"POP" AND "DOTS"

Georges Seurat -- Sunday Afternoon on
La Grande Jatté
(1884-86)
Roy Lichtenstein --
Masterpiece (1962)
It is perhaps every artist's dream to create works so unique, so memorable that there is never a question of their
origin.  This lesson's featured artists succeeded in doing just that: after studying the paintings of Georges Seurat
and Roy Lichtenstein, there is no mistaking them for another's!  Interestingly, each artist incorporated within his
paintings a technique that is outwardly similar -- the systematic application of dots of pure color onto the canvas.  
But as we shall see, each artist arrived at his technique from a vastly different starting point and for vastly different
purposes.

Georges Seurat was as much a scientist as an artist, and in his attempts to bring a more cerebral influence to
Impressionism he developed a highly systematized way of painting popularly known as Pointillism.  His paintings are
a myriad of dots and dashes of color, all placed according to the science of color and optics, calculated to blend in
the viewer's eye for a specific effect.  The result, though, is a beauty that science cannot explain.

With the Pop Artists of the 1960's, everyday life was brought into the domain of art.  With matter-of-factness (and a
good deal of humor) artists such as Roy Lichtenstein made the images of mass culture their own:  Lichtenstein went
a step farther by appropriating the techniques of mass media -- most characteristically the Benday dots of the
commercial printing process – to make them part of the subject of his works.  In Lichtenstein's paintings, the comic
book idiom becomes high art.

In this
GalleryTime, we will explore how, in the hands of gifted but highly individual artists, even similar "tools" of
painting can yield unique results.
Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatté



                                                                   Masterpiece