Roy Lichtenstein’s devoted exploration into the formal qualities of the landscape genre spans thirty years of his career. The artist evolved his Landscapes, Moonscapes and Seascapes continuously, completing several individual editions as part of his extensive sequence.
New Seascape of 1966 transforms the art historical tradition of landscape painting into a brilliant superimposition of colours and shapes. The print exhibits a fuchsia and bright turquoise diffused imaginary seascape.The vibrant pigments constituting the skies in the upper half of the composition blend seamlessly with the similarly hued illustration of water below. This poignant work is unusual in its painterly attributes, making the beholder forget it was fabricated on plastic. New Seascape’s laminated disposition was later expanded in Lichtenstein’s subsequent Ten Landscapesportfolio.
This print is one of the first editioned pieces in which Lichtenstein used free-form Rowlex, a synthetic material with reflective properties, as his base. The prismatic industrial sheets evoke textural and spatial interplays, producing the effect of changing light and fluctuating movement. In no other adaptation of a genre was Lichtenstein as experimental with materials as he was in his landscape renditions. His quest to create optical illusions and plays on perception continued in his Mirrors and later Reflections series.