portrait from brushstroke figure by roy lichtenstein

Brushstroke Faces Roy Lichtenstein

Find out more about Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke Faces, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.

Roy Lichtenstein’s prints played a substantial role in establishing printmaking as a significant art form in the 1960s. The artist primarily utilised elements of popular culture and sought to challenge the divide between highbrow and lowbrow art. Art history proved an enduring resource for his artistic appropriations. His artworks adhered to their source material not only in order to resonate with a wider public, but also disrupt their origins and conventions from the inside out.

Lichtenstein’s notorious visual vocabulary consisted of black outlines, block colour and Ben Day dots. It is, however, relatively unknown that the late 1980s represented a period of formalistic synergy in Lichtenstein’s creative output. In Brushstroke Faces, the artist uniquely combines cartoon elements and emotive sweeps of paint on the same sheet of paper. He first embarked upon his Brushstroke series in the fall of 1965. Returning to this interest in the 1980s, Lichtenstein decided to also create sculptures as part of the new series, in addition to further expanding his prolific printmaker career.

In line with the majority of Lichtenstein’s artworks, the first renditions of Brushstrokes took their inspiration directly from comic book panels. By the time he revisited the Brushstrokes in the late 1980s, he had technically moved away from his imitation of other styles. Therefore, in his 1989 series he sought to liberate the brushstrokes from being constitutional parts of paintings. To do so, he had to dissect methods exercised by the Abstract Expressionists in the 1940s and 1950s.

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