T I M E S .....S Q U A R E...... M U R A L
Roy Lichtenstein........Porcelain enamel on steel......
6 feet x 53 feet ......1994 (installed in New York City subway station, 42nd and Broadway in 2002)
Next Stop, Times Square

Twelve years ago the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Arts for Transit program commissioned Roy Lichtenstein to create a mural for the Times Square subway station. A native New Yorker who had ridden the subway since boyhood, Lichtenstein jumped at the chance to create a work of public art. So he designed a 6-foot-tall, 53-foot-long porcelain enamel futuristic vision of New York, which he decided to make a gift to the city.

Lichtenstein fabricated the mural in 1994, three years before his death. Although it was ready to be installed then, plans for the redevelopment of Times Square were delayed and the mural was put in storage, where it has been ever since. But now, to coincide with the renovation of tbe Times Square subway station, the M.T.A. is putting the work in its rightful place. On Sept. 5 it will unveil "Times Square Mural" near the main entrance at 42nd Street and Broadway.

"A half a million people a day come through the Times Square subway station," said Sandra Bloodworth, director of the Arts for Transit Program. "Roy's desire to make this gift was an example of how much he believed in the subway and in New York."

"Times Square Mural" incorporates many of the artist's signature elements, including comic-book characters and science-fiction themes. Lichtenstein also made visual references to the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs. In one portion of the mural, a Buck Rogers figure steps out of a space ship, looking through the remains of a crumbling 20th-century 42nd Street subway station and onto the city of the future. An image of the original 1904 plaque of the number 42, created by Grueby Faience of Boston, one of the most important terra-cotta manufacturers at the turn of the 20th century, was also incorporated,into the artist's scheme.

Inside Art .....by Carol Vogel