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Roy Lichtenstein, "M-Maybe", 1965, Oil and Magna on canvas, 152 × 152 cm, Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
Roy Lichtenstein, 1923-1997, was an American painter who was a founder and foremost practitioner of Pop art, a movement that countered the techniques and concepts of Abstract Expressionism with images and techniques taken from popular culture. He took great pleasure in presenting well-known comic-strip figures in a fine art format. He increased the size of his canvases and began to manipulate to his own ends the graphic and linguistic conventions of comic strips dealing with such genres as romance, war, and science fiction. In the style of comic strips, he used words to express sound effects and developed a detached, mass-produced effect by outlining areas of primary colour with thick black lines and by using a technique that simulated benday screening, a dot pattern used by engravers. M-Maybe is one of Lichtenstein's masterpieces and exemplary of his style and techniques. Comprising nearly the entire surface of the painting, the blonde, windswept-haired woman holds her gloved hand to her face in worry, while we read her almost hopeful expression that her lover has become ill rather than, the viewer is forced to presume, having forgotten about her.
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