Reflections On Expressionist Painting from 1990 belongs to Roy Lichtenstein’s Reflections series. The work was also featured in The Carnegie Hall 100th Anniversary Portfolio. The sequence takes the artist’s popular designs and disrupts them by seemingly depicting them through a glass lens. As opposed to a simple concept of ‘theme and variation’, the Reflections series plays with Lichtenstein’s favoured ideas of light and reflection.
The partly hidden images in this sequence are altered and obscured by fractions of stylised glass, pushing them to the point of abstraction. The subjects are glimpsed between sharp mirrored shapes that break and refract the surface of the image.
Similar to Reflections On Brushstrokes of the same series, Reflections On Expressionist Painting acts as a parody of the art historical value placed on the traditional artistic gesture of brushwork. Lichtenstein challenged the long-standing conventions of artistic practice by incorporating the brushstroke motif in several of his printed series. As opposed to a freestyle stroke at the hands of modern artists, the sweeps in this work are reproduced systematically and precisely through industrial printing processes. The work draws attention to the visual effects of reflection of light as well as the multitude of different patterns, colours, and forms.