A New Look at Lichtenstein

Lichtenstein on Ladder
Laurie Lambrecht’s new book has plenty of pictures of Roy Lichtenstein in his studio, including this one with him on a ladder painting an interior scene.

    It’s unusual that a photograph can make a painting come alive more than the painting itself, but that is often the case with the images in “Roy Lichtenstein in His Studio,” a book of photographs by Laurie Lambrecht of the artist’s studio in Southampton and him at work in it. Monacelli Press, an imprint of Random House, will publish the book on Tuesday.
    Ms. Lambrecht was a studio assistant of Lichtenstein’s for three years, and at the end of her first day of work she asked if she could bring her camera. She didn’t have much to do that day, as the artist would not be in the studio, so he accepted, and the result is in the richly illustrated book.
    The volume consists of a brief introduction by Dorothy Lichtenstein, the artist’s wife and the president of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, and then 60 full-color images, generously large. Most have an overleaf left blank on black or white paper, making for a pure and luxurious presentation.
    At the end of the book, Edward Robinson, the associate curator of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, considers the works and interviews Ms. Lambrecht for her insights about the images and her relationship with Lichtenstein. The essay section includes some of Ms. Lambrecht’s other work, among which is her documenting of Esteban Vicente in his Bridgehampton studio, a series on Robert Wilson’s chair collection in Water Mill, and a series of trees she has been working on most recently.
    In a concluding artist’s statement, Ms. Lambrecht, who lives in Bridgehampton and New York, said, “Looking at his paintings, I responded to the balance of the composition. It seems each of the elements has significant visual weight.” Reflecting on her work in the studio, she said, “I didn’t start out wanting to tell a story, have an exhibition, or publish a book. I was simply responding to my own curiosity and amazement.”