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Roy Lichtenstein: Entablature VII - Signed Print

Entablature VII
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein


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Planographic print, 1976
Signed Print Edition of 30
H 50cm x W 96cm

Critical Review

In his Entablature prints of 1976, Roy Lichtenstein expanded upon his previous exploration of issues concerning mechanical reproduction, representation and abstraction. These topics were prominent themes in a number of other series by the artist, including his Haystack series and his Bulls series.

The term entablature originated in classical Greek architecture, and refers to the horizontal structures found atop columns. In the 1970s, Lichtenstein spent hours on end wandering around New York City, capturing reliefs on building facades around Lower Manhattan. As opposed to his usual comic strip and advertisement sources, the photographs were the genesis of Lichtenstein's Entablatures.

Taking architectural ornamentation as the starting point for his Entablatures, Lichtenstein addresses the implied and culturally coded symbolism at play. The physical characteristics of the architectural reliefs appealed to the artist on account of their machine-made components. Moreover, his artistic take on these elements in the Entablature series reflects how his chosen designs are distinctly industrialised American imitations of classical architecture.

Similar to Entablature V, Entablature VII combines dark matte blue screen printed and lithographed areas with embossed glossy silver and black motifs. The richly textured print presents flat abstract patterns in an increasingly graphic manner, giving the impression of the paper being adorned by actual raised reliefs.

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