Roy Lichtenstein’s daring contributions to Pop Art undoubtedly secured the movement’s prominence in the realm of contemporary art.While cartoon heroines have frequently featured in the artist’s creative practice, the intimate scenes captured in his 1994 Nudes depict an entirely new interpretation of femininity.
Unlike traditional art historical portraits of the naked body based on live models, the female figures in Lichtenstein’s Nudes are inventions. Their origins can be traced to the artist's archive of comic book clippings and movie stills. Lichtenstein’s Nude With Yellow Pillow is a culmination of these sources, showing a carefree female figure with lustrous hair, smiling broadly while leaning against a sofa. The artist sneakily integrates motifs and objects borrowed from his highly figurative Interior series, Water Lilies and Perfect/Imperfect series as part of the interior.
Deploying his trademark Ben Day dots, Nude With Yellow Pillow uses the dense pattern to create spatial ambiguities within the frame. Lichtenstein’s cascading black dots transgress the limits of the nude’s face and torso, flattening the foreground against the background. At the same time, the artist contrasts the stark geometrical shapes of the interior against the curvilinear form of the portrayed female body. In doing so, Lichtenstein invokes volume and dimension in certain parts of the composition.