Night Scene

Night Scene
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Intaglio, 1980
Signed Print Edition of 32
H 18cm x W 24cm

Critical Review

Lichtenstein’s Night Scene was executed in 1980 and belongs to the aforementioned American Indian Theme series. In this work, the artist fully abstracts his chosen indegenous artefacts from their original contexts. He then proceeds by rendering the three dimensional objects and decorative motifs into simplified cartoon versions of themselves.

Lichtenstein places the compressed figures of Night Scene in the midst of saturated colours and stylised geometric patterns. The print depicts flattened illustrations of a canoe, a cactus and a teepee. The shapes on the left are set on a dark backdrop composed of a ragged black and yellow night sky, while the right-hand side of the composition plays in bright yellow, red and deep blue.

In Night Scene, the abstracted forms are enabled to communicate their own narratives, while keeping with the conditioned history of indigenous representation. By showing exactly what the viewer expects to see, Lichtenstein’s American Indian Theme seriesconstitutes a form of cultural commentary.

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