Roy Lichtenstein's artistic practice has always been fuelled by a simultaneous yearning for innovation and retrospection. Shortly after establishing himself as a trailblazer of Pop Art, the artist turned to the conventions of landscape painting. He worked on his Landscapes, Moonscapes and Seascapes for over three decades. The continuously expanding sequence revised the traditional genre through the means of contemporary printing methods.
Preparatory drawings and layered stencils ensure Landscape 2’s graphic finish. The work belongs to Lichtenstein’s Ten Landscapes of 1967. The portfolio simplifies its subject matter to essential forms, utilising the artist’s distinct commercial style. Accordingly, Landscape 2 captures a twofold illustration of a grey and cream coloured wasteland. The picture plane is divided by a bold horizon line. Both halves of the canvas are adorned by exaggerated curves and stylised lines.
This striking scene conjures a recognisable, yet unrealistic landscape. It is the portrait of an alternative reality, similar to the absurdist dreamscapes of Lichtenstein’s Surrealist series. The plastic Rowlux sheets employed in the making of this print generate the prismatic effect of changing light and fluctuating movement. Lichtenstein’s quest to invoke optical illusions using experimental materials continued throughout his career. For instance, he pursued comparable plays on perception in his intricate Mirrors and later Water Lilies.