Roy Lichtenstein rose to prominence in the 1960s with his humorous cartoon imagery, promptly followed by his appropriations of art historical genres. His Modern Head series of 1970 draws on Cubism, Constructivism and Art Deco, among other modern movements of the past. In addition to a set of five Modern Head prints, Lichtenstein also created a limited number of Modern Head sculptures.
EveryModern Head print was produced using a different and distinct printing method, as a means to underline the subject matter of each edition. Therefore, Modern Head #5 was executed on an embossed graphite backdrop, completed by a die-cut overlay. By combining the two processes, Lichtenstein contributes an elegant dimension to his final composition.
Modern Head #5is the most figurative representation of the series and the final work showcasing Lichtenstein’s exploration of impure style. The artist applies a white curvilinear stencil onto a black background. The sleek and looping forms blend sculptural anatomy with the streamlined industrial design of the 1930s. Finally, Lichtenstein also supplies the print with a surprising antique reference point. Associated with divine culture, civilised arts and the epitome of beauty, Modern Head #5exhibits the profile of Greek god Apollo.