Figures with Rope, from ‘Surrealist Series by Roy Lichtenstein

In Forms In Space Roy Lichtenstein integrates the readymade quality of screen prints and a painterly gesture with the use of thick lines, flat surface planes, and obscured perspective. The horizontal orientation of the flag depicts Lichtenstein’s signature dots. A tension between the painter’s hand and mechanical reproduction is exhibited in this print.

Signed

Yes

Created

1978

Size

15.2 x 21.6 In

Medium

Lithograph

Figures with Rope by Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein takes a modernist perspective of the picture plane by utilizing a method of commercial design through comic strips and advertisement. Lichtenstein integrates the ready-made quality of screen prints and integrates a painterly gesture with the use of thick lines, flat surface planes, and obscured perspective.

This three panel piece reproduces Lichtenstein’s 1974 painting “Cow Triptych – the artist’s homage to Picasso’s 1945 “Bull Series” where Picasso over a sequence of bull images, eventually renders the bull as an line drawing. Lichtenstein also starts with a figurative image of a bull, but goes one step further, transforming his bull into his signature geometric planes and stripes. It is important to note that in 1974, when Lichtenstein created the painting, Minimalism was beginning to take hold, and Lichtenstein cleverly combines his Pop vocabulary with a Minimalist accent. A powerful work, beautifully framed.

Roy Lichtenstein’s early appropriation of the aesthetics of American popular culture made him integral to the development of Pop art. Roy Lichtenstein was a student of the work of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Paul Klee, Roy Lichtenstein incorporated elements of contemporary art theory and popular print media into his painting. In 1961 Roy Lichtenstein began to replicate the Benday dot system used in mass-circulation printed sources such as comics, newspapers, and billboards; this would become a signature element of Roy Lichtensteins painting and sculpture. By mimicking this industrial method and appropriating images from high and low culture, Roy Lichtenstein’s work realized a broader accessibility that had not yet been achieved in contemporary art. Roy Lichtenstein’s most recognizable series evolved from imagery drawn from popular culture: advertising images, war-time comics, and pin-up portraits, as well as traditional painting genres.