With his glossy Nudes from 1994, Roy Lichtenstein returns to the comic-book heroines that first propelled him to the forefront of the Pop Art movement in the 1960s. In this series, Lichtenstein explores the highly sexualised portrayal of women throughout art history, as well as in contemporary society.
Roommates showcases a complete domestic scene, featuring a stylish and familiar interior and two female characters sharing a quiet and intimate moment. A naked figure reads in bed, while another figure pokes her blonde head into the frame from the left, gazing directly at the beholder. Her mouth is slightly open, as if she is about to say something, and her hand is lifted to her face in an interruptive gesture, indicating silence perhaps.
The print employs both hand-cut stencils and computer-generated dye-cut stencils to produce the artist’s trademark Ben Day dots. Lichtenstein uses solid swathes of red stripes and patches of black and blue dots to evoke volume and depth on the canvas. The more figurative elements, such as the plant in the foreground and the frames and the lamp in the back, appear in bright hues. Stark geometrical shapes are contrasted against the curvilinear form of the portrayed female body in Roommates, testifying to Lichtenstein’s complete mastery of his craft.