Designed by Roy Lichtenstein, “Salute to Painting” joined the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in 1984. The sculpture stands at over 25 feet tall and features alternating, abstract bold paint strokes in the primary colors. The sculpture is done in true Lichtenstein pop art fashion, with bold, exaggerated lines and a comic book feel. Lichtenstein was known as a pop artist working alongside the likes of Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, becoming a leader in the new art movement. His work defined pop art through parity. Lichtenstein was inspired by comic strips, producing compositions that were often done in a tongue-in-cheek manner. “Salute to Painting” was one of his early sculptures just as he began to rise to fame as an artist.
While he is known in Minneapolis for his sculpture, he is best known for his large-scale painting style that incorporated hard-edged figures and Ben-Day dots. As an artist, he stayed true to himself, despite the criticism he received early on in his career. Many of his works reside in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. Due to renovations, “Salute to Painting” was reinstalled on the Walker Campus near the new main entrance in late 2016 and has greeted visitors ever since. If you are a fan of Lichtenstein’s or pop art in general, this sculpture is a must-see at the Sculpture Garden.
Cover image 'Lichtenstein' by jpellgen (@1179_jp) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr.