The News Service
Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstrokes begins two-year visit to Brown campus
Brushstrokes, a 30-foot sculpture by renowned artist Roy Lichtenstein, will be on public exhibition behind MacMillan Hall for the next two years as part of a loan program sponsored by Brown’s Public Art Committee.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A sculpture by renowned artist Roy Lichtenstein has been installed on the knoll behind MacMillan Hall, corner of George and Thayer streets, as part of the Sculpture on Campus Program established last year by Brown’s Public Art Committee.
Installation of the 30-foot-high, 3,400-pound Brushstrokes (1996), a work composed of painted and fabricated aluminum, began at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22, 2003. The sculpture is on loan to Brown from the Estate of Roy Lichtenstein and will be on public exhibition for the next two years. It is the fourth in a series of loans facilitated by the Public Art Committee between the University and significant artists, bringing sculptures to public sites throughout campus.
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) is perhaps best known as a painter, and his many paintings based on comic strips epitomize modern American Pop Art. Yet Lichtenstein also created a remarkable and unusual body of sculptural work, including Brushtrokes. Born in Manhattan, Lichtenstein majored in art and earned a master of fine arts degree at the Ohio State University. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II and teaching at Ohio State for several years, he returned to New York in 1960 and soon became famous for his innovative style of painting and for his bold, yet refined and witty adaptations of the shorthand of commercial illustration. In 1965 he returned to his earlier, periodic work with sculpture; much of his three-dimensional work after that extended and played upon his fascination with both commercial and high art. His sculptures, like his paintings, are often colored with Benday dots, the round specks used in commercial photo-engraving to create the illusion of volume on a two-dimensional surface. Beginning last May and continuing through last month, several of Lichtenstein’s sculptures – including Brushtrokes – were displayed in an exhibit on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
“This is such a beautiful piece, and we are very pleased to have it at Brown,” said Chancellor Emeritus Artemis Joukowsky, chairman of the Public Art Committee.
In the fall of 2002 the Public Art Committee arranged for a three-year loan of To Tallness (1981), a 10-foot sculpture by Isamu Noguchi. It has been on public exhibition on The College Green since January 2003. In addition, the committee last year negotiated the loan of Lichtenstein's Metallic Brushstroke Head (1994), a nickel-plated, enamel-painted bronze sculpture installed in the lobby of the Watson Institute for International Studies, and David Nash's Box Cross (2002), which is made from charred oak and stands outside the List Art Center.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring these important art works to Brown," said Public Art Committee member Jo-Ann Conklin, director of the Bell Gallery. "This new sculpture and others are being installed in easily accessible, public locations where they can be viewed and enjoyed by everyone on campus and from the communities of greater Providence.”
The Public Art Committee will host a dedication ceremony celebrating the installation of Brushtrokes on a future date to be determined. In addition to Joukowsky and Conklin, members of the committee include Brown President Ruth J. Simmons,Visual Arts Department Chair Richard Fishman, University Curator Robert Emlen, and Professor of the History of Art and Architecture Dietrich Neumann.