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On the dot
on June 2, 2012
The catalog for the current Lichtenstein retrospective now in Chicago and which will later travel to Washington, London and Paris, this book is a complete survey of the American Pop artist's career, from his very early abstract paintings (late 1950's) to his last nudes (1996-97). A separate section of the book is devoted to his works on paper, which give good insight into Lichtenstein's working method.
The book is divided into several interesting essays, especially on the artist's link with modernism, on the influence of Picasso on his art, whether before 1961, or after, that year being pivotal in Lichtenstein's career as being the year when he adopted his signature pop style (scenes picked from popular comics, everyday objects, ben-day dots...), or on the different phases of his art (his late nudes and the influence of Matisse, for example).
The illustrations are numerous and large (sometimes double-page) and the book ends with a very comprehensive chronology detailing the main developments in the artist's career.
On the whole, this book is a good update to the landmark book by Diane Waldman, which was published some 15 years ago on the occasion of the first large Lichtenstein retrospective at the Guggenheim museum in NYC and which is now out of print.