When Alive caught up with Jack Cowart, executive director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, he had yet to discuss with Diana Widmaier Picasso the possible topics for their Friday, Nov. 13, joint conversation at the Wexner Center for the Arts planned in conjunction with the center's current exhibition, After Picasso: 80 Contemporary Artists.

When Alive caught up with Jack Cowart, executive director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, he had yet to discuss with Diana Widmaier Picasso the possible topics for their Friday, Nov. 13, joint conversation at the Wexner Center for the Arts planned in conjunction with the center's current exhibition, After Picasso: 80 Contemporary Artists.

Cowart is a leading authority on Lichtenstein, one of the many artists featured in the exhibition (and an Ohio State alum). Picasso is, well, a granddaughter of Pablo Picasso, whose work caused all the fuss that is captured in the Wexner Center exhibit, and herself an academic as well as familial expert on her grandfather's work.

We make mention of the fact that Cowart and Picasso had yet to coordinate the talk not to suggest some sort of disorganization or lack of desire for the work, but by way of mentioning Cowart's promise (he may or may not have been serious) to work into his talk the phrase, "as I was talking about with Jim."

What we talked about was wide-ranging on the topic of Lichtenstein and the impact Picasso - both his artwork and his celebrity - had on the younger artist.

"From the '30s to the '50s, artists had to contend with Picasso as a celebrity, the embodiment of European art-making," he said. "It was daunting to try and find space for themselves."

"There was a different set of problems for an emerging young artist at the time when Picasso was still alive as opposed to when Picasso is deceased and becomes academic, part of art history," Cowart added.

It is the later period, after Picasso's death in 1973, from which much of the After Picasso show is drawn.

This certainly impacted Lichtenstein along with his contemporaries, although, Cowart said, "Roy's view of Picasso in the '40s and '50s was not of the 'current' Picasso, but the Picasso of the '20s and '30s, the already classically-known Picasso."

After Picasso will remain on view at the Wexner Center through Dec. 27.

Mershon Auditorium

5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13

1871 N. HighSt., Campus

wexarts.org