Roy Lichenstein The Loaded Brush
27 July – 28 September 2019
Our Salzburg gallery presented an exhibition of major figurative and abstract paintings, sculptures, collages and drawings by Roy Lichtenstein. Titled The Loaded Brush, the exhibition focused on Lichtenstein’s innovations of the 1980s, when the artist developed a new visual language based on the form of the painted stroke, reduced to its simplest expression. Through these works Lichtenstein continued to refine and reinterpret the techniques and palette of his iconic Pop style, while engaging with a new subject matter: the brushstroke-form.
In the 1980s, Lichtenstein made a systematic examination of the formal properties of brushstrokes through works that depicted the gestural stokes of Expressionist painting using a Pop Art aesthetic: flattening the brushstroke-form by rendering it in bold, unmodulated colours with heavy black outlines. In this way, Lichtenstein denies the brushstroke’s status as an index of artistic labour, instead giving it the appearance of a mechanically produced image whose physicality is inseparable from the pictorial plane of the canvas. Through this treatment of the brushstroke-form, Lichtenstein furthered his investigation of perception and the conceptual complexities inherent in the simple lines and flat forms basic to visual representation.