Roy Lichtenstein's monumental sculpture, Tokyo Brushstroke I & II (1994) is now on view at the Parrish Art Museum. The first long-term, outdoor installation at the Parrish Art Museum's new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building, the sculpture is placed outdoors on The Bacon Family South Meadow, west of the driveway entrance to the Museum, near Montauk Highway. Tokyo Brushstroke I & II is a long-term loan by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, courtesy of Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman and the Fuhrman Family Foundation.
“The Parrish Art Museum is thrilled to become the home for Tokyo Brushstroke I & II at this time,” said Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan. “We are tremendously grateful to the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and the Fuhrman Family Foundation for their generosity. This awe-inspiring work promises to become a cultural landmark and a beacon, drawing visitors to the Parrish.”
Tokyo Brushstroke I & II is made of painted and fabricated aluminum—fabricated by Paul Amaral / Amaral Custom Fabrication in Rhode Island. Taller than the Parrish itself, Tokyo Brushstroke I stands 33 feet high (actual dimensions: 396 x 112 x 90 inches) and weighs over 12,000 pounds. Tokyo Brushstroke II weighs approximately 5,000 pounds, stands 19 feet high (actual dimensions: 233 ¾ x 105 x 39 inches), and is situated closer to Montauk Highway.
Tokyo Brushstroke I & II is part of a series of "brushstroke" sculptures constructed mainly in the 1990s. Similar "Brushstroke Groups" can be found at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others.
Lichtenstein said of the work, “It’s a symbol of something it isn’t and that is part of the irony I’m interested in." The work asks questions about the contradictions between the ephemeral nature of the artist's brushstroke and the monumentality and permanence of art.
The presence of Tokyo Brushstroke I & II at the Parrish Art Museum continues the legacy of Lichtenstein on the East End. Roy Lichtenstein and his wife Dorothy moved to Southampton to live year-round in 1970, beginning a warm and enduring relationship with the Parrish Art Museum and the East End of Long Island. In 1982, the Museum organized an exhibition of 48 Lichtenstein paintings from 1951 to the early 1980s, the first to include rarely seen early works such as the iconic Look Mickey (1961). Other monographic shows of his work at the Parrish Art Museum include: The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein, a major exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., (1995), and Roy Lichtenstein: American Indian Encounters (2006) that paired his paintings with Native American artifacts from the Montclair Art Museum. In the summer of 1995, the Parrish Art Museum brought the impressive monumental stainless steel sculpture Modern Head (1989) to Southampton’s Lake Agawam Park.