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Gallery celebrates city's link to pop art masters.

Byline: SIMON MEECHAN Reporter simon.meechan@reachplc.com

AN exhibition showcasing the work of pop art pioneer Roy Lichtenstein is coming to a Newcastle gallery.

Hatton Gallery, in Newcastle University, will present the Artist Rooms exhibition, featuring Lichtenstein pieces.

Lichtenstein is best-known for his paintings based on comic strips, advertising imagery, and his playful adaptations of works of art by other artists.

The exhibition, developed in partnership with Tate and National Galleries Scotland, will be a rare chance to see Lichtenstein's work in the North East.

It's a fitting location, given Newcastle's role as one of the birthplaces of pop art in Britain.

In the early 1960s artist Richard Hamilton was teaching at Newcastle University and it was during his time here that he started to develop the concept of pop art. When Hamilton left the university in 1966 his reputation as a pop artist was on the rise.

Meanwhile, across the water Lichtenstein was playing a key part in the pop art movement that exploded in the USA. Lichtenstein produced a new type of art that responded to the optimism and growing commercialisation of the 1960s, bringing popular, everyday images into fine art, and questioning ideas around authorship and originality.

He created often monumentally sized paintings using his signature hand-painted Ben Day-style dots, which mimicked the aesthetics of comic books and commercial newsprint of the time.

The Lichtenstein exhibition will run from September 28 to January 4. Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries at Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, said: "We are thrilled to celebrate Hatton Gallery's Pop Art heritage by bringing the fantastic work of Roy Lichtenstein to the gallery.

"Building relationships with national partners such as Artist Rooms, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate is vital in delivering our ambitious exhibition programme and we'd like to thank them for the opportunity to bring what we expect to be a popular exhibition to the region."

This exhibition explores key themes that preoccupied the artist throughout his career, alongside early pop imagery: his fascination with the history of art, his investigations into reflections and mirroring, and his love of musical, as well as visual, composition.

At its centre is a series of innovative and technically complex large-scale screen prints made in the 1990s, towards the end of the artist's life.

The works are in Newcastle on loan from National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, thanks to the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Professor Vee Pollock, Dean of Culture and Creative Arts, Newcastle University, said: "The University is delighted to welcome the Lichtenstein exhibition to the Hatton. Following on from our Pioneers of Pop in 2017, it is a fabulous opportunity to see an important body of work by this significant 20th century artist.

"Printmaking has historically been and remains a strength at Newcastle, and these large-scale screen prints will no doubt be of great interest to many students and visitors."

Alongside the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition will be a new commission from artist Lothar Gotz and an exhibition from Heather Ross celebrating the legacy of Kurt Schwitters.

Gotz is an artist whose practice ranges from site-specific wall paintings and room-sized spatial installations to paintings and drawings. His painting is characterised by its use of abstract geometric forms, fields and lines of intense colour, juxtaposed with one another.

For this newly commissioned work at Hatton Gallery, entitled Fairground Attraction, Gotz will create an immersive wall painting in response to the gallery's Edwardian architecture, as well as specific works within the Hatton Gallery's collection.

It is a fabulous opportunity to see an important body of workProfessor Vee Pollock

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Roy Lichtenstein, Reflections on Crash, 1990
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 3, 2019
Words:604
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