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Signed Print Edition of 38
H 66cm x W 106cm
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Toni Clayton, American Pop & Modern Specialist
In the late 1970s, Roy Lichtenstein entered his remarkable absurdist period, inspired by the practices of Surrealism. Originating in the 1920s, surrealist artists delved into subconscious realities, stringing together peculiar types of imagery. Lichtenstein’s Surrealist series follows suit, merging disparate elements into impactful compositions.
Although these prints copy the manner in which surrealist artworks were created, the pictorial language of the Surrealist sequence is literal rather than symbolical. The series combines art historical tropes with various motifs from Lichtenstein’s own oeuvre. Accordingly, the subject matter of At The Beach, executed in 1978, precedes the artist’s abstracted Perfect/Imperfect series of the 1980s. It’s components are also the forerunners of his illustrative The New Fall Of America suite of the 1990s.
Lichtenstein anchors the print’s composition in wildly opposing forms, maximising its referential framework. At The Beach situates its protagonists amid minimalist hills and levitating futurist shapes.The fluid outlines of a sunbathing woman are stretched across the canvas. She is composed entirely of graphic red stripes and bright yellow tufts of hair. Her melting body resembles a purist modern sculpture, while also honouring the essentialist legacies of nude painting. Her companion’s shape is fixed in the background, reminiscent of a cubist ceramic, greeting the beholder with a wave.