what makes lichtenstein pop art
Lichtenstein’s work exemplifies Pop Art’s rich and complex relationship with consumer culture and social change during the febrile decade of the 1960s. His paintings are alive to contemporary obsessions with youth and beauty, the tyranny of consumer objects, and the intense emotional drama of advertising and the mass media.
Lichtenstein’s enduring popularity was confirmed with a major retrospective in London, Paris and Chicago in 2012 – his first in more than two decades. Alongside all the comic-based paintings, it demonstrated his wider experimentation in materials. The show included sculptures, prints, collages and even a wall hanging, testifying to a degree of restlessness that gives the lie to any idea that Lichtenstein stuck to a formula.
Who knows what he’s saying to her and what she’s reluctantly agreeing to. Lichtenstein lets us imagine the back story — and what might happen next. Cooper says the artist “really looked hard for these comics that had a kind of crux of the story in them.”
“Certainly his brush stroke paintings were an ode in some way to abstract expressionism,” says Dorothy Lichtenstein. “He thought . you could look at the history of art as the history of brush strokes as well.”
Roy Fox Lichtenstein  ( / ˈ l ɪ k t ən ˌ s t aɪ n / ; October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was an American pop artist. During the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist among others, he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody.  Inspired by the comic strip, Lichtenstein produced precise compositions that documented while they parodied, often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style. He described pop art as “not ‘American’ painting but actually industrial painting”.  His paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City.
His most celebrated image is arguably Whaam! (1963, Tate Modern, London  ), one of the earliest known examples of pop art, adapted from a comic-book panel drawn by Irv Novick in a 1962 issue of DC Comics’ All-American Men of War.  The painting depicts a fighter aircraft firing a rocket into an enemy plane, with a red-and-yellow explosion. The cartoon style is heightened by the use of the onomatopoeic lettering “Whaam!” and the boxed caption “I pressed the fire control . and ahead of me rockets blazed through the sky . “ This diptych is large in scale, measuring 1.7 x 4.0 m (5 ft 7 in x 13 ft 4 in).  Whaam follows the comic strip-based themes of some of his previous paintings and is part of a body of war-themed work created between 1962 and 1964. It is one of his two notable large war-themed paintings. It was purchased by the Tate Gallery in 1966, after being exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1963, and (now at the Tate Modern) has remained in their collection ever since. In 1968, the Darmstadt entrepreneur Karl Ströher acquired several major works by Lichtenstein, such as Nurse (1964), Compositions I (1964), We rose up slowly (1964) and Yellow and Green Brushstrokes (1966). After being on loan at the Hessiches Landesmuseum Darmstadt for several years, the founding director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Peter Iden, was able to acquire a total of 87 works  from the Ströher collection  in 1981, primarily American Pop Art and Minimal Art for the museum under construction until 1991. 
Roy Lichtenstein was one of the first American Pop artists to achieve widespread renown, and he became a lightning rod for criticism of the movement. His early work ranged widely in style and subject matter, and displayed considerable understanding of modernist painting: Lichtenstein would often maintain that he was as interested in the abstract qualities of his images as he was in their subject matter. However, the mature Pop style he arrived at in 1961, which was inspired by comic strips, was greeted by accusations of banality, lack of originality, and, later, even copying. His high-impact, iconic images have since become synonymous with Pop art, and his method of creating images, which blended aspects of mechanical reproduction and drawing by hand, has become central to critics’ understanding of the significance of the movement.
American Painter, Sculptor, and Lithographer
During the 1970s he continued to make prints and paintings in homage to major movements and figures in modern art. His print series from the early 1970s includes Entablatures (see, for example, Entablature V 1976, Tate, London), a series referencing neo-classical buildings. His painting series included Still Lifes, many of which made references to Cubist painters and specifically Pablo Picasso. He also made a film and created his first large-scale outdoor sculpture, Modern Head 1974, in Arcadia, California. In 1977 he began a series of paintings based on works by Surrealist artists, including Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí, and Surrealist works by Picasso.
In 1957 Lichtenstein and his young family returned to New York where he became assistant professor at State University of New York, Oswego, teaching industrial design. During this period he began to make drawings of cartoon images such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, at first combining them in paintings with Abstract Expressionist brushwork. In 1960 he accepted an assistant professorship of art position at Douglass College, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, where he got to know Allan Kaprow. Lichtenstein attended several ‘happenings’ organised by Kaprow, who inspired him to concentrate on his comic book images.