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Roy Lichtenstein: Two Paintings: Beach Ball - Signed Mixed Media

Two Paintings: Beach Ball
Signed Mixed Media

Roy Lichtenstein


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Mixed Media, 1984
Signed Mixed Media Edition of 60
H 92cm x W 94cm

Critical Review

Mounted on a striped wall, Two Paintings: Beach Ball contrasts the composition of two disparate imaginary portraits. On the left hangs a regency style frame, depicting a reclining figure by the sea. Similar to the shapes of Lichtenstein’s Surrealist series, the captured forms are fluid and composed entirely of red dots. At the bottom left of the canvas sits a minimalist frame, exhibiting silver brushstrokes on a black and white faux-burlap background. Lichtenstein’s concurrent Seven Apple Woodcuts and later Brushstroke Faces achieve similar imitations of the emotive manner of Abstract Expressionism.

The irony of this print is mainly established through the thematic comparison of the spontaneous painterly sweeps and the detached cartoon aesthetic. The contrast is further enforced by the cropping of forms, which asserts the object quality of the work. Lichtenstein presents the idealised tradition of autographic mark making as equal to commercial types of imagery. By framing and exhibiting them both as masterpieces, the artist achieves an added connotation of self-parody.

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