Checkerboard Film Foundation Presents: Roy Lichtenstein Tokyo Brushstrokes

Film Still from Roy Lichtenstein Tokyo Brushstrokes. Courtesy Checkerboard Film Foundation


This documentary offers a rare glimpse into artist Roy Lichtenstein's creative process from earliest concept drawings to fabrication and installation of the major public sculpture, Tokyo Brushstrokes. The film will be introduced by Edgar B. Howard, the founder of Checkerboard Film Foundation. The screening will be following by a Q & A with Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator, Alicia Longwell and Edgar B. Howard.

About the film:

Just as he drew inspiration from cartoons and advertising to produce some of the most indelible images in contemporary painting, Lichtenstein became intrigued by a brushstroke he saw in a cartoon as a "symbol" of painting.

He started "brushstroke paintings" in 1965 and began making sculptures in the late 1960s, but it wasn't until the 1980s that he embarked on a series of "monumental brushstroke sculptures" which became public works in Paris, Barcelona and, in 1994, Tokyo.

In this film, we see Lichtenstein starting from a collection of brushstrokes he created for collages, selecting images, making models, meeting with the Japanese architect and curator, enlarging the drawings to some thirty feet, fabricating the sculptures in a foundry, and finally, installing the sculptures in Tokyo where all the work of preparation gives way to the mystery of creation.

In the artist's own words, "It's just a road you start taking, and you keep correcting and changing until you get something that seems right...I don't really mind having art go from me to other people, even if I never see it again. I'm interested in doing it..."

YEAR PRODUCED: 1995. PRODUCER: Edgar B. Howard. DIRECTOR: Mark Trottenberg

About Edgar B. Howard

Edgar Howard is the Founder and President of Checkerboard Film Foundation, a non-profit institution established in 1979 to produce educational films on the American arts. In 1977, Edgar co-founded the Associates of the Committee of Prints and Illustrated Books, one of the first independent support groups for a curatorial department at MoMA. Edgar holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the Columbia Graduate School of Business. 

About Checkerboard Film Foundation:

Established in 1979, the Checkerboard Film Foundation documents artists who make unique and important contributions to American arts and culture. The mission of Checkerboard Film Foundation is both educational and archival. Its films are distributed to museums, universities, film festivals, and cable and public television in the United States and abroad. The foundation's more than 50 films capture the creative achievements of artists, architects, photographers, writers, and others, from the second half of the 20th Century to present. Profiles include: Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, Kiki Smith, Sol LeWitt, Philip Johnson, the Paris Review, John Szarkowski, Carrie Mae Weems, Horst, and Sir John Soane's Museum, among others. To learn more visit their website

Friday Nights are made possible, in part, by the generous support of The Corcoran Group. 
Checkerboard Film Foundation Presents: Roy Lichtenstein Tokyo Brushstrokes
Friday, January 30, 2015 - 6:00pm
ticket group
$10 | Free for Members, Children, and Students
Includes Museum admission. Space is limited; advance reservations recommended.
social tickets