Roy Lichtenstein’s Six Still Lifes of 1974 manifest a colourful excursion into the diverse legacies of the still life genre. Each composition in this bright six-part sequence is predicated on the artistic style of 20th century modern masters.
Although still life painting has been practiced since ancient times, its particular mode of representation has never ranked highest in the hierarchy of art. Despite offering sublime scenes of prosperity and temporality, the genre was often dismissed as a creative exercise. Lichtenstein embraces its decorative qualities, rendering his Six Still Lifes according to a pronounced commercial aesthetic.
Historically, still lifes would provide the public with allegorical depictions of different cultural values and belief systems. Correspondingly, Lichtenstein’s Still Life With Figurine captures an assortment of objects saturated in spiritual undertones. The print aims to encapsulate a holistic view of a variety of religions.
Still Life With Figurinehas a rich colour scheme, echoing Fauvism’s unbridled use of expressive pigments. A red and white plant sits on the left of the composition, while bright yellow bamboo patterns adorn the background on the right-hand side. A small green statue, mid-pray, is fixed in the foreground of the work. Crowned with a string of prayer beads, the scene unfolding in this print is evocative of a graphic shrine.