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Entablature VIII

Entablature VIII
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Mixed Media, 1976
Signed Print Edition of 30
H 56cm x W 97cm

Critical Review

Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatures can be divided into his black-and-white paintings of 1971-72 and his artworks in colour created between 1974–76, accompanied by eleven prints. Both series were based on photographic source materials depicting institutional buildings around New York City, captured by the artist himself. The chosen architectural elements presented in the Entablature series provided the artist with ready-made designs, similar to his traditional comic strips and advertisements sources.

Lichtenstein took special interest in the horizontal structures that were placed atop columns in Classical Greek architecture, commonly referred to as entablatures. Based on historical sources, mainly of Greco-Roman and French Beaux-Arts descent, the facade ornaments selected by the artist are themselves appropriations. Lichtenstein’s Entablatures use these pointedly imitated and industrialised forms as their point of departure, rather than seeking out the origins of the reliefs.

In Entablature VIII, glossy gold, matte yellow and orange embossed areas are conjoined with flat black and white architectural patterns. 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. As is the case for all prints in this series, the horizontal flow of the ornamentation suggests an uninterrupted continuation of the pattern beyond the printed sheet.