintings series, in which two contrasting images are ambiguously linked by single or hybrid frame motif.
Aug. 8–Sept. 19. R.L.’s 1961 paintings Look Mickey, Popeye, and Wimpy (Tweet) exhibited for the first time, at the Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, New York).


1983
Columbus, Ohio, purchases R.L.’s Brushstrokes in Flight for ground-floor entrance to its International Airport.
Publication of Alloway’s monograph devoted to R.L.’s work.
Dec. 3–11. Creates 90-foot-long mural on wall of Castelli’s Greene Street gallery space, a compilation of many motifs from his earlier works, including the composition notebooks, Art Deco patterns, pyramids, mirrors, still lifes, and Picassoesque figures. It is on view until January 14 (and is then destroyed).

Designs the logo for the Visual Arts Center at OSU. Image is a yellow brushstroke on a blue grid background.


1984
R.L. returns to New York part-time to live and work, in a loft at 105 East 29th Street.
Spring. Joins Board of Directors of The Studio in A School Association, a not for profit organization that brings art experiences and artists t NYC public elementary schools.

Summer. R.L.’s makes his Studio-Linie Rosenthal Tea Set designed for the famous German porcelain enterprise.
Autumn. Begins maquette for Mural with Blue Brushstroke for the lobby of the Equitable Tower in Manhattan.
Sept. 20–Dec. 2. The Whitney Museum presents Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism, and Performance, organized by Barbara Haskell.


1985
Nov. R.L. begins to paint Equitable mural; it takes almost six weeks to complete.


1986
R.L.’s Salute to Painting, a large outdoor sculpture, is installed at the Walker Art Center.
Spring. Creates Perfect and Imperfect paintings, featuring compositions of pure geometric abstraction.


1987
March 15–June 2. MoMA mounts first major retrospective exhibition of R.L.’s drawings, organized by Bernice Rose, the first show of drawings by a living artist ever presented by the museum. The show travels to museums in the U.S. and Europe. R.L. visits Israel in December when his show opens at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.


1988
R.L. begins Reflections series in Southampton, incorporating quotations of previously depicted comic strips (as well as some new ones), a motif that he has not used since the 1960s. The idea comes to him while trying to photograph a Rauschenberg print under glass.
His Coup De Pinceau (Brushstroke), a 31-foot-high aluminum sculpture, is installed at the Caisse de Depots et Consignations in Paris.
Publication in Munich of the first monograph devoted to his pre-Pop works, by Ernst A. Busche.
R.L. creates Plus and Minus paintings, a new series based on works by Mondrian.
R.L. creates poster design for California campaign of Democratic Presidential hopeful Michael Dukakis.
May. Sets up a studio and residence in a 1912 building on Washington Street in Manhattan. A former steel fabricating business, it is renovated by architect David Piscuskas of the firm 1100 Architect. Divides his time between Southampton and Manhattan.
June. Receives an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from his alma mater, Ohio State University.
Nov. 16–May 1989. R.L.’s Brushstroke, a 30-foot-high painted aluminum sculpture created in 1987, is installed at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Manhattan as part of the Public Art Fund’s project to install temporary installations on public sites in New York.
Nov. 19–Dec. 19. Sonnabend Gallery in New York (420 West Broadway) presents works by Koons, including expensively produced porcelain copies (in enlarged versions) of kitsch statuettes.


1989
March 15–May 15. R.L. stays at the American Academy in Rome as artist-in-residence.
April. Travels with his studio assistants to Tel Aviv to begin work on a 23-by-54-foot mural for Meshulam Riklis Hall, which is the entrance hall of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Completes and signs the mural May 7, 1989.
Summer. Begins work on Bauhaus Stairway; Large Version a mural for a building designed by I.M. Pei for Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles.
June. Commissioned by the MTA to create a mural for the subway station below Times Square in New York City.
I. M. Pei’s new building for the Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills.


1990
R.L.begins Interior series; for some of these, he uses the technique of painting with sponges.
Levine appropriates several of R.L.’s comic-strip paintings and prints in her 1990 mixed-media work Collage/Cartoon.
Sept. Cassandra Lozano becomes R.L.’s assistant
Oct. 7–Jan. 15, 1991. MoMA presents High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture, an exhibition of 20th-century art along with source materials and related ephemera, organized by Kirk Varnedoe and Adam Gopnick. Some of R.L.’s comic-book sources are shown for the first time.


1991
April 2–June 16. Two of R.L.’s Interior paintings shown in the Whitney Museum’s 1991 Biennial exhibition.
April 25. Receives Brandeis University’s Creative Arts Award.
May 15–Oct. 31. R.L.’s Modern Head, a 32-foot-high sculpture based on his 1974 metal, wood, and polyurethane sculpture at the Santa Anita Fashion Park in Arcadia, California, is installed in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan.
Autumn. In collaboration with Saff Tech Arts, located in Oxford, Maryland, begins making enamel prints (on stainless steel with wooden frames) based on Monet’s late waterlily paintings Nymphéas.


1992
June 12. Made Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic

July. Inspired by the work of Catalan artist Antoni Gaudí, R.L. creates Barcelona Head, a 64-foot-high sculpture made of colored ceramic tiles, commissioned for the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. It is installed there on the site of the former naval yard where Christopher Columbus docked his ships.
Oct. R.L.creates a sculpture based on the image of an African mask in his painting Interior with African Mask. It is fabricated at Tallix foundry, in versions of galvanized steel, tin-plated bronze, zinc-plated bronze, and pewter, in editions of six.
1992–93
Dec. 6–March 7. The Museum of Contemporary Art , Los Angeles presents Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955–62, organized by Paul Schimmel and Donna De Salvo, devoted exclusively to the early years of the Pop art movement in the U.S. It includes R.L.’s pre-1960s works such as Washington Crossing the Delaware I and several of the semi-abstract drawings of cartoon characters that he made in 1958. The show travels to two other U.S. museums.


1993
May. Frederick Tuten’s book, Tintin in the New World: a Romance is published by William Morris and Co. R.L. contributes the cover image which features the character Tintin originally created by Belgian artist Hergé.
July 9. R.L. receives an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London.
July–Aug. Creates Large Interior with Three Reflections, a mural consisting of a 30-foot-long triptych and three additional panels for the Revlon Corporation in New York. The mural contains his first reference to a female nude and is shown for the first time in Oct. at his retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum.
Oct. R.L.completes Brushstroke Nude, a 12-foot-high painted aluminum sculpture fabricated at Tallix. The work debuts on the sidewalk in front of the Guggenheim for his retrospective.
Oct.8–Jan. 16, 1994. The Guggenheim Museum presents Roy Lichtenstein, a retrospective survey of R.L.’s paintings and sculpture, organized by Waldman. The exhibition travels to The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; Museé des Beaux-Arts, Montreal; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Palais des Beaux-Arts, de Bruxelles; and concludes it tour in a smaller exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio.
Oct. 23-Nov. 27. R.L.’s new series of paintings featuring Tintin premiere at Leo Castelli Gallery.
Nov. R.L.’s painting Grrrrrrrrrrr!!, 1965 appears on the cover of ARTtnews.
Dec. 23. R.L. receives Amici de Barcelona from Mayor Pasqual Maragall, L’Alcalde de Barcelona.
Begins a series of works featuring the female nude.


1994
Jan. Lou Ann Walker’s book Roy Lichtenstein: The Artist at Work is published by Lodestar. The book, designed to teach children 8-12 years of age about art, includes photos by Michael Abramson of R.L. in his studio.
Jan. 13. Lichtenstein is honored at The 95th Annual Artists Award Dinner at The National Arts Club in Manhattan.
May. R.L. unveils designs for the hull and sails for PACT 95’s yacht, Young America. An entry in the race to defend the America’s Cup, on the hull is the image of a mermaid, the largest work R.L. has ever created.
June. R.L.’s 53 feet mural for the Times Square subway station in New York is complete. The work comprised of 16 porcelain panels is fabricated by Winsor Corp., Olympia, Washington. The work goes into storage due to budget problems at the MTA.

Oct. The Prints of Roy Lichtentein: A Catalogue Raisonne by Mary Lee Corlett is published by Hudson Hill Press. The book appears in conjunction with his print retrospective which opens that month at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The show later travels to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and to the Dallas Art Museum.
Nov. 19 -Dec. 17. First series of R.L.’s nudes is shown at Leo Castelli Gallery.


1995
March 31. The New York Times publishes, “At the Met with Roy Lichtenstein,” by their chief art critic, Michael Kimmelman. The piece is one in a series of interviews with major international artists on their most treasured artworks at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

June 8 R.L. donates Composition III, 1995 based on the motif of musical notes to The Friends of Art and Preservation in Embassies. 175 copies of the print are scheduled to hang in U.S. embassies throughout the world.
Sept. 22. Dedication of the Hoyt L. Sherman Studio Art Center at Ohio State University.
Oct. 5. R.L. receives the National Medal of Arts at a gala ceremony in Washington, D.C. Presenting the award are President and Mrs. Clinton.
Nov. 10. R.L. receives Kyoto Prize from Inamori Foundation, Kyoto, Japan.
Inspired by the monotype and pastel landscapes of Edgar Degas which he sees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, R.L. begins a large series of works which he refers to as Chinese Landscapes. Creates last self -portrait works which he entitles Coup de Chapeau.


1996
May 19. R.L. is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Aug. R.L. designs the logo for Dreamworks Records, a unit of the film company Dreamworks SKG, founded by David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. It features a musical note within a dialogue balloon.
Sept. 21-Oct.26. Roy Lichtenstein: Landscapes in the Chinese Style is presented at Leo Castelli Gallery. It is R.L.’s last exhibition at the gallery prior to his death.
Dec. The National Gallery becomes the largest repository of R.L.’s prints after it receives a gift from the artist of 154 of his prints and 2 of his books spanning his career from 1948-1993.
May R.L. creates a foam core maquette and a collage for a hologram interior commission by the C-Project based in Miami Beach. Completion of the project is cut short by his death a year later.
R.L. embarks on a series of sculptures based on brushstrokes and drips. Continues to explore the theme of interiors some of which he refers to as Virtual Paintings which feature various colored outlines instead of only black.
R.L. creates a painting entitled M ickasso a play on the Disney character Mickey Mouse and Picasso’s cubist style.

R.L. creates Pro Choice Button Design


1997
April 9. Dedication of The Roy Lichenstein Study Center for Contemporary Art by The American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum, Israel.

April 30. David Sylvester interviews R.L. in New York. The interview becomes the last one ever given by the artist.
May. Singapore Brushstroke, 1997, R.L.’s last major outdoor sculpture comprised of 6 large pieces is installed at the Pontiac Marina in Singapore.
June 15 - Nov. 9. La Biennale di Venezia, XLVII Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte opens. New works by R.L. including House II, 1997, a composite construction with fiberglass of a house exterior, are shown at the Italian pavilion in the exhibition, Future, Present , Past curated by the Biennial’s commissioner, Germano Celant.
Sept. 5 - Oct. 7 Galerie Lawrence Rubin in Zurich presents an exhibition of new interior paintings by R.L. Sylvester’s interview is published in the catalogue.
Sept. 29. R.L. dies at New York University Medical Center in Manhattan from complications due to pneumonia.


Lichtenstein: A Chronology2
By Clare Bell

©Revised and expanded edition, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, 2007

© Clare Bell/Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1993

1. Graham Bader is responsible for finding the actual source for the painting which is from A Little Golden Book written by Carl Buettner with pictures by Bob Grant and Bob Totten entitled Walt Disney’s Donald Duck, Lost and Found (New York: Golden Press, 1960). Lichtenstein’s recollection of the source for Look Mickey most often included the idea that it came from one of his children’s ‘bubble gum wrappers.” See . Allan Kaprow is on record as well that he and Lichtenstein discussed that art could be made from a “bubble gum wrapper.” Most likely, Lichtenstein’s memory of the actual source was simply a conflation of his and Kaprow’s discussions and things his children had around them.

2.The oral histories gathered and researched by Avis Berman for the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation have provided invaluable insight into R.L.’s life and work and her findings from the discussants are reflected throughout this transcript. Other invaluable sources include R.L.’s OSU transcripts; Fred Tuten’s unpublished interview with R.L. in April 1992 which focused on R.L.’s early art courses at OSU and his experiences in the infantry. R.L.’s own letters home from 1942-1945 provided specifics pertaining to his rank, troop movements, locales, and the types of art works he made during the WWII. Other facts have been culled from numerous published and unpublished interviews and statements with and by the artist.