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Medium: Mixed Media
Format: Mixed Media
Size: H 255cm x W 117cm
Edition size: 20
Roy Lichtenstein’s 1966 Thunderbolt was commissioned by New York art dealer Robert Graham. The work showcases a figurative illustration of a hand clutching a lightning bolt, rendered in Lichtenstein’s trademark primary colours, dots and bold outlines. Manufactured as a felt banner, Thunderbolt was executed as part of a limited edition of 20.
The print presents a boldly outlined cartoon hand, set on an indigo background, clutching a lightning bolt. Thunderbolt is one of Lichtenstein's early ventures into capturing essential shapes. As such, the work mirrors the reduced pictorial qualities of Spray Can and Pistol of the same period. Thunderbolt depicts familiar visuals abstracted from everyday life, rendered through the idealised nature of print advertisements. Similar to Foot And Hand, Lichtenstein in this composition utilises partial cropping to invoke a sense of underlying tension.
Populating his assertive comic book hand with simplified circular dot patterns, the artist’s stitched and layered banner takes on an intensity not available in any other medium. Lichtenstein’s use of a felt, later also applied in his Banner IV of 1968, ensures the superbly gesture-free finish of his print.