Roy Lichtenstein’s 1969 print Industry And The Arts II mimics the emblematic signage used in newspapers and comic strips. Employing the same strident colours and precise printing techniques, Industry And The Arts II is identical to Industry and the Arts I. Therefore, this print too reflects the trivialisation of culture in societies increasingly dominated by mass production.
The canvas is divided in two by an oblique line running across it from one corner to the other. Lichtenstein portrays two supposedly separate worlds, illustrating the dual objectives domineering contemporary living. The top left triangle shows the standard image of industrial enterprises and the bottom right the enduring influence of the arts. In this print, Lictenstein aims to ironically integrate industrial sentiments with symbolic references of cultural heritage.
The vivid and contrastive red and yellow colour scheme used to depict culture stands in stark contrast to the bleakness of the grey, blue and silver representing mass-production. However, Lichtenstein inserts similar shapes into his composition, creating formalistic parallels between the two disparate worlds. For instance, the upper half of a metallic factory wheel is completed by the lower part of a brightly illustrated flower.
Essentially, Industry And The Arts II is also a portrayal of Lichtenstein’s main purpose as an artist, uniting fine art sources with commercial design elements on the same canvas.