Iconic Roy Lichtenstein Mural Resurrected Then Destroyed Again
The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, in collaboration with Gagosian New York has announced a rare public re-creation display of "Roy Lichtenstein: Greene Street Mural.” The artwork was created in December 1983 by Lichtenstein as an unprecedented, site-specific, and temporary wall painting measuring 18' × 96 1/2' at the Castelli Gallery at 142 Greene Street. In accordance with Lichtenstein's intention, the work was destroyed after the six-week show. More than thirty years later, Gagosian will present to a new generation of viewers a full-scale painted replica of the original work, based on documentation from Lichtenstein's studio and produced under the supervision of his former studio assistant. In keeping with the momentous spirit of the original project, the replica will be destroyed at the close of the exhibition.
In Greene Street Mural, Lichtenstein layered pervasive images from his pop lexicon--marble-patterned composition notebooks, cartoonish brushstrokes, and Swiss cheese--with new motifs, including the Neo-Geo tropes of the Perfect/Imperfect paintings; faux woodblock shading patterns; and office items including filing cabinets, envelopes, and folding chairs. Echoing the self-reflexive and art-historical juxtapositions of the Artist's Studio paintings made during the same period, the mural conflates citations from Lichtenstein's own oeuvre with references to Picasso and Brancusi, Art Deco motifs, and depictions of the Great Pyramids. This heady mix epitomizes Lichtenstein's ability to absorb anything and everything that caught his eye into his constantly evolving artistic idiom.
Related source material, drawings, and studies will accompany the panoramic mural, as well as paintings and sculptures of the period, among which are works from the companion exhibition that was held at Castelli Gallery at 420 West Broadway from December 1983 to January 1984.
An accompanying, fully illustrated publication will include an essay by art historian and curator Camille Morineau; rarely seen photography by Bob Adelman that captured the creation of the original Greene Street Mural; and extensive documentation relating to Lichtenstein's twelve realised and four unrealised murals.
Roy Lichtenstein was born in 1923 in New York, where he died in 1997. His work has been exhibited extensively worldwide. Recent retrospective surveys include "All About Art," Louisiana Museum, Humelbaek (2003, traveled to Hayward Gallery, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, through 2005); "Classic of the New," Kunsthaus Bregenz (2005); "Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art," Museo Triennale, Milan (2010, traveled to Museum Ludwig, Cologne); and "Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective," Art Institute of Chicago (2012, traveled to National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Tate Modern, London; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, through 2013).