In line with the development of Pop Art in 1960s New York, Roy Lichtenstein responded to the popular culture of his time by finding inspiration in commercial forms of production. The artist initially used consumer advertising and the comic books of his youth as source material. His dialogue with artistic legacies and the act of painting also formed an important focal point throughout his career.
Lichtenstein’s Water Lilies of 1992 is a celebrated limited edition of screen prints manufactured on stainless steel. This important body of work demonstrates the artist’s interest in reinterpreting genres and grandmasters. In this series, Lichtenstein pays homage to impressionist Claude Monet’s “Nymphéas” oil paintings. Using a carefully honed stylistic and formal visual language, the artist reimagines the impressionistic landscape as uniform and commercially produced.
Water Lilies with Willows is a stunning example of Lichtenstein’s ground-breaking approach to material and form. The work is unique in that 17 different colours were applied to its canvas. The artist was interested in distilling the character of an image into signs and archetypes. As such, Water Lilies with Willows presents tree bark, lily pads, cascading willows and reflections, rendered in thick outlines, swirls, diagonal patterning, and Ben Day dots.