In the mid-1960s, Roy Lichtenstein moved away from his renowned comic book motifs. Instead, the artist began exploring the conventions of landscape painting. He worked on his vast Landscapes, Moonscapes and Seascapes for over three decades. As part of this extensive project, Lichtenstein completed several autonomous portfolios.
Ten Landscapes of 1967 constitute a masterful transformation of landscape imagery. The ten-part suite presents a collection of fictitious nature scenes, condensed into purely associative forms. Despite their simple layout, however, the prints in this grouping have a potent visual impact. They conjure unrealistic terrains and wastelands, similar to the absurdist dreamscapes of Lichtenstein’s Surrealist series.
In this portfolio, one finds brilliant superimpositions of colours and shapes. Landscape 5, for instance, depicts a pink and white swirling sky set against pale turquoise coloured water. Plastic Rowlux sheets are applied in this print to mimic the shimmer of natural light. The synthetic fabric produces prismatic spatial interplays across the work’s surface, invoking a sense of movement. The reflections are interrupted in the middle by a distant mountain chain composed of black and yellow dots.
Lichtenstein’s quest to create 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.