Roy Lichtenstein was born October 27, 1923, in New York City. In 1939, he studied under Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League in New York, and the following year under Hoyt L. Sherman at the School of Fine Arts at Ohio State University, Columbus. He served in the army from 1943 to 1946, after which he resumed his studies and was hired as an instructor. He obtained an M.F.A. in 1949. In 1951, the Carlebach Gallery, New York, organized a solo exhibition of his semi-abstract paintings of the old West. Shortly thereafter, the artist moved to Cleveland, where he continued painting while working as an engineering draftsman to support his growing family.
From 1957 to 1960, Lichtenstein obtained a teaching position at the State University of New York, Oswego. By then, he had begun to include loosely drawn cartoon characters in his increasingly abstract canvases. From 1960 to 1963, he lived in New Jersey while teaching at Douglass College, a division of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He met artists such as Jim Dine, Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, George Segal, and Robert Whitman, who were all experimenting with different kinds of art based on everyday life. In 1961, he began to make paintings consisting exclusively of comic-strip figures, and introduced his Benday-dot grounds, lettering, and balloons; he also started cropping images from advertisements. From 1964 and into the next decade, he successively depicted stylized landscapes, consumer-product packaging, adaptations of paintings by famous artists, geometric elements from Art Deco design (in the Modern series), parodies of the Abstract Expressionists’ style (in the Brushstrokes series), and explosions. They all underlined the contradictions of representing three dimensions on a flat surface.
In the early 1970s, he explored this formal question further with his abstract Mirrors and Entablatures series. Beginning in 1974 and up to the 1980s, he probed another long-standing issue: the concept of artistic style. All his series of works played with the characteristics of well-known 20th-century art movements. Lichtenstein continued to question the role of style in consumer culture in his 1990s series of Interiors, which included images of his own works as decorative elements. In his attempt to fully grasp and expose how the forms, materials, and methods of production have shaped the images of Western society, the artist has also explored other mediums such as polychromatic ceramic, aluminum, brass, and serigraphs