New York

Roy Lichtenstein

Museum of Modern Art; Leo Castelli

“The Drawings of Roy Lichtenstein,” a traveling show of some 275 works organized by Museum of Modem Art curator Bernice Rose, is a herculean effort, an attempt at a retrospective of the artist’s drawing practice and, through the drawings, his total production. “Given the very large size of many of Lichtenstein’s paintings,” writes Rose in her catalogue preface, “only at the scale of drawing is it possible to have a detailed view of his career within a single exhibition.” Her aim is to trace the “logical unfolding of Lichtenstein’s work,” to describe, in a coherent manner, the diversity of a career that now extends over more than 25 years. Yet the strongest merit of this show is the way in which it inflects the very notion of drawing.

Lichtenstein’s art, as presented here, helps to demystify certain premises still clinging to this specific representational mode. One is that of the “expressive”

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