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Inaugural

Inaugural
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Screenprint, 1977
Signed Print Edition of 100
H 51cm x W 77cm

Critical Review

Inaugural Print is a commission similar to Bicentennial Print and Jobs Not Cheese, as it mirrors the layout of historical propaganda posters. Harnessing the cultural saturation of popular imagery, the work embraces a polished and mass-produced aesthetic. Rendered in vibrant hues offset by crisp blacks and whites, the composition revels in sharply defined outlines.

Lichtenstein allows a select few forms in this print to assume an entirely figural quality, while others remain completely amorphous. On the left, a hand composed of bold lines and dots is raised in a ceremonious salute, about to take the oath of office. The backdrop is populated by the stark white stars of the American flag and a bright yellow sunrise, symbolising the dawn of a new era.

The right side of the print depicts a vast desert with a neoclassical building, and a floating shape with only one cartoon eye. This eerie scene is reminiscent of the dreamscapes of Lichtenstein’s Surrealist prints. Inaugural Print strings together a range of peculiar and familiar shapes to reflect on tradition versus change.