The American painter, sculptor, commercial designer and decorator, Lichtenstein studied at the Art Students League (1939) and at Ohio State University (1940-43). Between 1940 and 1960, he continued his studies at the Art Students League in New York. His paintings, largely based on comic strip and advertising stories and techniques, made him one of the central figures of American Pop Art. In 1949, he did a Masters in Fine Arts and, in 1951 he worked his major and most important theme: the history of America and the conquest of the West. He taught at various American universities and, in 1961, definitely abandoned that which had previously characterised his Abstract Expressionist style. He now used comic strips not only in terms of theme but also style, creating Pop paintings with simple chromatic schemes and techniques taken from commercial printing. Lichtenstein argued that comic strip and advertising stories were not at all realistic but, in fact, highly artificial images that conveyed their messages barely using pictorial conventions. In 1962, he held his first one-man show in New York at the Leo Castelli Gallery and, in the same year, produced his first Pop prints, in which the link with comic strips was reinforced by the choice of a technique generally used in commercial printing: the lithograph. Throughout his career, Lichtenstein continued to affirm that compositions of forms and colours obeyed pictorial rules regardless of the subject dealt with. The succession of styles in his work made it a way of understanding artistic expression as the expression of an ideal state.