Roy Lichtenstein’s Mirrors revise the historic iconography of mirrors. The series was initially launched in the late 1960s and concluded in the early 1990s. In art and mythology, mirrors have been used to reveal the hidden and the unconscious. Lichtenstein’s Mirrors follow the traditions of object painting, keeping the formal characteristics of the motif intact. At the same time, the artist removes the object’s symbolism and functionality, liberating it from its intended purposes.
Mirror #6, executed in 1972, captures an oval shape rendered in dark red, black and yellow. Jagged lines and dense areas of dots are strewn across its surface, evoking the reflective attributes of glass. These regularised patterns are also used to indicate the edges of the oval’s framework. Lichtenstein’s visual language both forms and obscures the central image of his canvas. The artist presents his mirror frontally, displaying the complete absence of reflections. Mirror #6 is as much a misrepresentation, as it is an illustration of a mirror.
Over the course of his career, Lichtenstein embarked on several other series dealing with vision and representation. His Water Liliesand Reflections, for instance, explore various perceptions of light and reflection. Meanwhile, Lichtenstein’s Entablatures delve further into object painting, reproducing enlarged architectural fragments as their main composition.