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Documentary | 2023 | arte, ZDF [de] | Germany

Project data

Length of movie51:48

Brief synopsis

Roy Lichtenstein would have turned 100 on October 27, 2023. He is one of the fathers of Pop Art and is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. With the help of experts and companions of the late Lichtenstein, the documentary asks what was revolutionary about his art.
Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) is one of the fathers of Pop Art. The "Life" magazine still asked in the early 1960s whether he was the worst artist in the United States. But Lichtenstein already had immense success with his first major Pop Art exhibition in 1962. The former art teacher showed everyone: Art doesn't have to be a dead letter!
Commercialism, evidence of mass culture, and advertising formed his early subjects. Later he expanded his style to commentaries on art history. On October 27, 2023, the painter would have turned 100. His influence continues to this day, for example on Jeff Koons. Author and director Christian Bettges was given exclusive access and learned in New York how Lichtenstein inspired Koons - and how New York shaped Lichtenstein's work.
Adam D. Weinberg, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and his colleague from the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Yilmaz Dziewior, interpret Lichtenstein's work in their own way. Gallery owner Barbara Bertozzi Castelli recounts how she was able to observe Lichtenstein at work up close. Alitha Martinez and Reinhard Kleist reflect on Lichtenstein's images from the perspective of comic artists, flanked by "comic professor" Jean-Paul Gabilliet from Bordeaux and "New York Times" author Blake Gopnik. Award-winning artist Antje Dorn reveals references to Lichtenstein's Pop Art in her work - and the team also visited Christie's auction house, which achieved sensational proceeds with works by Lichtenstein, for this documentary.


Post production coordinatorLukas Hinsch
Director of photographyDavid Czinczoll
DirectorChristian Bettges
ProducerNadja Frenz
Line producerEnzo Maaß
Production managerMarkus Rogenhagen
Assistant production managerMyrna Brinkmann
Assistant production managerSandra Samec
Archive producerChristin Köppen
Archive researchMartin Boosfeld
Commissioning editorChristopher Janssen
Editorial assistantKerstin Harms

Production companies

Vincent Productions GmbH


Sound (Postproduction)Tonik Studio GmbH


TypeCountryStationDate / TimeComment
First showingFrancearteSunday, 29/10/2023, 5.18 PM
First showingGermanyarteSunday, 29/10/2023, 3.37 PM