Along with being a painter and sculptor, Lichtenstein was a leading member of the Pop Art movement.
Lichtenstein attended the Art Students League during his teenage years, before enrolling at Ohio State University to study art. In 1943, and in 1949 he received an MFA, and continued to teach and to paint in Ohio for several years. His early 1950s works, painted in a European Modernist style, frequently depict uniquely “American” subject matters.
In the 1960s, Lichtenstein moved to New Jersey to teach at Rutgers University, and began his iconic comic strip works, which marked a distinct break with his previous aesthetic. He painted images inspired by newspaper ads and comic strips in both subject matter and style. Lichtenstein was motivated to create works that no one would want to hang on the walls, later commenting that “The one thing everyone hated was commercial art; apparently they didn't hate that enough, either.
Lichtenstein also based paintings on well-known masterpieces of art, perhaps commenting, as did Andy Warhol in his "Mona Lisa," on the conversion of art into commodity. Like Warhol, Lichtenstein, who had an art-school background, also worked as a commercial artist and graphic designer (1951–57), an experience that influenced the subject matter of his later paintings.
His work continued to incorporate pop culture themes displaying static images of figures, brushstrokes, landscapes, mirrors, reflections, and other subject matters in an ironic style. His later works feature close examinations of illusionism and the representation of reality in art.
He died in New York City in 1997, at 74 years old.
Roy Lichtenstein: http://www.artnet.com/artists/roy-lichtenstein/
Roy Lichtenstein: http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/482133