The New Orleans Museum Of Art Acquires Major Work By Roy Lichtenstein

Five Brushstrokes, 1984 (Fabricated 2010) is a gift of Sydney and Walda Besthoff and partial gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

New Orleans, LA- The New Orleans Museum of Art is pleased to announce the gift of a major work by artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997). The work, Five Brushstrokes, 1984 (Fabricated 2010), will be installed in front of NOMA by the end of 2013.

“We are delighted to receive this major work by one of the most important artists of the 20th century,” said Susan M. Taylor, The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “We are grateful to Sydney and Walda Besthoff and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation for their partnership in making this acquisition possible. Its placement in front of the museum will ensure that it will be appreciated and enjoyed by generations of visitors for many years to come. We are honored to be able to showcase Roy Lichtenstein’s work here at NOMA.”

Five Brushstrokes is a large-scale, 20-foot tall painted aluminum sculpture, composed of five brushstrokes created in Lichtenstein’s characteristic Pop art style. The sculpture effectively translates the liquid, two-dimensional form of paint into a three-dimensional monumental work. The brushstrokes, each representing a color, are stacked atop each other creating a strong vertical image.

“The Foundation is pleased to be able to assist by gifting part of this work to the New Orleans Museum of Art in partnership with Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Besthoff,” said Jack Cowart, Executive Director, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. “Along America’s southern tier, with Lichtenstein outdoor sculptures of other styles and subjects in Dallas, Atlanta and Miami Beach, it is a wonderful opportunity to have this Five Brushstrokes sculpture find such a happy home in New Orleans.”

Roy Lichtenstein, a Manhattan-born artist, was pivotal in shaping the landscape of Pop art in the 1950s and 1960s. Working amidst New York contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein was inspired by comic book illustrations and the Ben-Day dot printing pattern found in these inexpensive publications. He used this aesthetic in his paintings and sculptures, playing upon the exaggerated emotions of his source material. Lichtenstein drew upon the artistic climate of his time and the works of old masters to reflect the cultural perspective of the United States after World War II. The brushstroke for Lichtenstein became a cultural symbol representing the singularity and freedom of the individual, as well as a reference to the importance of the artist’s hand in the creative process.

“Walda and I are delighted to make a home for this piece atNOMA,” said Sydney Besthoff.

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 art objects encompassing 4,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing temporary exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit

About the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation
Established in 1999, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation’s purpose is to facilitate research, information and public access to the work of Roy Lichtenstein and the art and artists of his time. A private operating foundation, the Foundation does not make grants but it does frequently partner with patrons and museums to assist in Lichtenstein art acquisitions for museum permanent collections.

Roy Lichtenstein’s monumental outdoor sculptures of the 1980s and 1990s are a significant part of his life’s work. They are reflective of his entire artistic development and his experimentation in all media. Brushstrokes are signature “art markings” of the painter throughout art history. And for Roy Lichtenstein they are also complicated notions about expressionism, where transient liquid paint is caught and captured in oddly permanent metal. This artist created a new form where spontaneity has become a formally beautiful composition in a free-standing, almost dance-like, gesture.

Contact: Allison E. Gouaux, APR
Communications and Marketing Manager
Office (504) 658-4106
Mobile (504) 559-3770