Roy Lichtenstein’s pioneering effort to breathe new life into long-established art historical genres distinguished him as a key figure of American Pop Art. His infamous artistic oeuvre, although seemingly mass-produced at first glance, was executed manually and with laborious precision.
Created between 1978 and 1995, his Perfect/Imperfect series is a sensational example of the varied technical and formal strategies implemented by Lichtenstein. What sets the Perfect/Imperfect series apart is that the subject matter is entirely self-generated. Rather than deriving the shapes from mass-produced images, the two series are the outcome of an original design. Yet, the sequences are also dissimilar in that they represent the subject matter of pure abstraction from different angles. While the fixed abstractions in the Perfect prints conform to the framework, the explosive Imperfect compositions sabotage pictorial boundaries.
Lichtenstein’s Imperfect 67 from 1988 showcases an array of colourful and tumultuous elements, located on the right side of the print. A select few forms are populated by dots and stripes, as a means to evoke tone, texture and dimension. The usual black contours have been exchanged for silver, red and yellow lines. Lichtenstein allows the fractured shapes to stretch across the canvas, subtly puncturing the left edge of the rectangular background.