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Haystack #5

Haystack #5
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Planographic print, 1969
Signed Print Edition of 100
H 52cm x W 78cm

Critical Review

Monet used seriality to capture the dynamic relationship between light and colour. This idea appealed greatly to Lichtenstein and he explored a number of variations on a single theme. See his masterful Cathedral seriesas another example, completed in the same year and inspired by Monet’s portrayal of the Rouen Cathedral.

In order to create dramatic alterations in the depictions of his haystacks, Lichtenstein relies solely on a bright selection of colours and his strategically arranged signature Ben Day dots. Haystack #5’s dark red and black colour combination is effectively undecipherable when monitored from a short distance. Lichtenstein seeks to parallel the objective of the original impressionist paintings, presenting the obscured image of the hayfield as a nighttime portrait.

The Haystacks present a calculated commentary on art history’s claim that mechanical reproduction is devoid of originality. In fact, the prints in this series exhibit images that are in essence purer than their source material, seeing as they are controlled through their medium of commercial design.