Roy Lichtenstein’s intricate Landscapes, Moonscapes and Seascapes span over thirty years of his career. Time and time again, the artist would return to this innovative sequence to revise the means of landscape painting. As a result, his extensive project features several autonomous portfolios and editions.
Landscape with Boats is a testament to Lichtenstein’s creative singularity. Executed in 1996, the print belongs to a serene portfolio titled Landscapes in the Chinese Style. The grouping examines the atmospheric style of Chinese Master painters.
Landscape with Boats presents a horizontal landscape with calligraphic green and yellow branches rooted on a high hillside. Lichtenstein employs concentrated areas of dots throughout the scene to evoke dimension. The foliage is overlooking a cluster of blue hilltops and a misty, meandering river down below. Hazy suggestions of red and yellow are speckled across the water’s surface, denoting boats with tiny figures floating peacefully up the stream.
This print introduces a calculated interpretation of the landscape genre, while also offering a sophisticated deconstruction of generalised Eastern motifs. The work encompasses opposing forces, uniting the conventional and the modern; the hand-made and the machine-made. Lichtenstein here also considers modes of representation and seeing, ideas he previously explored in his Haystacks and Cathedral series.