Skip to content

Press Release

New York, August 2001 - The leading New York modern and contemporary art gallery, Mitchell-Innes & Nash will present the first major Roy Lichtenstein exhibition in over two years. The first Lichtenstein gallery show since 1997, Roy Lichtenstein: Brushstrokes, Four Decades will be on view at the Madison Avenue gallery from November 1, 2001 through January 12, 2002. Featuring paintings, drawings and sculpture, the exhibition celebrates Mitchell-Innes & Nash's exclusive representation of the Lichtenstein estate, and will shed new light on Lichtenstein scholarship and appreciation. This is the first public one-man show composed entirely from the holdings of the Roy Lichtenstein Estate and Foundation. Surveying Lichtenstein’s work over almost 40 years, a number of the works in the exhibition are from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation's Archive, and will be on public view for the first time. The exhibition will comprise approximately 30 works from the late 1950s through the 1990s. Examining a theme not previously explored in depth, the Mitchell-Innes & Nash exhibition will present an overview of how Lichtenstein employed the "brushstroke" in his paintings, drawings and sculpture. Throughout his career, Lichtenstein addressed the issues of what it meant to be a visual artist, especially a painter. In particular, he wrestled with the symbolic and literal power of the painter’s mark – the brushstroke. The show will illustrate the artist’s use of the stroke as both a compositional element and as a complex metaphor for the history of art. Installed chronologically, the exhibition will demonstrate how Lichtenstein’s works from the late 1950s prefigure his use of brushstroke imagery in the later works. By the late 1950s Lichtenstein experimented with dragging thick oil pigment across the canvas, which celebrated the brushstroke and provided a dialogue with classic New York School Abstract Expressionism. In particular, Lichtenstein’s brushstroke imagery in the "drip" series of the 1960s provides a sharp commentary on Jackson Pollock’s renowned Abstract Expressionist style. During the remaining four decades of his career, painting and artistic mark-making would continue to be a focus of his work. The exhibition continues with the classic brushstroke series from the 1980s, which includes the landscape and seascape paintings, mythological scenes, still-lifes and paintings after de Kooning’s "Woman" series. The exhibition ends with Lichtenstein’s works from the 1990s, where the brushstroke reappears in an abstracted context in the artist’s minimal "Chinese landscapes." A further exhibition highlight will be several of the emblematic brushstroke sculptures from the 1980s and 1990s. In total, the exhibition will include 10 to 12 paintings, 15 works on paper and two to three sculptures. During the exhibition, the artist’s monumental 32-foot high sculpture "Brushstroke," 1996, will be prominently displayed on the Seagram Building Plaza located at 375 Park Avenue at 50th Street. One of a series of large-scale sculptures from 1996, the installation marks the first public exhibition of work from this group. Orchestrated in conjunction with the Mitchell-Innes & Nash exhibition, the outdoor sculpture can be interpreted as the culmination of Lichtenstein’s career-long exploration of the theme of the brushstroke. A fully illustrated catalogue, with an essay by art critic and professor Dave Hickey will accompany the exhibition. A renowned scholar, Hickey is also the curator of this year’s SITE Santa Fe Biennal. Gallery hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information or to request slides, please contact: Stacy Bolton tel: (212) 721-5350 fax: (212) 721-0780 email: