Roy Lichtenstein launched his Mirror series in the late 1960s, concluding the sequence in the early 1990s. His abstracted Mirrors study the symbolic implications of the mirror motif in art and mythology. Historically, mirrors have been used to reveal complex perspectives and invisible truths. Honouring the conventions of object painting, Lichtenstein’s Mirrors maintain the physical appearance of the item. At the same time, the artist liberates the object from its symbolism and functionality.
Mirror #8, executed in 1972, captures two ovals situated side by side and rendered vibrant green, black and yellow. The layered colours are coupled with dense streaks of blue dots, alluding to the uneven and reflective attributes of glass. Meanwhile, jagged contours denote the framework of the two oval shapes. The regularised patterns and intricate details both constitute and obscure the imagery. Lichtenstein presents the mirrors frontally, displaying the complete absence of reflections. Therefore, Mirror #8 is as much a contradiction, as an illustration of two mirrors.
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.