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 Poet 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 Poet’s vertical landscape is anchored in the calligraphic green foliage rooted on the left-hand side of the composition. Lichtenstein employs concentrated areas of dots throughout the scene to evoke dimension. A figure is perched below the branches, situated on a grey cliff overlooking an expansive yellow mountainscape. Down below, in a quiet valley, a misty body of water rests at the foot of the rolling hills.
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.