Graham Bader

Graham Bader is Mellon Assistant Professor of Art History at Rice University. He is the editor of the October Files volume Roy Lichtenstein (MIT Press, 2009).

  • Hall of Mirrors

    Hall of Mirrors

    Roy Lichtenstein and the Face of Painting in the 1960s

    Graham Bader

    A sustained study of Lichtenstein's pop oeuvre, offering new readings of such canonical works as Look Mickey and Happy Tears.

    In Hall of Mirrors, Graham Bader traces the development of Roy Lichtenstein's art into, through, and beyond his classic pop oeuvre of the 1960s. Bader charts the trajectory of Lichtenstein's practice from his student days in the late 1940s to his mirror paintings of the 1970s, offering new readings of such canonical paintings as Look Mickey and Girl with Ball as well as examinations of lesser-known works across a range of media. Bader's analysis goes beyond the standard critical view of pop as a reaction to the high-culture pieties of abstract expressionism. Instead, Bader sees Lichtenstein's work as motivated by the forces of “unoriginal originality”—Lichtenstein's discovery that he could make art by “borrowing” from other images—and “disembodied bodies”—his use of flattened and schematic forms to reinvigorate figurative painting. Bader argues that 1961's Look Mickey, Lichtenstein's inaugural pop work, established a template for the tension between embodiment and disembodiment that animates much of his 1960s practice: between an evacuation of sensory experience, on the one hand, and a repeated focus on emphatic bodily acts (squeezing, kissing, crying, etc.) on the other. A similar dialectical friction exists between Lichtenstein's process and product: consistently hand-painted canvases that increasingly feign the look of industrial production. Hall of Mirrors moves chronologically, beginning with Lichtenstein's studies at Ohio State University and late-'50s moves toward pop, through his seminal canvases of the early 1960s, to his late-'60s experiments across sculpture, painting, installation, and film. The book ends with an examination of Lichtenstein's Mirror paintings of 1969–72. These little-discussed works, Bader argues, exemplify Lichtenstein's late-'60s shift of focus to the embodied experience of his own viewers—and thus culminate and conclude his practice of the decade.

    • Hardcover $31.95 £25.00
  • Roy Lichtenstein

    Roy Lichtenstein

    Graham Bader

    The most comprehensive collection on Lichtenstein, from the earliest reviews to recent reassessments, including several hard-to-find and previously unpublished pieces.

    Roy Lichtenstein's popular appeal—and his influence on pop culture, seen in everything from greeting cards to sitcoms—at times overshadows his importance to contemporary art. Yet, examined on its own terms, Lichtenstein's comics-inspired, deadpan artwork remains as truly unsettling to art-world orthodoxies today as when it first gained wide attention in the early 1960s. Lichtenstein (1923-1997), a central figure in Pop, consistently savaged the rules of painting—while remaining committed to the most traditional procedures and goals of the medium. (He once said, “The things that I have apparently parodied I actually admire and I really don't know what the implication of that is.”) This book offers the most comprehensive collection of writings on Lichtenstein's work to appear in thirty-five years, with early reviews, artist interviews and statements (some never before published), and recent reassessments. The book includes Donald Judd's reviews of Lichtenstein's three solo Pop shows in the early 1960s, an essay on the artist's 1969 Guggenheim retrospective, interviews that touch on topics ranging from the New York art world to Monet and Matisse, the transcript of a 1995 slide presentation in which Lichtenstein surveyed three decades of his work, and an in-depth study of Lichtenstein's first Pop painting, Look Mickey (1961). The texts explore Lichtenstein's career across the boundaries of medium and period, excavating early critical discussions and surveying more recent reexaminations of his artistic practice. The collection will be an indispensable resource for those interested in Lichtenstein, Pop Art, and American culture of the 1960s.

    Contributors Graham Bader, Yve-Alain Bois, John Coplans, David Deitcher, Hal Foster, John Jones, Donald Judd, Max Kozloff, Jean-Claude Lebensztejn, Roy Lichtenstein, Michael Lobel

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99
    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99