Daily Picture Show

Colors, Comics And Cutouts: What Roy Lichtenstein Saw

Whump! Pow! Wham! Colored pencils, comic strips, onomatopoeias and Ben-Day dots! These were the things that inspired Roy Lichtenstein. He liked things big and bold and bright. And if you've ever been to a modern art museum, you might agree that his works are probably some of the most memorable; it's hard to forget, really, a larger-than-life comic strip.

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Lichtenstein is remembered as one of the most prominent self-proclaimed pop-artists who emerged in the 1960s among the likes of Andy Warhol. By the 1990s, he had turned to other media such as sculpture — but he also spent a good deal of that time planning his exhibitions. That's when photographer Laurie Lambrecht met him. For three years in the early '90s, she worked as his assistant while he prepared for a major retrospective.

Lambrecht's series, "From the Studio of Roy Lichtenstein," currently on display at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, provides a rare behind-the-scenes look at one of the 21st century's most renowned artists. It's a glimpse at the things that inspired him. Some images show the artist quietly working, taken from a discrete, unobtrusive distance. But the majority of Lambrecht's photos show Lichtenstein's muses, which inhabit the pages of newspapers and scrapbooks. There was enough visual stimulation in his studio for her to make her own art — basically recycling and reinterpreting his old materials.

It must have been a contemplative time for them both, digging through archives and unearthing old materials at the end of Lichtenstein's career. He died in 1997, but today his works thrive in museums, in books and in some lucky homes around the world.

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