Parrish Art Museum to Display Monumental Roy Lichtenstein Brushstroke

The Parrish Art Museum will be displaying a large outdoor sculpture by one of the East End’s most famous and accomplished artists this month.

As of Friday, April 18, pop art legend Roy Lichtenstein‘s monumental work “Tokyo Brushstroke I & II” (1994), will be on view on the museum’s front lawn, west of the driveway entrance near Montauk Highway in Water Mill. The 33-foot-tall sculpture is the first long-term outdoor installation at the Parrish since the museum moved to its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building.

The work, made of painted and fabricated aluminum by Paul Amaral of Amaral Custom Fabrication in Rhode Island, is on long-term loan from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, courtesy of Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman and the Fuhrman Family Foundation.

“The Parrish Art Museum is thrilled to become the home for ‘Tokyo Brushstroke I & II’ at this time,” Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan said. “We are tremendously grateful to the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and the Fuhrman Family Foundation for their generosity,” Sultan continued, adding, “This awe-inspiring work promises to become a cultural landmark, and a beacon that draws visitors to the Parrish.”

Taller than the Parrish itself, “Tokyo Brushstroke I” will be installed with a crane into a cement brace. The sculpture weighs more than 12,000 pounds, constructed in two pieces that will be joined together on site. “Tokyo Brushstroke II,” 19 feet high and weighing approximately 5,000 pounds, will be installed closer to Montauk Highway.

“Tokyo Brushstroke I & II” is part of Lichtenstein’s series of “brushstroke” sculptures constructed mainly in the 1990s. Similar “Brushstroke Groups” can be found in Madrid, Paris, Singapore, Washington, D.C. and other cities worldwide.

Lichtenstein said of the work, “It’s a symbol of something it isn’t and that is part of the irony I’m interested in.” The work asks questions about the contradictions between the ephemeral nature of the artist’s brushstroke and the monumentality and permanence of art.

The presence of Tokyo Brushstroke I & II at the Parrish Art Museum continues the legacy of Lichtenstein on the East End. Roy Lichtenstein and his wife Dorothy moved to Southampton to live year-round in 1970, beginning a warm and enduring relationship with the Parrish Art Museum and the East End of Long Island. In 1982, the museum organized an exhibition of 48 Lichtenstein paintings created between 1951 and the early 1980s, the first to include rarely seen early works such as the iconic “Look Mickey” (1961).

Other monographic shows of his work at the Parrish Art Museum include: The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein, a major exhibition in 1995 organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and Roy Lichtenstein: American Indian Encounters, a 2006 exhibition that paired his paintings with Native American artifacts from the Montclair Art Museum. In the summer of 1995, the Parrish Art Museum brought the impressive monumental stainless steel sculpture “Modern Head” (1989) to Southampton’s Lake Agawam Park.

Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was an American pop art painter active in New York from the 1960s until his death in 1997. He is best known for his iconic large-scale paintings based on the Ben-Day dots printing process used in comic books of the era. Lichtenstein continues to be one of the most influential and recognizable artists of the 20th century.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Call 631-283-2118 or visit parrishart.org for more.

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