Mermaid, 1979

1923-1997, United States

Mermaid, 1979

Steel, concrete and paint

Location: Fillmore Theater, South Lawn, Washington Avenue and 17th Street

Roy Lichtenstein, born in New York City, received his BFA and MFA from Ohio State University. He taught art during the 1940s and 1950s before returning to New York as an independent artist made possible by the phenomenal success of emerging Pop Art in the early 1960s. He was always interested in the interchange of the images, signs and symbols of our global media-life mixed with European and American art history. Fascinated by the beauty of pure abstraction, he created a highly individualistic style using common visual elements but with a sly and witty sense of multiple meaning. Exhibited widely and extensively published upon, and as the recipient of numerous honors, Roy Lichtenstein, along with Andy Warhol, helped redefine the way we see art today.

Mermaid adopts the concrete of Art Deco Miami Beach for a surrealist Henry Moore/ Barbara Hepworth-type perforated reclining nude sculpture floating weightlessly on concrete waves leaping from a little pool. Its own light rays oddly hold up the steel bright sun. Materials are transformed by color and pattern in celebration of sea, sand and sun plus a mythical temptress of the deep blue sea shaded by a living palm.