Roy Lichtenstein, a key figure of American Pop Art, frequently mimicked the appearance of industrially made images. His infamous artistic oeuvre, although seemingly mass-produced at first glance, was executed manually and with laborious precision. The artist was known for breathing new life into long-established art historical genres, thereby initiating bold dialogues with the art of the past.
Lichtenstein’s Perfect/Imperfect series were completed between the years of 1978 and 1995. Both sequences demonstrate the varied technical and formal strategies Lichtenstein employed throughout his career. Although they were created concurrently and are thematically identical, the two series manifest the same subject matter differently. On the one hand, Lichtenstein presents fixed abstractions in his Perfect prints. Conversely, his Imperfect prints humorously sabotage pictorial limitations, breaking the edges of the canvas wherever possible.
In Imperfect 44from 1988, Lichtenstein connects the contours of numerous geometrical shapes into one controlled and continuous line. The work showcases flat areas of intense colour and compact forms populated by dots and stripes. While the patterns evoke tone and texture, assertive black outlines provide shading, making the components emerge as three dimensional. As a result, the composition appears to be subtly protruding, puncturing the framework in several places.