“Summer” is a word that sometimes gets paired with the word “vacation” and often conjures up thoughts of travel and exploration. While it is not always feasible to just pack up and go some where exotic, one can perhaps break away for a day and enter an amazing world of excitement and imagination.
It is only a short train ride to an escape that promises to please. The Art Institute of Chicago, one of the most prestigious art museums in the world, is currently hosting “Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective,” the largest exhibition of art from the prominent Pop artist to date. The show comprises over 160 pieces of work and is reflective of the different phases of Lichtenstein’s career. Though most notably recognized for his old fashioned comic book style art, he was trained in a multitude of mediums and styles to include abstract, surrealism, figurative, Chinese landscapes and sculpture.
Lichtenstein has been called one of the most highly influential artists of the 20th century. His most identifiable work emerged in 1961 while serving on the faculty of Rutgers University when his son pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said ‘I bet you can’t paint as good as that.’ Up for the challenge, Lichtenstein created the first in a series of Proto-Pop images. Little did he realize that the Ben-Day dots, lettering and speech balloons that he used in his reproduction would become his signature. This work, along with Lichtenstein’s never-before-seen paintings and sculptures, offers insight into the timelessness of art and the pleasure that it brings.
Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective runs through Sept. 3 at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., http://roy.artic.edu/ or 312-443-3600. Open daily 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursday until 8 p.m. Adults, $18; children 14 and over, students and seniors 65 and over, $12.