Thursday, July 13, 2006

LIFE: Bang! Zap! Pow! It's art!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting…So last weekend we jetted up to Eugene to get some "cult-chah" and attend a kids' fest up there, and I swung by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon to see a fab new show they've got of work by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.

It was a good show, about 70 pieces, and reminded me of the Warhol show I saw there last year. I've always admired Lichtenstein's pop work, but like most I'm the most familiar with his "comic book-inspired" (some would say rip-offs) paintings. There's something kitschy and cool about those, but I also liked the chance to see some of Lichtenstein's other work at the show, his more abstract and avant-garde side.
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The stark, "coloring book" style of some of his illustrations is confrontational and strange, especially when they're on paintings 5 feet across. It's almost like taking a peek into some alternate, Jack Kirby-created dimension. The benday dots that are a big part of Lichtenstein's style help create that otherworldly feeling. Its very fakeness makes it seem more real. Or am I just lapsing into pretentious critic-speak? Whatever – I likes it.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI rather liked pieces like this one, "Brushstrokes," right, that show the artist's style breaking down into its component parts. One of the exhibition's most interesting images was a six-part series showing a cow being slowly disassembled into fractal linework, like vision blurring.
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But of course, you can't go wrong with a good ol' fashioned pop art explosion, either!

(All art (C) etc. Roy Lichtenstein estate, honest.)

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