Peace Through Chemistry III

Peace Through Chemistry III
Signed Print

Roy Lichtenstein

Lithograph, 1970
Signed Print Edition of 16
H 82cm x W 147cm

Critical Review

Peace Through Chemistry IIIpresents three panels demarcated through dominant outlines and flat areas of black and white, akin to a triptych. For tone and texture, Lichtenstein employs dense fields of Ben Day dots and regularised stripes throughout the monochrome composition. Peace Through Chemistry IIIdepicts a schematised progression, starting with natural imagery and concluding with a portrait of scientific growth. The artist uses elementary symbols to mark the different themes. As such, he situates a leafy branch on the left, factory gears in the middle and the geometric profile of a man holding a test tube on the right.

The work functions as a cubist play on the motivational posters disseminated throughout America during the Great Depression era. Although Lichtenstein’s printed mural makes use of a similar format, there is a significant difference in subject matter. Peace Through Chemistry III pins humanity against machinery, ridiculing industrialisation’s claim that peace is achievable through science.