By the mid-1960s Lichtenstein had for the most part sidelined cartoon imagery in favour of his referential printed sequences. Each such edition alluded to historical paintings, stylistic movements, architecture, commercial culture and the process of making art.
Similar to Roy Lichtenstein’sRepeated Design, Wallpaper of 1968 presents a flattened picture plane with a bright geometrical design. The work precedes Modern Printof 1971 and was created subsequent to the artist’s Banner IV.
Lichtenstein crops close on his dotted triangle at centre. The artist’s use of Ben Day dots adds shadowing and texture to the sharp angles and curved edges portrayed. Seeking to actively obliterate painterly gestures, Wallpaper’s perfected shapes are connected through this smooth superimposition of patterns and outlines.The print’s colour palette is in line with Lichtenstein’s notorious favoritism of unmodulated pigments. Accordingly, the artist situates his slick black, white, and silver forms on a brilliant yellow and red backdrop.
Manifesting a middle ground between figuration and abstraction, Wallpaperdraws first and foremost on the fundamentals of Cubism and Constructivism. Blazing a trail for Lichtenstein’s later Modern Head series, this print is also a fusion ofshapes borrowed from the streamlined art deco style of the 1930s.