Roy Lichtenstein’s Rain Forest of 1992 was conceived as part of the Artists United for Nature initiative. The print was later featured in the Columbus: In Search of a New Tomorrow portfolio. All proceedings raised by the project went to benefit rain forest preservation efforts worldwide. The publication coincided with the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in America and the UN Earth Summit.
Rain Forest’s simple composition is anchored in a delicate illustration of lush foliage. The branches of the central tree motif are set against vivid blue Ben Day dots and dark green lines. This calm fictitious nature scene was executed with mechanical precision, carefully stylised, and meticulously stenciled. The print’s figurative elements unite the conventional and the modern; the hand-made and the machine-made. Lichtenstein in this work allows harmonious and organic shapes to evolve out of his calculated patterns. His main objective is to emphasise the innate and perpetual force of natural life.
Rain Forest’s serene minimalism was later expanded in Lichtenstein’s Chinese Landscape portfolio of 1996. The atmospheric style of this print was especially mirrored in the ethereal simplicity of Titledfrom the Landscapes, Moonscapes, Seascapes sequence. Finally, this print considers modes of representation and seeing, similar to the artist’s Haystacks and Cathedral series.