Landscapes, Moonscapes and Seascapes, a calculated, artificial take on naturalistic settings, forms one of Lichtenstein’s most striking projects. He was an aficionado of Pop Art, rising to prominence for his impactful cartoon imagery.
The landscape genre was a topic he returned to with regularity. The historical style encapsulated Lichtenstein’s enduring interest in the cliché infused properties of art. He evolved and expanded his vibrant Landscapes, Moonscapes and Seascapes for over three decades.
Landscapes, Moonscapes and Seascapes showcases a calculated and artificial take on naturalistic settings. One of the main aesthetic goals of the sequence is to mimic techniques of mass-production.
Despite Lichtenstein’s aesthetic goals, the vast series contains remarkably detailed mixed-media works, executed by hand and perfected through machines.
Lichtenstein’s intricate landscape renditions reference Abstract Expressionism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Pointillism, German Romanticism and Chinese Master painters.
This series of printed studies of shimmering and shifting light parallel the artist’s Reflections, Water Lilies and Mirrors series. The artworks push the real and the visible to the edges of abstraction in line with Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke Faces and Seven Apple Woodcuts.
These ideas of creating and seeing that are important to the landscape prints are also reflected in the artist’s Haystacks and Cathedral series. Ultimately, the sequence presents dreamlike interpretations of the natural world comparable to Lichtenstein’s Surrealist series.
The artist recreates landscapes, moonscapes and seascapes in an exceptionally economical manner. While some scenes are strongly representational, many of the compositions are entirely abstracted.
The prints are distilled to the utmost basic and essential pictorial elements. Rather than focusing on the bigger picture, the artist invests in the poignant details he plucks from his chosen panoramas.
The scenic nature portraits in this series stylise organic forms through exaggerated curves, mass groupings of dots, bold lines and solid bands of colour. Lichtenstein communicates subtly nuanced areas of light and shadow using his advanced graphic language coupled with overlays, stencils and experimental materials.
The sequence contains brilliant superimpositions of pigments, unexpected photo collages and prismatic montages. Lichtenstein’s fictitious nature scenes evidently aspire to achieve optical illusions and unified imagery.