Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago
Belying the work’s widely recognized surface appeal of glorious color and deceptively simple composition, the Art Institute’s career-arc-spanning Roy Lichtenstein retrospective revealed to all who came to see it the true breadth and depth of the artist’s career. Within his early abstract expressionist work one could see the frame being laid for “Brushstrokes,” and the black and white of his early pop is the spine upon which his definitive, pulp-appropriating masterpieces were built. Shown were his most famous works, and with good reason; “Whaam!” and “Drowning Girl” are legendary, and seeing them up close, pornographically saturated in color and texture and screaming from the walls, they are the center of the viewer’s world. But the show’s greatest feat was continuing on, beyond the comics page, to Lichtenstein’s “Perfect/Imperfect” series, his nudes, his interpretations of classic works; all proved something fans of the artist have already known, namely, that Lichtenstein was about more than Ben-Day dots.
Audience Choice: I CAN DO THAT at Variable Space
Best of Chicago 2012