Roy Lichtenstein’s vibrant screen print Art Critic was executed in 1996 and demonstrates the artist’s proficiency in the language of modern art. Besides pursuing a rereading of past artistic styles, the print also invokes outstanding images from Lichtenstein’s own graphic oeuvre.
Art Critic reveals a rigorously calculated composition. This work is thematically aligned with Lichtenstein’s cartoon heroines, while its formal qualities parallel the artist’ Surrealist series. The print portrays a deconstructed female face in a state of emotional turmoil. The artist composes her body entirely out of streaks of dots, colourful stripes, and blonde locks of wavy hair. Her head is depicted in profile and her elegant nose is turned slightly upward. She leans towards the abstract artwork mounted on the red wall in the background of the print.
Black delineating lines are prominent in Art Critic, along with saturated pigments and stylised appropriations of fundamental cubist and surrealist shapes. Lichtenstein takes advantage of the familiarity of these elements to compose his portrait. He shuffles the woman’s facial features around to rid the image of dimensionality. Utilising the flattened picture plane, Lichtenstein juxtaposes content versus style. The result the viewer is left with is an absurd scene brimming with humor and irony.