Cover image for Image duplicator : Roy Lichtenstein and the emergence of pop art
Image duplicator : Roy Lichtenstein and the emergence of pop art
Lobel, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 196 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6537.L5 A68 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Roy Lichtenstein's distinctive paintings of the early 1960s are synonymous with the Pop art movement. These bold, oversized images inspired by newspaper advertisements and comic book scenes have been taken as reflecting the artist's fascination with the links between art and popular culture. In this study, Michael Lobel challenges this circumscribed view of Lichtenstein's work, offering a set of interpretations that reveal the artist's confrontation with a far wider range of issues. Lichtenstein's art is fundamentally engaged with a set of concerns central to art-making in the postwar period: the relation between vision and technology, the possibility of articulating artistic identity, and the effect of mechanical reproduction on the work of art. Lichtenstein's project, Lobel argues, is structured by the tension between painting understood as a fully expressive, humanistic gesture and, conversely, as the product of a purely mechanical act.

Author Notes

Michael Lobel is assistant professor of art history at Bard College.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Among the many retrospective texts written in the years following Lichtenstein's death in 1997, this offers an unprecedented and cogent reappraisal of the artist's participation in the pop art movement between the late 1950s and mid-1960s. It also provides valuable insight into the nature of the union between psychology and commerce in both the marketplace and the pop aesthetic of this period. Lobel (art history, Bard Coll.) presents Lichtenstein as a shrewd if occasionally ironic manipulator of lowbrow cultural ephemera who struggled with the paradox of being a painter in the age of mechanical reproduction and who, consequently, transformed elements of mass culture into sly, sometimes self-effacing intellectual puns. Lobel's argument is well crafted and concise, and over the course of five chapters, he entices the reader down several conceptual tributaries branching from his central thesis. He tips his hat to postmodern art historical orthodoxy by employing methodologies and broaching issues now considered de rigueur for art theorists: semiotics, gender issues, and the gaze. Lobel is sparing but effective in his use of illustrations, offering period advertisements, comics strips, and comparisons to works of a similar spirit by his sometime rival Warhol to distinguish Lichtenstein's oeuvre from others' in his milieu. Highly recommended for collections focusing on modern art. Savannah Schroll, Smithsonian Institution Libs., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
1 The Emergence of Pop Artp. 17
2 Trademark Lichtensteinp. 41
3 Technology Envisioned: Lichtenstein's Monocularityp. 75
4 The Image Duplicatorsp. 105
5 Engendering Differencep. 127
Conclusionp. 159
Notesp. 169
Bibliographyp. 183
Indexp. 189
Creditsp. 196