Roy Lichtenstein’s highly innovative Entablature series of the 1970s combines complex screen printed and lithographed areas, embossed with glossy and matte metal foils. This limited and signed edition of 30 prints presents a richly textured illusionistic play on 20th century American architecture.
Roy Lichtenstein first began examining the architectural facades of New York City in 1971. He took special interest in the horizontal structures that were placed atop columns, commonly referred to as entablatures. Over the course of 5 years, the artist produced two series of paintings centered around this ornamental feature. His series of Entablature prints were completed in 1976 and consist of eleven works on off-white Rives wove paper.
The series represents distinctly industrialised architectural imitations, built in abundance all over America in the early 20th century. Each print isolates particular architectural motifs encountered around Lower Manhattan. The artist considers the features as coded symbols of imperial power, imprinted on the facades of the very buildings people call their homes and workplaces.
Typically associated with comic book style portrayals of commercial culture, the Entablature series illustrates Lichtenstein’s skilful appropriation of more monumental elements of design. Entablature II exhibits a unique main composition and an unusual metallic surface texture, composed of lush copper and bronze reliefs.
Once again, the artist traces the effects of mass production and replication, only on a larger cultural scale this time. Additionally, Lichtenstein’s Entablatures spotlight historical conventions governing architectural and art historical creation, like the eminence of the Classical order and the doctrine of Minimalism.