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Head - Red and Yellow

© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Roy Lichtenstein

American, 1923-1997

Head - Red and Yellow, 1962

oil on canvas

support: 48 x 48 inches (121.92 x 121.92 cm); framed: 49 1/8 x 49 1/8 x 2 1/4 inches (124.78 x 124.78 x 5.72 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1962

K1962:15

Currently On View

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / back / rf Lichtenstein / '62

Provenance

Leo Castelli Inc.;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery with funds provided by Seymour H. Knox, November 23, 1962

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Oil painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Verbal Description Audio

Roy Lichtenstein’s adaption of comic book and advertising imagery in his work was central to the significant role he played in the Pop art movement of the 1960s. During this period, the artist was one of many who made the then-radical assertion that popular culture was a viable subject matter for serious artmaking. A smiling woman throwing a beach ball in a vacation newspaper advertisement served as the source for Head—Red and Yellow as well as a large series of subsequent paintings. In this particular work, Lichtenstein appropriated just the figure’s head and re-rendered it using only two primary hues: red and yellow. The dots on her face and neck emulate the Benday process, originally developed in 1879 by the newspaper engraver Benjamin Day (American, 1810–1889) to create tonal variations through size and spacing, and which was stylized in pulp comic books of the 1950s and 1960s. Unlike in his source materials, however, Lichtenstein's dots are not machine made. Instead, their painterly imperfections reveal the importance of the artist's hand in the resulting image.

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