I’m a big Roy Lichtenstein fan but the Morgan Library does him no favors in the Black and White Drawings 1961-1968 exhibit currently up through January 2nd. Pop art has always been criticized for not being “serious.” In my mind, that’s a load of horseshit. The works that Lichtenstein, Warhol, Damien Hirst, Red Grooms, et. al. have produced are fun to look at. Does it have to be deep all the time? Lighten up, snobs!
One criticism is that pop art lacks originality. Well, they naysayers may have a point. Lichtenstein made a career out of reproducing already existing comic drawings and rechristening them as art. The Morgan takes some of his work and lays it side-by-side with the source material and do you know what? It’s kind of disheartening! He really did just copy comic panels and call it art.
In addition to the Lichtenstein exhibit, the Morgan also has a juicy Degas: Drawings and Sketchbooks exhibit through January 23rd. It’s just 20 drawings and two sketchbooks, so it’s easy to do both the Lichtenstein and Degas exhibits in just one visit.
It’s worth your while to take a few minutes and click though the online exhibit of the drawings. They’re so beautiful. There’s a few haunting self portraits.
The exhibit includes prototype sketches of his little dancer sculpture.