Similar to Verticale Apple,another print from the same series, Apple and Lemon is depicted in a surreal and distorted manner. The apple’s inflated contours are blue, adorned by black, red and yellow streaks of colour. The familiar outlines of a lemon sit by its side, confirming that the main shape of the composition is in fact the apple the title alludes to. The expressive potential of the brushstroke becomes the tool, with which Lichtenstein explores the formal concerns of Apple and Lemon.
There is a rhythm to the artist’s dynamic sweeps, as he actively exploits the unrefined and abstract qualities of his own visual language. Apple and Lemonproves that it isn’t necessary to realistically capture both shapes, in order for audience’s to recognise the subject matter. Lichtenstein keenly embraces a sense of technical finesse with which he engages in a simulated process of still life painting. As a result, the beholder forgets that the print was in fact executed as a woodcut.