Lichtenstein’s ‘Mythic America’

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Chief curator Alicia Longwell with Roy Lichtenstein’s work at the Parrish Art Museum. Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.

On Thursday, September 30, at noon, Alicia Longwell, chief curator at the Parrish Art Museum, will offer a Brown Bag Lunch Talk entitled “Mythic America” exploring the imagery of Roy Lichtenstein whose work is on view in “Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960,” which runs through October 24 at the museum.

Heroes like cowboys, gunslingers and even General George Washington crossing the Delaware River are fair game in Lichtenstein’s scrutiny of legendary characters and the histrionics of the American narrative past. “Washington Crossing the Delaware II” (1951) attests to a central aim of Lichtenstein’s early work: satirizing the American historical narrative. Among his many sources during this period was Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 work, “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” an idealized depiction of Washington leading Continental Army troops on the eve of the Battle of Trenton in 1776. Lichtenstein’s version of this parable shows the artist’s willingness to parody even some of the most ingrained and revered American historical narratives.

The talk takes place in the Lichtenstein Theater with tables and chairs. The Parrish Café will be open and guests are invited to purchase lunch before the start of the program bring the meal into the Lichtenstein Theater.

The Parrish Art Museum is at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For details, visit parrishart.org.

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