It’s Roy Lichtenstein week at the Art Institute of Chicago — and on The Modern Art Notes Podcast! This week’s program features James Rondeau, the head of the contemporary art department at the Art Institute of Chicago, talking about his new Lichtenstein retrospective. Rondeau co-organized the exhibition with Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Sheena Wagstaff.
“The big influence is Picasso,” Roy Lichtenstein said in 1996, the year before he died. And for most of Lichtenstein’s career — especially the early years — Picasso was. But by 1969, when he started his mirror paintings, Lichtenstein seems to have begun thinking about Matisse. Come 1973, when Lichtenstein made Artist’s Studio No. 1 (Look Mickey!), he seems to have completely bought into Matisse.
Artist’s Studio No. 1 (Look Mickey!) (click image above to enlarge) is a riff on Matisse’s famed ‘studio’ paintings, in which Matisse would paint his own previous works lying around a room, often his studio. This Lichtenstein is richly informed by Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911). Note that Lichtenstein placed the stretcher-revealing rear of a painting (a riff on not just Matisse, but on Lichtenstein’s own 1968 Stretcher paintings) in roughly the same part of the canvas Matisse does. The paintings on the rear wall are in roughly the same places Matisse put them. That jug that appears in so many Matisses. And so on.
The exhibition is the first career-length survey of Lichtenstein’s art and the first retrospective of the artist in 18 years. Currently in member previews, the show opens at the AIC on May 22 before traveling to the National Gallery of Art, the Tate Modern and to the Centre Pompidou.
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Image: Roy Lichtenstein, Artist’s Studio No. 1 (Look Mickey!), 1973. Collection of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features one of the greatest living artists, Robert Irwin. A exhibition of Irwin’s newest work is on view now at The Pace Gallery in New York, where Irwin and I taped this week’s show.
The piece pictured here is one of Irwin’s first pieces made out of scrim, a thin, ephemeral, synthetic material that Irwin used to great effect starting in the 1970s. On this week’s show, Irwin talks about how he ‘discovered’ scrim and about how he used it in his studio starting in 1969, first exhibited a scrim piece guerilla-style at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970 and then did this major piece at the Walker Art Center in 1971. Don’t miss the Walker’s fascinating blog post about Irwin’s 1971 installation. There are some great pictures there too. That untitled work is in the Walker’s collection; the museum has installed it four times.
To download the program directly to your mobile device/PC, click here. To download or subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, click here. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. To see images of artworks discussed on this week’s show, visit Modern Art Notes.
Image: Robert Irwin, Untitled, (1971). Collection of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.