Roy Lichtenstein completed his eight-part multimedia sequence entitled Paintings in 1984. The elaborate prints in this series not only prove his outstanding talent as a print maker, but also demonstrate his innovative conceptual range. Lichtenstein’s Paintings exhibit fictitious picture frames as their central motif.
Similar toPainting In A Gold Frame from the same series, Painting On A Blue And Yellow Wall showcases a small section of an imaginary painting. Its modern silver frame is mounted on a blue and yellow faux-wood wall. Combining hand-painted and machine-made patterns, the portrait reveals expressive pastel sweeps intersected by schematic cartoon strokes. Lichtenstein’s concurrent Seven Apple Woodcuts and subsequent Brushstroke Faces pursue a similar exploration of the painterly gestures of Abstract Expressionism.
Formal contrasts are elaborated seamlessly in Painting On A Blue And Yellow Wall, mainly through the ironic juxtaposition of high and low culture. Furthermore, Lichtenstein’s characteristically graphic and detached forms evoke an additional layer of self-parody. His use of cropping and the vague surface dimensions assert the object quality of his artwork. Ultimately, he presents a print that is an image in itself, as well being the representation of another image. In doing so, Lichtenstein’s artwork undermines ideas of artistic originality.